Session 19

  • finished off mercenaries
  • Krugga signals to Naraaku that this evening they must commune one spirit to another. This is a ritual of maturity which will increase the strength of their bond and the psychic link they share
  • kestrekals hovering above look like they are going to swoop down to attack
  • decide to head back towards altaruk to meet guards and veil
  • trek up mountain heat relentless, solzak contracts sun sickness
  • find ho’ktous cave
  • enter and preservers guard door with caravan guards
  • cave is narrow so group walk in single file, up ahead widens to a small cave where in the middle is a large mound of rock, as they get close the mound stirs and moves two piercing amber eyes appear. The group ready weapons as It suddenly lurches up and takes on the form of a large man
  • it speaks and asks to know who the pcs are, he then heads off
  • moments later they see small faerie lights coming down the corridor and a jingling sound as this small figure barely 3’ tall limps slowly from another corridor in the far end of the cavern. * He is covered in animal skins and his hair is untidy and kept in place by a series of jagged bones, his face is painted in a chalky white substance that has been baked on by years of sunlight, but cracked in many places too
  • he eyes the pcs up and down and asks why they are here once more and talk turns to the mark on solzak’s arm
  • the creature tastes the mark and reels back knowing the mark came from the belgoi, he requires 3 components from the mountain the group must fetch as payment for his services, the juice of a cactus that grows on the top of the mountain (distinctive for its flat shape and red flowered tips), a pint of Solzaks blood (the easy part) and the glands of a crystal spider (such as those that lurk up in the mountain)
  • just then sounds of combat and screams come from outside, the guards rush in saying the belgoi and the elves are outside
  • the preservers and guards retreat into the cave just as an elven body is thrown into the doorway, dead
  • Ho’ktou asks his elemental associate ‘Doomvar’ to block the door which he does, quickly sealing the group in.
  • Ho’ktou tells the group that they must hurry to get the components for the ritual lest the belgoi find another way in
  • before they leave orsk requests ho’ktou to translate the words of the gith he’d picked up before, after hypnotising the creature he gets him to speak, and he reveals that the map was given to him by yarnath and that inside the tower lies the blood jewel, a fragment of the silt crown of ul-athra! (the silt kraken)
  • they leave the preservers and solzak where they are with the guards and ho’ktou and the gith (who is now ho’ktous new plaything) and proceed up the winding corridors that lead further up and into the mountain, he says to beware of Tatvaar, the ancient spider that lives at the top of the mountain, for she is as old and a deadly foe for any traveller to contend with.
  • the corridors are narrow but ‘rex’, Orsk’s Crodlu mount still manages to squeeze into the space to bring up the rear just about as the rest of the group march on ahead
  • the caves have a cool breeze running through them and an odd dampness, they push on and as the path gets steeper it also gets more difficult until at a very steep section orsk and naraaku both notice fine glistening threads on the walls, viciously sharp to the touch, feeling like razor sharp glass than thread.
  • Having no other path than straight on they push forward as fast as possible, rushing up the steep pathway some of the group slip and stumble and in doing so each feel a slight bump from above when they realise that it is in fact small spiderlings! They are fast and it is only Krugga and eben that manage to catch one before it slips away
  • At the corridors end is a steep almost vertical shaft but there is a draft too so daylight must be close! Initially the entire group clamber up one after the other but as one slips into the other a better plan is settled on. Orsk climbs up and with Eben and using their giant hair rope pull the others up.
  • ahead they see the white light of day but as their eyes adjust the see a maze of corridors sprouting off of this one and the glint of something reflective. With closer inspection they find that the corridors that branch from this main and much larger corridor are covered in glass-like webbing, razor sharp and blocking their path
  • suspecting this to be a creatures lair they proceed cautiously, checking the corners of the corridors nervously for danger
  • All at once a brilliant light comes from a side corridor blinding Ali and searing Eben
  • Battle commences as the ancient spider blasts the group with rays of burning light and rakes with its serrated legs before scurrying off into the darkness
  • A game of cat and mouse ensues as the spider stalks and pkays with the group, hoping to whittle it down slowly before moving in to finish them off
  • Its webs offer it protection but only until the group decide enough is enough and work to destroy them one by one.
  • The spider is badly wounded by some expert shooting from naraaku and scurries off into the darkness and a waiting game begins as tense seconds pass and all wonder who will make the first move
  • then just as the group were deciding to act the Tatvaar made her move, springing out of the darkness hoping to gain surprise, but the group were ready and a pinning shot from naraaku, a battle cry from Ali and a finishing blow from Eben sent the carcass of the spider into a searing meltdown, as cracks appeared all over it and a huge burst of light covered the area as its body vaporised. All that remained was a burnt husk and its legs. Naraaku extracted the silk glands as the others explored its lair, finding a small fortune of coins and the body of a long dead dwarf warrior, clad in thick bone armour and wearing a grand horned helm. His weapon, a mighty craghammer was taken by Orsk who was immediately enchanted with its balanced weight and swing, wheras Eben took the helm, equally well weighted with sharp spikes and horns that felt far newer and well looked after than the age of the body would indicate, these were grand ancient relics indeed. As they retrieve the weapons a strange thing happens, the dwarfs lower jaw drops down slightly as if creating a strange smile…
  • Cautious but pleased with their findings they headed to the exit that lead outside, momentarily blinded by the heat of the day they saw ahead of them a small plateu covered with many kinds of cacti (including the one they sought) and with a grand view of the surrounding desert, the alluvial sands to the west side and beyond the mountains the estuary of the sea of silt to the east.
  • In the distance they spot a large dust cloud, distinctive formations and dress code indicate that it is a group of merchant soldiers, and most likely from house tombaldor from their sybol and as walked and rode the path from Altaruk
  • back to the task at hand naraaku spots some vicious looking spider cactus within the mileiu of plant life. These horrific predators fire poisoned darts at their prey and once struck and paralysed draw them close to be consumed a slow and painful death
  • Thinking and working as a team a noose is created with giant hair rope that can be use to lasso the cactai, a drawn out method as only a little could be retrieved each throw but nevertheless a safer alternative
  • After several throws and one nearly ruined rope (filled with spines) enough cactus water is retrieved and the group are able to return to ho’ktou and solzak.
  • Ho’ktou is busy experimenting with the gith, commanding him like a puppet to do his bidding, when he sees the group he is pleased that they have returned
  • quickly Ho’ktou enacts the ritual, chanting in a low voice as the items are dropped into Ebens waterskin, first a pint of solzak’s blood is extracted by the shamen digging his teeth into solzaks arm and holding it over the waterskin until the required amount is filled. Solzak goes white with a mix of fear and revulsion and as the cactus juice was already in the waterskin the spider gland is finally squeezed into the mixture, a pulpy mucus that makes a horrible squelchy popping noise as it is crushed
  • Ho’ktou then grabs solzak who is now less enthusiastic about this whole ritual and with extraordinary strength brings him to his knees pulls back his head and pours the liquid down his throat, solzak gags but he drinks all the horrible green/brown stuff, and then falls to the floor coughing and choking
  • within moments an energy seems to pass through solzaks body like an electrical charge, and before everyones eyes the tattoo evaporates into the room like a magical dust
  • Everyone is exhausted, and with the threat of the Belgoi still outside, they decide to rest in the relative safety of Ho’ktou’s hovel

Session 19

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty