Session 29

  • As the dust settled around them and the bright glare of the athasian sun focused into blinding view once more they were home at least, but unfortunately far from safe. They came to their senses to find themselves surrounded by 150 elves, all armed with bone longswords and longbows pointed directly at them
  • An Elf steps forward, he is tall, handsome (for an elf) and dark-skinned, with long dark hair and hooded, shadowy eyes. Tattooed on the flesh of his right shoulder and proudly displayed for all to see is the mark of his clan: two quarter moons. He announces in a booming and overtly dramatic voice that his name is misteek and he leads this band of elves. He then congratulates naraaku on bringing the girl to them, and tells the others to hand her over or die
  • naraaku without hesitation moves to join the rest of the elf ranks but as he does so he subtly motions to solzak that he will give a signal when he will act and disappears into the throng
  • misteek continues by saying that for the slaughter of scores of night runner clan members at the hands of the tyrian templars tybia is to be sacrificed to the spirits of the desert. Additionally Misteek wants to learn of the powers Tybia displayed when she controled the orb she stole from the templars
  • solzak attempts to tell the story of how they arrived here deliberately emitting some details (such as where the orb is now and the bargain with laylon-ka). Misteek sees through the simple bluff however and motions his guards to grab tybia
  • 4 elves move in but Orsk pushes into the way with rex, holding his hammer menacingly so that the elves were forced back
  • misteek shouts at them and welcomes orsk to try his luck at taking on his whole tribe
  • narissa steps forward, pleading for them to take her instead. misteek ponders this for a while and then replies that she can come too!
  • changing tactics Eben and Orsk appeal to Misteek and the night runners raider nature, producing their house Vordon papers and recalling that a regular shipment of Iron ore would be arriving at a small fort just a day north of their position, this particular caravan is normally somewhat less protected, to draw less attention to its more valuable cargo. The plan would be that the group would lead the elves to the caravan and betray the vordon merchants leaving them weak and powerless against the elf ambush. Additionally then the elves would join the caravan, be led into the fort (which happens to be owned by house stel, an enemy of the elves) and attack from the inside, slaughtering the defenders and claiming the fort for themselves. Misteek questioned why the group would betray their employers in this way, to which eben showed him his house m’ke papers further to prove the legitimacy of the groups story
  • retreating to consult with his senior lieutenants misteek pondered the arrangement whilst the greedy elves knocked arrows to their bows or tensed muscles on their sword arms
  • misteek accepts the terms on the condition that tybia rides on their kank and stays close to them for insurance and because they do not trust her
  • this is agreed but narissa, still protesting demands that she go with tybia also. misteek ponders this for a moment and then agrees
  • the elves run off leaving the group to quickly prepare and then chase after them.
  • the elves are running hard, almost intententionally so in order to leave the group behind. Despite his great toughness, the fatigue was beginning to show on eben as he dragged behind the rest of the runners, naraaku was on hand however to ‘encourage’ him to keep pace
  • According to their collective vordon knowledge there was a caravan that would be arriving in the early morning to the fort. This gave little time for error and they ran throughout the night. It was easier going once the sun dipped below the horizon so for that the group were grateful, but the lack of rest would surely take its toll
  • As the sun rose on the second day of the month of ‘hoard’ the runners began to catch sight of a shimmering image to the west that had the familiar outline of a caravan
  • the elves slowed to allow the group to catch up and from there misteek and the group formulated a plan of attack.
  • the elves would remain hidden a short way off until the group had gained access to the caravan and orsk would signal from the roof, at this point the elves would attack, taking the caravan completely by surprise.
  • once defeated, two thirds of the elves would come aboard and from then they would use the caravan to gain entry to the stel fortress bluffing their way in by pretending they were a legitimate vordon caravan, upon entering the elves would disembark and from then slaughter all whom came to meet them.
  • Luck was with the group as they rode up to the caravan and displayed their vordon papers. Seeking refuge in the caravan, the vordon merchants agreed and led the group to the driving deck to meet the caravan master
  • Orsk and Eben however made their way to the roof to signal the elves, in the centre of the deck was a large catapult manned by 3 slaves and one slave master was the only large scale defence on the roof that could cause any real damage to the elves.
  • From the desert a call to arms rang out and almost immediately the crest of a giant sand dune was lined with night runners, screaming and chanting as they came running, sweeping down upon the outriders and guards before they could wheel their mounts.
  • As fine bone weapons clashed with the obsidian of the vordon guards the guards knew they were outmatched as the experienced raiders met them at every turn with faster and more accurate blows
  • From on top of the caravan the slave master squealed the order to load the catapult but as he did so all he felt was a rush of crimson hot blood splash over his neck as his back was caved in by the thirsty axe of eben
  • His death scream panicked the slaves who stumbled over one another, setting off the catapult as one of them tripped and fell, finding himself flying over the battlefield! The catapult then snapped and the arm flew into the deck sending wood splinters everywhere. Eben brought his axe to bear once more, swung and sliced through the binding rope of the slaves, and with a wry smile said ‘you are free’ to which the slaves were overjoyed but cowering in fear.
  • Below deck the caravan master turned to greet the rest of the group, who by means of reply drew their weapons. The caravan master screamed in anguish at their treachery, and as blow after blow came from all sides he called out to his guards, who desperately tried to get in though the group had barred doors. It was too late and by the time they broke through their master’s bloody mess of a body lay at their feet
  • Angered by the invaders the guards fought on but the group held fast and pushed them back with ease, sending some running who were quickly cut down and others who fled outside only to fall to their death or be skewered by an elven arrow
  • the caravan driver met too met a quick end as he panicked and threw the caravan into full speed. It then fell to Eben to remember how to control the vehicle, having seen Abdiel attempt it before, he closed his eyes and pulled a lever, hoping for the best, and, success! the caravan began to ease down to a less severe pace.
  • quickly two thirds of the elves boarded whilst the others chased behind and the caravan was sent into full speed once more towards Fort Iron
  • The tower guards had seen the attack at distance, and unsure of the state of the caravan remained steadfast with the huge gates closed
  • Eben, with a basic knowledge of merchant signals, headed to the top deck to rearrange the signal flags and indicate all was safe with the caravan, and although damaged had not been compromised
  • Nervously the guards signalled for the gates to be opened as a hail of crossbow bolts was sent towards the elves to keep them at distance
  • The caravan rolled into the castle at full throttle and only nearly avoided hitting the castle wall as the brake was applied and the mekillots began to growl and pull back to turn the corner and maintain their grip on the sand
  • Quickly the doors were slammed shut and the elves retreated from the guards to long range and awaited the next phase of the attack
  • inside the fort the caravan slowed to a stop and there was a moment of silence as the guards looked at the quiet battle worn caravan that had just entered their compound and as their eyes fell on the ruined catapult they raised their crossbows instinctively. Simultaneously the main cargo door was thrown open and the screams of 100 blood thirsty elven raiders rang high into the sky as they rushed out to meet the stel defenders
  • the trained and masterful stel although caught flat footed were not to be outdone and quickly formed into tight defence ranks, their lieutenants barking orders to build shield walls and rain in crossbow bolts from the battlements. The battle was to be fought on two fronts however and as the attentions of the crossbowmen on the battlements were diverted those elves on the outside swept in picking off the defenders from range and scaling the walls of the fort
  • the battle was long and bitter, a great many died on both sides but in the end even the superior training and equipment of the stel warriors was not enough to stave off the elven onslaught, and as misteek launched defiling magic into the stel troops their morale broke, and the elves sang in rapture as they were set loose upon the fort rushing into outbuildings and stealing all they could lay their filthy hands on
  • From inside the caravan the group looked on at the chaos and mayhem hoping that this would satisfy the raiders blood-lust for now…

Session 29

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty