Session 31

  • Back in the bright daylight the group assembled to discuss their next move
  • They decided to head to the Ianto fort to trade the merchant slaves for favour/coin and perhaps forge an alliance with Ianto and M’ke to work towards securing a favorable position within Tyr for a conglomerate of smaller merchant houses and provide a match or push out Stel
  • They would also head to the tarn, meet with druids, discuss the destruction of the orbs and hide them from kalak while they find the rest of Kagero’s tribal ritual to destroy them
  • Eben would meet with abdiel in tyr and hand him ankheg eggs as a gesture of loyalty and ask that helandrez is released to them
  • Naraaku and yrkoon would meet with the sky singers to discuss next plans for the two tribes and what is to be done about Stel
  • Solzak plans to again break into rheys to gain components for poisons
  • Misteek and the night runner elves are very disdainful of the group as they load up the stel caravan to move off and then have the gall to ask for more of the elves ‘salvage’ in terms of supplying the mekillots and rescued Ianto staff! misteek eventually resigns to do them a ‘favour’ but he considers them ‘weak’ for relying on the caravan and carrying such ‘baggage’ as the merchants
  • Supplied and with a rough plan in place they set off. It is early afternoon and already it seemed like much time was wasted. A decision was made to avoid the main road and travel cross-country for the first day and a half as they feared a possible re-supply caravan from stel that they suspected was less than a day away.
  • Only a few hours into the journey naraaku swore he saw a blip on the horizon that was just clear enough to be concerned about but at the same time relieved to have made the decision
  • The dunes were large and sweeping which was causing the mekillots to slip and slowed their progress
  • After another couple of hours progress was halted once more as the caravan came across a small herd of Kanks. Seeing an opportunity the group decided to attempt to herd them into the caravan. Orsk rode out as Eben and naraaku supported. The rest stayed on the caravan using ropes salvaged from the rest of the vehicle, ready to lasso the creatures when they were driven close enough
  • Solzak was the first to be successful, taking one of the Kanks down with a precise bola shot to the legs, ensuring it was properly snared
  • Orsk spurred Rex into action as the pair skirted round the Kanks and brought them closer as if he had been a herdsman all his life
  • The merchants and slaves were given ropes to assist in the capture but however not being trained for combat or in the use of a lasso many missed the Kanks resulting in much of the group efforts wasted as more than half of the creatures escaped
  • Orsk then dismounted from rex and decided to bring all of the kanks inside himself as the rest of the group stood watch, drinking the nectar that was discarded from the fleeing kanks
  • A few more hours had been lost and now the sun was beginning to set. The group decided to push the caravan on for an extra hour of travel to try to make some ground at risk of fatigue to the mekillots. Luckily they were well fed and watered at the fort so they pushed through with ease
  • That evening as they slowed to a stop it was agreed that eben, the hardy mul who required much less rest than the others would take watch all night supported by solzak first, then orsk and finally naraaku alongside some of the rescued ianto men
  • Solzak and eben sat and talked for a while as the merchants patrolled nervously using shuttered lanterns, wary that here, in the middle of the alluvial sands, presenting a huge target, they were exposed and very vulnerable
  • The first watch passed uneventfully and solzak went below deck to wake orsk, already up and armoured, prepared for whatever might happen. Orsk led rex carefully up the tower so that he could join them on top. Eben gave the pair a puzzled stare
  • with both warriors on deck, the nerves of the merchants were steadied partially, but unfortunately this was not to last
  • almost an hour into the shift and in the small hours of the morning, a faint noise caused Orsk to look over the side of the caravan, almost by accident, but as soon as he looked he bellowed, drew a throwing hammer and threw it over just as 4 Anakores leapt into view! The creatures were about man sized and covered in scaly thorny hide, their massive arms ended in hands that looked like massive forks but developed especially for digging
  • All 4 screamed a menacing war cry that a feast lay before them. Orsk was surrounded and straight away called out an alarm as the attackers raked and clawed at him
  • Eben jumped into the fray, fighting his way to the side of Orsk and rex, who had jumped to the defence of his master, claws raking back at the monsters of the dunes. Orsk was busy whirling his hammer, hitting one of the creatures square on the chest and sending it overboard
  • Then out of nowhere 4 more creatures sprang up behind them who must have been scaling up the other side of the caravan! They were both now very much outnumbered. Orsk and eben were slammed by the creatures, each taking painful wounds. It seemed also as if the creatures were trying to grab them and take them over the side to a horrific death under the sands
  • Solzak then appeared from one of the towers, taking a keen shot at one of the creatures before naraaku, yakala and farjad joined the fight, doing what they could to keep the hideous creatures at bay
  • One of the anakore turned and charged towards Solzak, running and leaping at him, sticking both claws into his chest and knocking him back into the tower. The wound was vicious and Solzak had taken the full brunt of it as he barely staggered to his feet. Then, from above, heavy and deliberate footsteps echoed, as there – illuminated for a moment by the moons and torches – stood the terrifying visage of the creatures’ leader, similar is appearance but larger and more gnarled and battle hardened
  • The Dune King as he was known let out a rallying call and then lept down, just as solzak had began to believe he was safe, but as the creature turned around uttering a guttural call it opened its mouth wide as saliva dripped from the gaping maw. Solzak desperately clung to his bloodied and battered body, pulling himself up and uttering a few dark words and curses under his breath. Gathering his composure her began to weave his hands and speak in a low tongue as out from under his cloak sprang a darkness so complete that nothing could be seen.Through this screen he attempted to struggle past the anakores
  • Then, through the darkness the anakore swept his great claw and although he could no longer hear or see solzak it was clear that he felt his presence, solzak cried out in pain as he was struck once more, sending him reeling at the relentless onslaught
  • then, as he struggled again to regain his footing the king, advanced on the wounded assassin, desperate to reach safety and pulling himself along the floor. It roared as it closed in for the kill like a triumphant hunter standing over its prey and brought back its arm for the final blow
  • Solzak was still not done for and summoned his inner reserves just enough to roll out of the way and avoid the blow completely, slipping out of the creatures clutches and stumbling away
  • meanwhile naraaku, eben, orsk and the veil agents had their hands full, the two front-line warriors were taking a good deal of punishment but taking much more out of their opponents. There were still many enemies and no matter how many times they pushed them back they seemed to come back stronger
  • Then a call came from one of the towers ’solzak? where are you? whats happening? it was narissa, heading up the tower where solzak had just been fighting for his life. She reached the top and let out a scream as the anakore warrior and his king turned to face fresh prey!
  • A mighty flash and an eruption of fire set the top of the caravan alight for a few moments as narissa had sent a huge arcane fireball in between the two monsters, but even after the smoke cleared they were still standing, The warrior, bloodied and blackened, let out a roar and rushed forward as narissa tried to slip past, slashing away with his huge lumbering claws and she screamed in pain
  • By now both Orsk and eben, tired and wounded were beginning to feel an edge beginning to show in their battle, Orsk had managed to send one of the creatures over the side of the caravan and it had been unable to get back up thus far, allowing himself, eben, naraaku and rex to concentrate the fight on the remaining creatures
  • eventually only the brutish anakore renders and the king remained. Solzak, still nursing his bruised and wounded body had managed to take refuge on the other side of the caravan, hoping to evade the king, but as his oversized footsteps came closer he knew fate was calling. Turning to face his opponent he put up his weapon weakly in defence, which almost brought a smile from the creature as he pushed past the defence and raked his claws deep into solzaks chest again. Blood spattered the ground as solzak let out a wounded growl. Narissa called out to him, but as the king turned round, solzak fell to the ground, deadly still…
  • Narissa screamed out and ran over to solzak, forgetting the anakore breathing down her neck, it slashed at her as she passed but then as it did was split right between a leaping claw rake from rex and the razor sharp aim of naraaku. The anakore could take no more and collapsed
  • Solzak was bleeding heavily, but with a small herbal salve and some quick bandaging narissa was able to get him stable, enough to hear a dull moan and a cough that let her know he was not done for yet. She cursed the anakore king now standing before her but as he pulled his claws back to strike her down too there was a stomping of heavy feet and from the other side of the skirmish as Orsk swung his hammer to meet the creatures arm, cracking several bones and causing it to reel back, stunned by the sheer audacity of his new opponent.
  • The King was outmatched in every way and as Orsk swung his hammer round in a final stoke the monster lost its footing, falling backwards and crashing to the deck of the caravan, stone cold.
  • Eben, moved to look over the edge of the caravan to see that one anakore remained, almost futile in its attempts to scale the side of the caravan, unaware that all its companions were dead. Spinning his axe from one hand to another Eben waited, and then as the creature showed its gruesome face above the parapet he swung down, the axe splitting its skull in two with a satisfying crunch, sending the anakore sliding down the side of the caravan to land with a dull thump on the sand below to be swallowed by the scavengers of the sands.
  • Solzak was quickly taken below deck, where narissa attended him for the rest of the night. Naraaku came to pay his respects but solzak would be fine she told him he required no ‘extra care’
  • the rest of the night passed without event, for which they were all relieved
  • the next morning they headed off early, eager to make pace after the delays of the previous day.
  • by early afternoon they had reached the well travelled caravan road once more, immediately familiar to them from their initial trek from Tyr which seemed so long ago, just as they did so however to the south over the crest of a great dune came a shape running at great speed, it was bulky and ran on all fours and the spiny appendages protruding from its back signalled only one thing, a Chathrang! It seemed to be running at full speed and in a panicked state, at which point over the crest of the dune a swarm of angry looking flying ants came following!

Session 31

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty