Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Dark Sun Marauders - Episode 3
With Rhotan Vor raising the reward for his missing caravan to 170 ceramic pieces, and Garidias proving interested in searching the caravan out, too, the team packed up their scarce belongings and headed away from Altaruk, into the desert.
For four hours, the party moved towards the north, following the rough path the trade caravans used. Eventually, Garidias told them that they were near where he woke, after the storm. Some searching eventually showed up remnants of the caravan - including a few bodies. This time, Tak-tha was able to study the correct end of the dead, and discovered that not all of them had been killed by the storm - some had wounds suggesting blowguns, and many had small bites, as if by a hungry reptile, over their bodies.
Before the party could study the site further, eight silt runners leapt up and attacked them. Clearly, these little creatures were the cause of a few of the deaths - their blowgun venom was potent, and their cries (which Zadusic could understand) were only a longing for the fresh meat upon the party's bones.
After a few close scares, the party managed to chase the creatures away; once their wounds were seen to, the fleeing creatures were then tracked back to the location of a wagon, which had been run aground over a kruthik hive. These creatures were also fought off, and the silt runners tracked some more - to the ruins of a tower. Beneath the desert sands, a few rooms had been recovered, and the remnants of a silt runner tribe had taken up residence. Three remaining caravan drivers, now prisoners and "spare food", were tied up to the back of the dark chamber, which had multiple sarcophagi and crumbling rubble throughout it.
Here, the silt runners fought their final battle, their leader inciting them on to heroic deeds and almost sending Kuroar! and Tak-tha from this world. A solitary ssuran foolishly tried to poison Beren, but the mul smacked him down - as he did to the silt runner leader, after Gretchan threw it across the room. Zadusic was also taken down, having fared poorly in the previous encounters, but again, Garidias' presence kept everyone that little bit more alive.
In the end, they had an underground base, three half-starved caravan workers, and close to 500 ceramic pieces of trade goods to themselves. The next question was - what were they going to do with it all?
Return to Altaruk today was not a wise decision - that distance of travel was dangerous when people were fit and lightly packed. Carrying the former prisoners and all the extra gear, on top of being so injured, was beyond crazy. So the party cleaned the tomb up a little, and made to rest there overnight. Whist they worked, some further searching was done, to work out why the silt runners had been here, and what their plans were - a map showing the location of a number of different ruins was found on the ssurian's body. The current 'tower' was marked, as well as another of small other locations. However, one ruin in particular was circled in what appeared to be blood - Madar's Vault. It seemed important, and it seemed that the ssurian was collecting supplies and followers to head that way - further north, away from Altaruk.