Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Dark Sun Marauders - Episode 14

With Kulo, retrieved from the clutches of the demon drink in Silver Springs oasis by his son, the group was together once more. The addled brain of the goliath warrior was confused and puzzled by the fact that Mavar was still with the group and they seemed to be transporting a caravan of slaves toward Tyr. Adding to the confusion was the fact that Kulo, was inside the caravan too! After sorting things out, as Kuroar! explained things slowly to his father and the rest of the group keeping a comfortable distance, they travelled on to Tyr and avoided the potentially awkward discussion with the gate guards as to why they had a slave caravan by letting Mavar do the talking and using his influence as a templar.

Bringing the slaves into the city, the group organises with the templars to remove their slave markings and introduces them to their assistant and erstwhile retainer, Bundaberg, still keeping an eye on the buildings that used to be the headquarters of House Shom.

With various longing looks from the group at the ziggurat that dominates the centre of the city, the group follows up on the Urikite spy contact known only as "Minder". They are given the location of Sculptor's Square at midnight and with a wisdom uncommon to the group they scout out the area first, asking questions of the merchants around the Artisan district and coming across a local personality known as Xalos the Stonecutter as he wanders around nearby his own stonemasonry shop. He is a friendly Mul of middle age and quite a jovial fellow.

The witching hour comes around and the local traffic slowly reduces to just a few hurrying figures through the square as the group lay in wait, until two cloaked figures meet in front of one of the many crumbling mansions that line the square. From their observation points, none can hear any exchange of words before they head inside the building. The group then approach the door and using Gretchan's mental eye, they can see signs of the meeting towards the back of the building where a flicker of candlelight is visible. Eschewing the chance to check around the property, the group heads in. Their stealth, or lack of, alerts the two figures and the candlelight is doused and the larger of the two figures heads for the exit, while the other remains.

"How do you know about this meeting? What are you doing here?!" hisses the figure loudly at the group. Their response, while deceptive in nature, fails to have the desired effect and the cloaked man unsheathes an obsidian sword and it was Kuroar! who broke the stare off by charging in, with the others a step behind.

At the sounds of the scuffle, 3 spies, dressed and armed similarly to those the group fought outside Nibenay almost 2 weeks ago, rush down the stairs and the battle take sup in earnest. Kulo, tries to pin down and shackle the spies and their leader, but their ability to disappear into shadow and appear from another direction confounded the group, particularly Beren. Garidias, however, kept the group on track, encouraging the group's warriors to hit harder and more accurately despite the enemies trickery. The eladrin was surprised to then see the ghosts of eladrin past rise up out of the floor to slash ghostly blades at Gretchan and Kuroar! Their attacks were not as formidable as those of their corporeal allies, their scream ad they were vanquished unnerved all nearby

The spies eventually began to fall and finally, so did the leader as he was caught in the middle of the room and then the last of the eladrin ghosts was given eternal rests. The group searched the bodies, finding on the leader a small purse of 100 ceramic pieces and a small, battered notebook. Careful examination of the book revealed that it was a careful ledger of monetary transactions between "Minder" and the unknown figure that escaped the attack. Regular payments of 100 ceramic occur every 2 weeks over the past several months, dating back to just before the fall of Kalak.

The other item of note recorded in the book was that of a single mention of something called the "Orb of Dust". Confirmation with Mavar sometime later revealed this to be the name of an artifact rumoured to be in the possession of Kalak, but upon his death, no sign of such an item was found in the palace. Great power is attributed to the orb to command a great storm of dust on a grand scale that could encompass an entire city. Perhaps this is what the spies are looking for?

Mavar suggests that if Kalak did possess this orb, the only place it could still be was the enormous ziggurat, into which a wounded Kalak was seen entering, presumably to die. Garidias raised the question of gaining entrance to the ziggurat, and Mavar promised to do what he could to persuade the Council of Templars to allow the group inside. He expressed his desire to not only confirm the location of the orb, but also to verify the death of the Sorcerer-King for certain. Only one group has entered and returned from the ziggurat and they failed to find the body. A second group has entered more recently, headed by a mercenary dray (dragonborn) but nothing has been heard of them since.

1 comment:

  1. The others had been silent on the return to Bundaberg's place, and Kulo, had taken to wondering what they were thinking. It was clear that they would have to set aside the immediate plans for invasion-repelling, and focus on the ziggurat. Garidias would love that, he thought, he's been wanting us to dive in since volunteers were first called for!

    Kulo, wasn't so sure about adventuring inside. It would be dangerous, for sure, and the fact that so few had returned out was disturbing at best! For a moment, he pondered the possibility of offering those freed slaves (and any others that couldn't find work!) a job as part of the expedition. Give then all a torch, and see what they can find! Sadly, he dismissed the idea as he looked across to his son. Kuoroar!'s time as a slave seemed to have softened him, and he now too eagerly took their side. It was strength they needed, not protection.

    One hand went to the pouch at his waist. There was enough gold here for one, perhaps two, healing fruits, should he be able to find a seller. With them, Gretchan wouldn't be forced to run around stabilising the wounded, and would have more time to work on her forceful teleportation attacks. They always promised to be so very effective, but of late, Kulo, couldn't help but notice how many people remained precisely where they were. Was the young girl slipping? Had the trials proven too great, and broken something inside her? Or was she spending too much time recalling past pamperings, dwelling on times when she had enough money and procession not to need to traverse the desert with such ruffians?

    Though, if Kulo, had to give a reward to anyone for "living in the past", it would be Beren. The fool Mul still wanted to do his master's will, bowing and scraping across so many hundreds of miles, and spending time, effort, and coin to help one who had previously owned him!

    Ah, but maybe, just maybe, Kulo, and this master would cross paths, and then Kulo, could show him what he thought of those blasted slavers!!

    But for now, there was sleep to be had. And markets to be scoured. Then, the ziggurat awaited!