I am going to try to formalize some of my entries on certain days of the week since many of my activities are slated for the same day each week.
So this past Wednesday 101211 we started back up with Ruben’s Dark Sun campaign. We are all 5th level. i will fill in the details as I recall or am reminded of what they are.
Here is the makeup of our party so far:
Me – Thri-Kreen Monk named P
Paul – minotaur – Defender – Specifics to come later
Craig – Elf – Leader
Linus – Goliath – Striker
Jennifer – ? – Part time player now that school is back in session
Jim – ? – Part time player now that school is back in session
brief (hopefully) some what long winded overview of what our party has done so far. We all independently joined on as caravan guards leaving from one city to the free city of Tyr. None of us knew each other so our early communication was somewhat less than social, more on the order of wary or even distrustful.
A number of us have had a pretty brutal or harsh life up until now, as if life on this planet was ever easy.
My clutch was attacked by one of the nomadic desert tribes that prey upon lone or small groups of humanoids in the hopes of increasing their wealth by claiming gold silver and with any luck steel. Regardless of the spoils that are recovered from successful raids the survivors are often sold into slavery for labor or the gladiatorial arena. The search for my clutch-mates has dominated my very existence since it occurred several years ago.
As a way to travel with some measure of security, if any can be found anywhere on Athas, I have hired my services out as a caravan guard. This worked out pretty well as it enabled me to travel from settlement to settlement seeking my clutch-mates. Always no sign and with my direction determined by the caravan master I never was allowed to pursue any leads on my own unless I wanted to strike out on my own.
It was at the city of (name to be filled in later) that I signed on with a large caravan that was heading to Tyr. This was my chance to get to the free city and search for my clutch mates. If any of them service sure they would have made it to the free city for security and to search for the rest of our clutch-mates.
We headed out among a dozen other groups of merchants of all stripes. After several days/weeks
our first nightin the desert a mighty sandstorm struck, it was at this precise moment our assailants chose to attack. It was a terrible fight and almost all of the caravaners were gone when the sand settled, either captured or eaten. We never knew which. Guess it really didn’t matter much.
We salvaged what supplies we could but there was scarcely enough food and water to sustain us all for a couple of days. Having no choice but to form a new “clutch” for security we started out towards the nearest city.
My companions were a mixed lot but proved themselves to be strong, resilient and clever tacticians. I will not oppose anyone for right to lead the clutch…for now. If however they should prove to be too weak I will take the mantle and lead as is the right of the strongest.
Along our wonderings we came across a small boggy oasis I recall. Surely this would be an excellent place to hole up for an evening to recover from our travels and slake our thirst. We also happened to see a small wooden vessel half buried in the sand on the far side of bog. We approached to discover it was a sand-skiff. What a treasure if we could make it work for us as it would save us many hard days travel and allow us to reserve our strength.
As we closed in we could see the poor fellows that had once claimed the skiff as their own among the wreckage. What need they of such a fine treasure, we ascended upon it in earnest only to discover that the dead were not really dead but animated dead and wished for us to join the dead-dead. My heightened keen monk senses kicked in and I was able to quickly move in among the group of walking corpses to deliver them to whence they came – dead. I was also set upon some floating critter I was able to land a mighty kick to and move back towards the safety of the party for safety before it could even act.
Meanwhile as my companions moved along the bank of the bog – flying insects arose to harass them. It was left up to Craig’s, Jennifer’s and my character to deal with the flying skiff menace while Paul and Linus dealt with the bog monster(s). Swarms of insects I believe they were. A short comical fight later – I think our cow (ahem) minotaur got knocked prone or something silly like that, I can’t remember as it has been many months since.
We unearthed or un-ATHAS-ed the vehicle which turned out to run on the sand with wheels and was powered by sails. After some makeshift repairs that we learned how to do during our brief stint with our previous caravan. It worked for our needs barely – we did have a goliath and minotaur on board.
Soon we set off for the town of Dun. Along the way we had several adventures. Once along an oasis we attached by an alligator and a Tembo. Linus’ goliath now sports Tembo armor and we ate well on the gator. We also found a hidden fissure that led down into cave of sorts that house some sort of cliff dwellers. We discovered some preservation magic here and a some other vermin/critters that had to be dispatched.
In our travels with the skiff we did outrun/evaded a sandstorm by going underground through a network of tunnels that had been formed long ago by unknown peoples. This ride was not without its dangers as we were traveling at break-chiton speeds, having to choose which tunnel to take when the one we were on diverged. Additionally there were some monstrous crystalline web spinning spiders and webs we had to deal with, mainly by cruising past them or through the webs.
Later we came across some old abandoned temple made of stone that we investigated. Some traps and critters later we uncovered an underground lake and a tree that imbued the eater of its fruit with some special ability. I forget what mine was at the moment.
When we emerged from the stone temple we found our skiff had been stolen. <Deep Sigh> Once more our clutch was on foot. We slowly started to make our way to the trading outpost of Dun.
We made our way to a walled city, as so many of them are, where we sought sanctuary for the night and maybe food and water. The inhabitants were having none of it and we could not gain entrance. They told us that some of their women folk had been kidnapped and that if we rescued them we would be welcomed inside.
Later, we encountered a ginormous scorpion that was had been summoned and being controlled by defilers. As it turned out, these were our kidnappers. I was not at this session but as it was relayed to me. The party made its way on to the back of the scorpion to do battle against the defilers themselves in the hopes of stopping the scorpion from its path of destruction that would ultimately end with the destruction of the trading outpost that had just turned us away.
A mighty battle took place, the minotaur got shot/ stung by the scorpions stinger but when all the sand settled, the mighty scorpion lay inert at the gates of the outpost that it would have sure destroyed had we not intervened.
All was not done with the scorpion for we found that it had an inner chamber we were sorry to discover. It turns out the defilers were into blood magic and used the kidnapped women’s blood from their sacrifice to power this vile monstrosity.
After reluctantly letting us seek refuge within the walls of the outpost we rested up before quickly moving on not wanting to endure the blame filled faces of the inhabitants for not saving their women folk.
After more weeks in the deserts we came across the truly cursed place on Dun. One that had int entire population enslaved to a despicable and vile creature that enslaved all its people with metallic colored chokers. Almost everything in the town was for sale and the color of choker determined the cost.
Once we had established our presence within the two we were greeting the mayors son who bade us welcome and invited us to sup with him and his father that very evening. Sensing things were not as they seemed and bolstered by our natural instincts we also got a sick feeling things weren’t as they seemed as one of the common folk asked us to look for her eight year-old daughter that had been summoned to the palace two days before but had not been seen since.
After sizing up the Mull guards outside the palace in case we had to fight our way out past them we made our way inside to be greeted and shown to our quarters. Not to waste an opportunity to snoop around we made our way through the halls and while moving past a closed-door we heard the moans of someone not enjoying the pleasures of the flesh.
We quickly made up our minds to do what good-guys do best and break in the door. What we found was someone was enjoying the pleasures of the flesh alright but in a most gruesome and terrible way. What the room held before us was a man in a robe that looked quite a bit like the mayor’s son – maybe an uncle. He was standing on the far side of the room behind a stone altar like table that held atop it a women whose flesh had been ripped open in not to nice a fashion. She was being tortured for some reason. On the close side of this stone torture table was a most curious best, a winged snake. A really big one.
We all dashed into the room and shut the door to mask the sounds of the screams we were about to compel. We all quickly surrounded the two assailants and descended upon them without mercy. The minotaur made a spectacular maneuver to leap upon the very stone table containing the dissected women in order to help protect her and better have at the robed man. Oddly enough she was not wearing a choker. The man in robes went down quite easily but the snake turned insubstantial and escaped through the floor before we could mete out justice.
We quickly administered some basic life stabilizing treatment and snuck our way out of the room and back to ours where we were able to better care for our rescued patient. Her name is (name to be inserted later as my memory has epic failed) and is part of an organization we don’t fully understand. She carries a woven belt of powerful magic, of what kind we are uncertain.
When we are summoned to dinner we are on our way when we see a young women, hardly a women, leave the audience chamber where we are to dine with the mayor with blood freely flowing down her inner thigh. She seemed pale and none to lucid. That was it, our instincts told us that bad shit was happening here and we needed to end it once and for all.
We made our way into the chamber to see the most corpulent person I have ever seen occupying the throne looking smug with an expression on his face that he knows we know what he is but there is nothing we can do about it even though we were about to do something about it all over his bizz-nass.
The room had an upper ledge that ran the length of the back wall above the throne coming around to end in stairs down to the main floor on both sides. This upper ledge had what appeared to be 30 or so exact copies of the mayor’s son. All had a blank expression of incomprehension that one might find on a cadaver in a morgue.
Immediately we knew the mayor was not a man but a truly evil and powerful creature once seven phallic tuberous stalks emerged from under his robes, so this is what had happened to the you women! Sick bastard must pay the ultimate price.
Things did not go as smoothly as we had hoped as each stalk shot a beam at us that when hit by made us do unexpected things. We would attack each other or become immobilized. Sometimes pure energy cause pain and injury. Slowly we worked our way around him and made him split his actions/attacks allowing us to spread out and start to gain some momentum on him. Finally when he saw death for him in our eyes and he knew at present he could not defeat us he activated something that turned-on all the blank faced bodies lining the upper ledge. There also came a terrible scream from outside at the same time. He enacted some power that allowed him to float to the upper ledge thinking to gain safety behind his thirty clones but he forgot that Kreen are known for their leaping abilities and soon he was face to face with a monk with four arms and retribution on his mind . He also underestimated the power of our ranged attackers. Abruptly the doors flew open and a mist came bursting in and flew directly to him. Not in time however for as the mist raced towards him so did our ceaseless attacks which smote him just before the mist did. As he died so did all of the clones.
Once the vampiric-beholder was slain we started to head out into the entryway of the palace to find piles of ash everywhere. To our horror as near as we puzzled out this beholder had some way to feed off the blood of its victoms that it abused in horrific ways. Additionally through the chokers it was able to extract the essence of its victims whereby it would presumably enhance his own power, strength, longevity and whatever else.
With the death of this creature the outpost started to change somewhat. Things became less that what they were like a giant illusion had been placed over the entire area to seem more appealing. Fountains in the palace became broken down nonfunctioning shadows of their original design. Building and structures looked like they had not been maintained in quite a while.
Sadly the only people left alive were some traders that just made their way in to the outpost, the women we rescued and ourselves. In total there were more than a hundred souls lost this day. We claim ultimate victory as this abominable creature needed serious destroying but at the cost…was it too high? Who knows.
We sacked the place for what provisions and loot we could find, loaded up several wagons and along with the new traders and the woman we rescued headed out for Tyr.
Along the way we encountered only one group of sand-spider creatures we had to fight our way past. There were a number of melee combatants and a spell-slinger that caused some issues but was ultimately no match for our sorcerer. I don’t recall all the minutia here but that has been the basics until we arrived at Tyr.
We arrive at Tyr and we get our lodgings get settled and we seek our separate points of interest. My Kreen’s was in seeking knowledge of any other Thri-Kreen that were in the city that might either know of or are/were part of my clutch. So I poked around and heard about a three-armed kreen living in the Warrens, so that it where I went, with my minotaur for intimidation if the need arose.
As it turned out the three-armed Kreen turned out to be one of my clutch-mates. He and the three other Kreen with him looked like they had the crap kicked out of them ten ways to Sunday. It turns out that there are some pretty rough local gangs that like to bully weaker people than them. Seems like things remain the same all the world over.
I grabbed all the Kreen and left for safer parts of the city. In this case it turned out to be the Merchants area where I had lodgings. I happened to have some money and acquired lodging for them. I also gave them money to wager on my companions and me in our upcoming arena matches. We decided to undergo the gauntlet, which was a series of three combat stages with 30 minute rests in between each match.
The first match we were chained in pairs at the ankles randomly. My Kreen and Craig’s leader were together which left Paul’s minotaur and Linus’ goliath barbarian together. We had to fight two creatures that were called cylops – centipede creatures. They were tough but we prevailed once we were able to use our abilities as a team as opposed to individually.
The next match pitted us four against a flying creature that had ranged attacks that could target each opponent within 20 squares of it. Actually once we engaged it we brought it down pretty quickly.
We don’t know what the last fight will be but I am sure it will be something big and nasty with maybe some smaller and nasty thrown into the mix for good measure.
More to come…