Session 27

  • As Solzak and Naraaku had been scouting the vordon compound the rest of the group waited patiently for their return, holed up as safely as they could be in the confines of the ruins.
  • They rested and waited, but as they did so Kagero suddenly became aware of a wailing sobbing sound nearby, but almost psychically rather than a real sound carried on the breeze. Aware that more Cilopses could be in the area she cautiously motioned to the others. Peering out from the corner of the building where they were resting she saw across the street a strange blueish glow coming from a ruined shop
  • They debate for a moment whether to risk another encounter, but Kagero strides confidently forward, as if aware that there was no threat present.
  • Inside the shop Kagero saw to her surprise a Dray woman, dressed in templar robes! She was wailing and sobbing to herself as stood before one half of a cracked tablet, covered in draconic runes.
  • As Kagero stepped forward the Dray turned to face her, and at once her eyes lit up. She introduced herself as Acenith. She was once an assistant to the templars who created the Obsidian orbs for Kalid-ma and was transformed into spirit form during the cataclysm. She had thought that all her clan were destroyed, but in seeing Kagero she was suddenly filled with a strange hope that somehow, one or two must have survived. The only others to have escaped that night that she knew of were the merchants of house Vordon, headed for Tyr, or so she thought.
  • She seemed a little odd and more than a little mad, and although her story seemed to ring true there was no proof of any of what she said.
  • All she had to offer the group was the half of the tablet she had been looking after, it described the ritual to create (and destroy) the obsidian orbs. However it was incomplete and there was no clue as to where the other part of the ritual was. Kagero thanked the half-crazed Dray, who as they left began to wail once more.
  • Not long after this encounter Naraaku and Solzak returned to inform the others of what they had discovered.
  • After a brief discussion the group decided that they would look for the items on Erathis’s list, not quite knowing what they were for aside from that together they indicated some form of explosive, one that would be powerful enough to break into Laylon-Ka’s stronghold
  • The shadar-kai requested that the group leave a couple of their members as guarantor just in case of treachery. Yakala and Farjad volunteered to stay, along with gambala and Tybia, more for their own safety than anything else
  • The Fire Drake inn was nearby so the group decided to head there first together. As they approached the inn, 2 half giants marched out the front door, dragging a ragged looking shadar-kai, pleading for mercy. Bringing him to the middle of the street one of them held him back whilst the other proceeded to beat him senseless. Upon seeing the group he pleaded to be rescued and that he had been wrongfully accused
  • Orsk approached them as one of the half-giants raised his fist to swing. Looking at orsk he asked “what do you want, or do you want some o’ this”. Without saying a word Orsk swung and hit the pleading man in the gut, silencing his whining as he dropped his head, coughing
  • With glee the half-giants resumed their pummeling and the group proceeded inside
  • The inn was equally rawkus, several tables were gambling, while others were drinking fighting and creating general mayhem. Eben felt very much at home and would have gotten involved with the drinking were it not for the pressure of time that they were under.
  • The presence of the strangers nearly went unnoticed but for a group of thugs, toying with their knives on the balcony above. Dressed in the same basic leathers that the thugs of erathis were outfitted in and watching the group intently
  • approaching the barkeep, a Mul named Heralda Azis, Eben introduced himself (as a fellow mul) and began negotiating the provision of the tembo ale. He bought some for himself too, the dark thick bubbling ale looking so corrosive it would burn a man’s (or muls for that matter) insides out. Eben is made of stronger stuff and thought well to save the potent brew for another occasion.
  • The conversations with the barkeep were awkward but nevertheless successful and the group were sent round the back of the tavern to collect the keg from the barkeeps assistant, a smug but fairly agreeable Half-Giant
  • round back the half-giant rolled out the keg, mocking Orsk half jokingly for putting the load on rex rather than carrying it himself
  • Thinking it was all to easy the two of them turned round only to see the group of Erathis’s thugs stood before them
  • there was little negotiation, the thugs were looking for trouble, seeing the group as intruding on their turf and wondering where Erathis was. Eben and Orsk did not have the right answers so the thugs attacked
  • They were no match for the mul and half-giant an by the time the noise of the fighting had been heard by the rest of the group it was clear the thugs had no chance.
  • The last thug attempted to escape but was cut down as he turned his cowardly back
  • Waisting no time the group forged on towards the next stop on the list Ambasa’s general store
  • They weaved their way through the ruins, passing the square where they had met the treacherous adventuring group led by ‘Porgo’ and reaching the main street they saw that the spot where they had left their silt skimmer was now being occupied by Kalidnay city guard. Additionally a patrol of guards were also walking up the street towards the main gates
  • It was apparent now that travelling to the remaining destinations as such a large group was not only going to be difficult but also going to be dangerous, so they split up. Eben and Naraaku would head to Ambasa’s general store, Solzak and Kagero would head to the market to find Badtooth and Orsk and narissa would head to Silt sea imports to get the drake tears
  • Quickly, once the guards had gone Eben and naraaku slipped past, eben moving far stealthier than even he expected and naraaku, not taking care slipping and tripping. Fortunately they are not discovered and descend down to Ambasa’s which is located in a basement close to the main street
  • inside the store is hot and very dark, what little natural light is provided by the front open window frames. As their eyes adjust the two see hundreds upon hundreds of crates of bone trophies, some polished and others carved into hook shapes
  • Skins of creatures too are stretched on the walls whilst others are strewn about. Amongst all this too are collections of old and battered weaponry, much of which has seen better days and the whole store seems to be a collection more of salvage than of actual saleable goods
  • Eben picks out a lizardscale cloak, yellow and green striped and bearing impressive spikes and spines that seem to accentuate its menacing appearance aswell as Ebens. Additionally he picks up a small crossbow to give to Solzak later and replace his broken equipment
  • Interrupting the foraging the two are stopped by the sounds of shuffling and of large heavy steps and a huge hulking shadow coming forth from the darkness
  • The shadow begins speaking in a slow booming voice asking what their business is
  • naraaku melds with the shadows and without knowing eben is completely alone
  • The giant is short in temper and aggressive, especially when the silver tipped picks are mentioned. He shouts at Eben and demands to know where his son is. Eben is stalled, there was no mention of this before. The giant explains that Erathis took his son in exchange for him creating the silver tipped picks, which he has done
  • things are about to get ugly when a miraculous event occurs in that his son, bloodied and battered, stumbles through the door explaining that Erathis is dead and that he managed to escape in the confusion and infighting that resulted from the news
  • Ambasa rushes forward, throwing eben out of the way to embrace his child. He calls out to him to leave, take the picks and never return
  • Eben leaves a few coins for the goods and leaves happily complying with the half-giants wishes…
  • Solzak, seeing that the guards could discover the group at any moment, decided to create a diversion. Summoning the power of the shadow realms he created a vision of himself, an illusionary form which looked and acted as he does. Waiting for the guards to look away he sent it out into the main street, when it was spotted and he was sure that the guards had all seen it he sent it on a wild goose chase down an alley away from the group, buying the rest of them time to split up and head off in the directions they needed to go
  • Firstly Solzak and Kagero were headed to the market to locate Badtooth, not knowing who or what he was.
  • The market was busy, traders calling out their wares and ordinary citizens going about their normal lives. They both felt strange seeing such seemingly normal activity in such a place of death and evil
  • Across from the marketplace the mighty ziggurat stood, its imposing form filling them with dread as to a possible future Tyr. In the background another roar from the arena signalled more glorious death in the name of Kalid-ma
  • Not dwelling on these things Kagero and Solzak approached a local trader purchasing spiced Z’tal (lizard skewers), although their flavour is not as great as those in Tyr. The trader was cagey and wary of strangers, but he seemed to indicate that badtooth usually would hang around in the alleys behind the marketplace. More worrying however was the sudden appearance of a templar and city guard. They seemed to be enquiring with traders and moving around the square slowly from one side to the other
  • Quickly the pair formed a plan to create another distraction. Using some alchemic compounds Solzak had ‘aquired’ in Tyr they would set fire to one of the stalls to draw the guards away and allow them to slip past
  • The templar and guards were getting closer and they had to be quick. Using the power of his mind Solzak was able to send the compound onto the stall without anyone noticing
  • An explosion erupted in the square, and as panic set in the templar and his guards rushed over, pushing past panicked citizens to see what the commotion was about.
  • not wasting any time Kagero and Solzak slipped past the crowds and into to the very dark and deserted alleys behind the square, looking for badtooth. Moving round the corner they saw what looked like a pile of rags and animal skins, but as they got closer, movement beneath indicated to them the presence of life
  • What they were not prepared for was to be greeted by an inquisitive small lizard, a multi-coloured spine backed critic (psionic lizard). It seemed to stare at the pair for a few moments and then scurried under the rags. Seconds later the rags stirred and moved once more, as out climbed a scrawny old man, withered and grey. He had. strange arcane aura about him however that was hard to place
  • they enquired after the ‘secret ingredient’ Erathis was after, to which the old man produced from his filthy undergarments a small pouch, containing a shining green powder
  • The usual payment, the old man replied impatiently expecting the pair to know instinctively
  • of course they did not know and badtooth had to explain that the exchange would involve the sacrifice of a ‘few’ pints of fresh blood!
  • This idea did not sit well so they resolved to return imminently with a willing ‘volunteer’
  • Rushing back to the marketplace and the citizens were either running away panicked or being stopped and interrogated by guards
  • Thinking quickly Solzak suggested they look for a ‘lady of the night’ to substitute for either of them. Kagero was surprised but seemed inclined to agree. Asking one of the panicked merchants who was just as shocked to be asked such a question as to what else was going on directed them to another narrow alleyway
  • In a doorway, fallen on the floor and half asleep lay a woman, and as Solzak spoke to her it became clear she was drunk. Bribed with coin she followed them and into the arms of badtooth she was given. The pair were forced to witness the old man drain his helpless victim, belching alcoholic blood into the air in triumph. The woman fell to the floor, still breathing but only just.
  • Quickly they took the component from badtooth and, slightly ashamed of their actions headed back to rejoin with the group
  • Orsk and Narissa were last to leave the relative safety of the meeting point, using the cover of Solzak’s distraction to move without having to sneak in the shadows (handy because neither were particularly stealthy)
  • They walked confidently but subtly along the main street, Narissa using a minor cantrip to change the hue of hers and Orsks skin to match those around them and drawing her cloak close around her.
  • The streets were busy and as they walked close to the ziggurat they shuddered at its dark cold aura. The marketplace opposite seemed very busy and in fact there was a large group of guards along with a templar making their way around the square
  • cautiously but without trying to draw attention to themselves they slipped through the crowds unnoticed
  • Nearing the Silt sea imports Orsk and narissa saw that it was not only a store but an overgrown planthouse too, covered in all kinds of warped, dark vines. Their need was dire however so they cautiously stepped in
  • brushing past huge leaves and vines that seemed to drop and follow them they neared the centre of the shop to find the owner, a pale skinned and long black haired woman caressing some of the flowers. At the merest touch of her hand the flower would wilt and die, but almost immediately again grow and warp into another shape
  • She was cold and cunning as Orsk and narissa bargained for the drake tears. She took to Orsk, and so did the vines, gently caressing his neck playfully as he visibly grew less patient and more frustrated at her aloof arrogance.
  • Finally she gave them the tears but they did not come quickly but before she left she asked each of them to join her in ruling the underworld of Kalidnay now that Erathis was gone. The reply of no was of little interest to Celena who instead left the shop laughing and set her ‘pets’ on the pair as a giant set of vines dropped down and immediately hoisted them into the air, slowly constricting themselves around the pair.
  • Using pure brute strength Orsk was able to break himself free and pull narissa down but by that time celena was nowhere to be seen. It was of little concequence anyway as they had what they were looking for. Revenge could wait, thought Orsk
  • Hurrying back to their companions Orsk and Narissa headed back the way they came. Nearing the marketplace a huge towering plume of smoke was rising in front of them and a large group of citizens blocked the way most being questioned by guards and templars. It seems like one of the market stalls had been set on fire. Obviously the pair did not know yet that this had been the work of Kagero and Solzak.
  • Thinking quickly they pushed past the crowds just as a guard stopped them in their tracks. Defiantly the two stood up to the guard, putting him firmly in his place as the two asserted their authority, and by a stroke of luck and cunning they were through
  • Eben and Naraaku had returned first and from there it became an agonising wait for the other groups, each worried that they would be discovered or delayed to the point where they would miss their opportunity to break into Laylon-Ka’s compound
  • The sands of time drifted by and after 20 minutes had past since eben and naraaku returned the next to return were Orsk and Narissa. This was strange because they were last to leave and raised concern for Kagero and Solzak.
  • They debated whether to go look for them, but at the risk of splitting the group further they waited.
  • Another 10 minutes passed and there was nothing, the group grew impatient. Just as they were about to leave however they heard voices from the alleys nearby. It was Solzak!
  • Not staying for explanations the group gathered together and quickly made their way back to Erathis’s diggers…
  • the diggers were getting twitchy and by the time the group arrived things were starting to get heated. They soon calmed down though as the dwarves eyes fell on the silver picks
  • the digging was slow going but once they had gotten started the dwarves focused their efforts together and nothing would stop them
  • When finally through to the outer wall of the compound below ground the group stood back as one of Erathis’s men mixed the compounds together to create the explosive. The noxious liquid was thrown onto the exposed wall and as it sizzled and popped he quickly retreated, but as he did so an almighty explosion sent them all diving for cover. The reaction of the liquid on the wall had triggered much earlier than expected.
  • As the smoke cleared it was obvious to all that the man would not be getting up again. The dwarves picked themselves up and immediately rushed forward, their greed overcoming their better instincts. As they crossed the threshold for the compound all of a sudden a huge gout of necrotic gas billowed out of the entrance, just missing the rest of the group but completely covering the dwarves. As the smoke cleared the dwarves stood staring blankly for a moment before dropping stone cold dead
  • At this point the shadar-kai had enough, let us go they said as Orsk blocked their way. They drew their weapons nervously. Eben waved Orsk down, he could see they posed little threat now and it meant they did not have to betray them later
  • Now on their own solzak and naraaku stepped forward to examine the room
  • Solzak pulled naraaku back as it was clear whatever the dwarfs had triggered was still in operation
  • carefully feeling his way around the hole Solzak was able to recognise a series of small runes warding and protecting the hole, it would be only a matter of a few arcane words to disarm. Hoping to impress Narissa he stood up and in his most authoritative tone uttered what he thought was the correct command words.
  • Unfortunately for Solzak this was not correct and a gout of necrotic gas filled the tunnel once more. Luckily for the others the only ones who were in the firing line were Solzak and naraaku, who howled in elvish at Solzak’s incompetence
  • Scorned but determined, Solzak tried once more, his confidence shining through. The rest of the group braced themselves for another blast as naraaku backed slowly away
  • success! Solzak turned around to face the group to little fanfare. A nod and a warm smile from narissa though was enough to know he’d done well.
  • Naraaku walked stealthily up again to the hole, and peered carefully around the break. The hole opened out into a huge hall, some 100 feet long and about 30 feet high at its tallest point. The light inside was pior but his keen vision pierced the gloom as if it were daylight
  • the hall was supported by several thick columns, created entirely of bone. The north end of the hall was dominated by a huge staircase, carved of bone and resembling two huge twisted horns. The south end of the hall a large altar stood on a raised platform. Upon it rested two ancient books. Either side of the altar was two heads on poles, one with a turban on its head and the other, dark skinned with dreadlocks rest with their eyes closed. Behind the altar hanging from the wall were two lanterns, a wicked green flame gently licking the ancient bone frames. Elsewhere along both walls hundreds of tiny shrunken heads stare eerily into space. Finally Naraaku spots six corridors splinter off the hall further into the darkness
  • Orsk and Eben step up with lighted torches and slowly make their way into the hall. Immediately their footsteps are uncomfortable as they realise the floor is comprised entirely of rotten flesh! A thin mist slightly obscures the floor, making their progress that much more cautious
  • Slowly they approach the altar. Solzak and Eben get close and then suddenly the dreadlocked head opens its eyes and begins screaming in a high pitched voice. They both clutch their ears as horrific nightmares invade their mind. Eben manages to shrug off the visions but Solzak is left contorted in pain
  • Naraaku launches a flurry of arrows into the head as it continues to scream, slowly he backs off. Almost instinctively though he spins round, only to see a tall heavily bandaged shape shambling towards him. Its eyes just holes surrounded by grey decayed skin. It was dressed in ceremonial burial gear and carried a sceptre and sickle. As naraaku brought his bow up to aim at the creature, it bellows, and charges straight for him…

Session 27

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty