Session 58

Approach compound, silent
Orsk and half giants open gates, unlocked
inside quiet, dusty sand filters through. Disused, abandoned animal pen with hole in roof and a dry well. Ahead main warehouse 2 stories, first story 20ft high 2nd about 10 ft. 4 guard towers. Inside seems deserted
Frost notices a glint o obsidian on the second floor, sees weapons, crossbows
Solzak approaches to the centre of the compound, waits for reaction, nothing happens
Rest of the group enter and close the gates
Eben and Orsk, wary of a trap, hang back and wait to make sure their escape is not cut off
The others approach the door as they announce their presence as agents of Dote Mal Payne. There is no reply but when they attempt to knock on the door with a creak it opens slightly
Inside it is very dark with little natural light filtering from tiny windows and the air is hot and stale. The ceiling is high and in the centre, above a barely visible
They call out for an audience but no reply again. Frost bounds up and swears he can hear soft sobbing from one of the cells near the rear of the building
A vanguard warrior seems to fall silent and vacant when he starts walking towards the centre of the room just as the others bear the furthest cell
The vanguard speaks in awkward tone as a voice speaks through him demanding to know the reason for the intrusion
The group try to explain they are agents of Dote Mal Payne. Their physical disguises are perfect, but the vanguard’s mind, plundered by a strong Psion, is no match and the plan is unravelled
There is a sudden sound of doors unlocking before 4 small objects roll across the ceiling from above and fall through the grate bouncing in several directions. Boom! They explode into thousands of tiny grains of crystalline sand, obscuring vision in the room and causing confusion when the doors to the cells swing open and in a blur of movement Orsk recieves a horrid wound to the chest from wrist razors that come out of nowhere, and the rest recieve several blows aswell before they even recover and know what hit them
As the dust settles slightly they see the forms of 6 lithe muls with black paint across their eyes which are completely white. They each wield wrist razors which they use to devastating effect as they dart across the field
Frost retaliates to the assassin who struck him, slashing her across the face with his claws drawing first blood
The other brotherhood and vanguard units enter into the compound as the rest of the group fight off their attackers but moments later they hear tell tale footfall from above as a large and heavy object moves closer to the grate. A black smoke begins to trickle through the grate, slowly gaining speed until the compound below is filled with a thick dark shadow, obscuring vision so tha even those who can see in darkness struggle to make out the forms of their attackers. What is worse, the assassins are completely unnaffected by this, as their world is already dark and without sight
Solzak, feeling the comfort of the darkness and seeing the trap they are in, moves to the centre of the room and takes careful aim, calculating from the footsteps where Horlax may be standing. Squeezing the trigger of his crossbow there is a whoosh and a ping as the bolt deflects off a wooden beam on the second floor. An incredible wailing sound and agonising scream come from above as they can only assume that Solzak hit and it was very accurate
Orsk barks orders to the vanguard, brotherhood and remaining half-giants to get upstairs and stop whatever or whoever it is who is causing this effect.
Eben launches into full assault, screaming at the top of his lungs and throws himself at one of the assassins. He catches her completely off balance as his giant executioner axe tears into her flesh spraying blood over the floor. He swings once more cleaving one of her arms off and then finally with a third strike splits her in two. She falls, spraying the area with what is left of her blood
Jekall concentrates on the assassins, looking for a sign of mental weakness. He discovers that the women are controlled through a psychic link to their master, Horlax. Now to break that link and gain control for myself, he thinks
Frost steps back and calls to the spirit world for assistance. As the darkness begins to swell and pulsate it then expands for a moment to allow the light from his magic to penetrate. In the void appears the spirit form of a large Inix which turns to face the assassins, jaw snapping and tail lashing. The inix strikes a nearby assassin trapping her leg in its powerful jaws, she squeals in pain and tries desperately to fight the creature off
The Half-giants and vanguard carefully ascend the stairs seeing crossbow turrets positioned along the corridor, as if waiting to be used. Pushing past these they get to the door and kick it open to a large room once used for slave auctions. At the back is a raised platform where Horlax’s palanquin rests, but he stands now, a huge hulking oversized brute of a Dray. Mutated and warped by the radiant sun and a life of experimenting with the way. He turns to look up at the Brotherhood as they enter and smiles. Elsewhere in the room are several entrances to smaller meeting rooms and although abandoned the smell of sweat has never left. Horlax emits a low sinister laugh and beckons the warriors in
Horlax looks directly at one of the half-giants as he enters. The poor creature doesn’t stand a chance and Horlax easily commands him to exit the room and go back downstairs attacking his companions as he goes
Horlax then turns his attention to the battle below land to the vanguard warrior he previously controlled. The vanguard lets down his guard and immediately begins moving back towards the entrance blocking off the way for the rest of the group. The darkness persists and the assassins move to strike
The assassins flash their blades at Orsk once more and the relentless strikes from the dark catch him again and again, unable to effectively defend. He is brought to his knees and with a cackle of glee the disciplined fighters send him crashing to the ground, bleeding to death
Frost too is caught and very nearly goes down but manages to grab a bite of healing fruit to feel replenished
Jekal carefully removes himself from the deathtrap and rushes upstairs, intent on giving horlax a taste of his own medicine
Shaking off the inix an assassin proceeds to throw lethal chatkatcha at her enemies, causing yet more pain to the beleagured vanguard warrior in the centre of the room. After suffering one too many blows he collapses too
Eben, hearing the clattering to ground and moans of the dying shouts to the others to get upstairs while there is still time
The assassins move to block their escape but eben flies at them with axe whirling, growling with anger and venom from the pit of his stomach. He connects with such ferocity that another assassin is cleaved in half where she stands and the other shrieks with fear and excitement as warm blood showers over the two of them
Horlax, still concentrating on the fight below is suddenly knocked off his feet as a Half-Giant bounds into the room at full speed. The sound echoes around the room and Horlax roars before unleashing a torrent of acid gas from his gaping maw. The Half-Giant yelps as his flesh crackles and blisters from the acid and is forced back to protect himself
The rest of the group move in and soon Horlax is nearly surrounded as the frantic warriors exact their vengeance for their fallen comrades in the only way they know how, through blade and axe
Horlax, pinned to the ground lets go of his grip on the dark fog below and the warriors rejoice thinking his end is near, but instead he rears back and shrugs off his pain unleashing psionic power to try to push the warriors back. His attempt fails and he is kept down as blow after blow is reigned upon him
Calling upon the way Jekall assaults the fortress of Horlax’s mind, infiltrating the dark secrets buried there and trying to get the key phrase that will allow him to wrestle control of the maiden assassins from the grasp of the Dray. A smile creeps across the half-elf’s face as he turns his attentions to those still fighting below calling them to him. The assassins drop their guard and for a moment it seems as if control has been asserted until their force of will and loyalty overrides him, for a moment
Horlax pulls away as a dark halo surrounds his head, and his body lifts into the air, tearing away from his attackers. Then from his cloak he draws forth a jewel, green with many sides and looking similar to that seen on the Thri-Kreen. A sinister laugh issues from his maw as blood streams from his many wounds and beaten face and the jewel begins to glow.
The group close in and after another flurry of strikes Horlax is brought down to the ground, still with a sinister grin on his face and dies. As he falls the gem rolls from his hand and Jekall rushes forth to grab it knowing that it is a psionic communication device. Concentrating on Horlax still though, as his last thoughts race through his mind Jekall searches for the location of the monastery where he raised the assassins and the secret to controlling them…
As Horlax dies so too does his control of the assassins and they stand, tense, afraid, loosed of their bonds, and wary of all nearby.
Lastly the brotherhood assist Orsk and the vanguard warrior in tending their wounds. When up Orsk immediately searches for the street kids, whom he finds in one of the cells, bound and gagged. They are overwhelmingly glad to see him and he gathers them up in his tree trunk arms and he and Eben direct the others outside, intending to leave as soon as possible…

Back to session summaries

Session 58

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty