Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium – Chapter Five

As promised, you are getting Chapter Five today as well!  Last week’s outage sucked, but reap the rewards today and come out and playyay.

In case you missed any of the past blogs/chapters, just go to 9Deuce and look through the archives and start from the beginning to get the full experience.

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Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 5

As Coraanu, Alexa and Dimebag were recon training and robbing the Urik History Museum, Ilana had spent the past month back in Nibenay seducing and grifting mark after mark.  After thirty days had passed, Ilana returned to the Temple of the House to receive the requested information on the Jura Dai slaves.  Upon picking up the report, Ilana learned that, of the 50 Jura Dai slave elves, 10 were already dead, 5 were sold as Templar consorts, 5 were sold as scholar slaves at the Naggaramakam, 5 were bought by freeman artisans who likely invested their life savings into purchasing their first slave, 5 were sold to a noble family to act as scouts in their house army, 10 were stationed with the Nibenese army, and 10 were sold as farms to work the fields of the various client villages.

Taking the path of least resistance, and wanting to rejoin her friends, Ilana went and freed one of the Jura Dai elves who had been purchased by an artisan.  She then handed a copy of the Temple of the House report to the Jura Dia elf and told him to take the list to Chief Tunga Dai after freeing as many of the elves on the list as possible.  Hoping this was enough to satisfy the chief, Ilana left the city and traveled the Great Road north to Urik to meet with the other three.  [DM Note:  Over the past month Uk’Chataa-Hookeri and Pane-Pan were off doing Thri-Kreen bug stuff in parts unknown]

 As Ilana was nearing the gates to Urik, she saw Coraanu, Alexa, and Dimebag leaving the city.  Pulling them aside, Ilana asked the three what they were up to.  Apparently, the three had decided to ambush Templar Regg, having no idea of his powers and/or abilities, in the hope of learning whether the Urikite Templars still had their powers.  Finding this plan to be stupid, Ilana suggested that she simply seduce Regg in an attempt to get him to cast a spell.

The four decided to first stop by Chad the Mul’s farm to learn when Regg would be heading past the farm.  Realizing that getting other people to do her dirty work was easier than doing it herself, Ilana started to discuss with Chad about the inherent oppression of government taxes and how he should rise up against his government masters.  Chad explained that having been a slave for most of his life, he felt that paying taxes was a small price to pay for freedom and proper rights.  Not getting anywhere, Ilana attempted to cast charm person on Chad, unfortunately for her, Chad’s Mul resiliency allowed him to shake off the effects.  Enraged (and scared) that Ilana had dared to use magic on him, he ran screaming from his home in an attempt to flag down Regg and warn him.  Luckily for they adventurers, Dimebag, Coraanu, and Alexa were able to restrain Chad before that happened.

Approximately 10 minutes after Chad was restrained, Regg came down the road looking to collect taxes.  As he approached, Ilana approached and started acting all flirtatious.  Dropping subtle hints about how sexy magic is, Regg pulled out a pimp goblet and cast “Create Water,” filling the cup with fresh cool water.

Having accomplished her mission, Ilana attempted to excuse herself; however, she found that she was unable to move.  Coming out of the shadow, a psion revealed himself and informed Ilana that Regg’s superior would be most interested in meeting her and her compatriots.  [DM’s Note:  This was an extrememly powerful psion who was able to read Ilana’s thoughts and dominate her movements without Ilana even being able to detect anyone invading her mind]

 Traveling back to Urik with Regg and the mysterious Psion, the four were led to the Templar district and Palace of the High Templars.  The four were ushered into a private chamber where they met female Elven Templar Feera.  Feera informed the adventurers that the current leader of the Templars was a male Human Templar named Daclamitus.  Prior to Hamanu’s disappearance, Daclamitus was only the 10th highest ranking Templar; however, soon after Hamanu’s disappearance Daclamitus revealed that he had the power to grant the Templars spells as the sorcerer kings do.  With this power in hand, the other Templars had to fall in line behind Daclamitus.  Feera offered “her gratitude” (and 2 gold pieces each) if they would find out how Daclamitus is able to grant spells as a sorcerer king.  Coraanu decided to press his luck and ask for information on Silverhand Tribe.  Further, to show that she was acting in good faith, Feera gave the adventurers a parchment scroll that would transmit anything written on it back to Feera.  As such, they could report back to Feera without fear of betrayal or imprisonment once the job was completed.

Feera explained that Daclamitus has the Templars submit spell requests at the end of every month.  From there, he and his armed escort would travel north to the Urikite mining town of Makla.  Upon arriving, Daclamitus would seclude himself in an ancient, abandoned mage’s tower in the town.  About a day after entering the tower, the Templars would be granted their requested spells and Daclamitus would return to the city.  Feera informed the adventurers that Daclamitus would be heading to Makla in two days.  She also provided the adventurers with the location of a secret tunnel that would lead into the abandoned mage’s tower.

After providing them with a week’s worth of rations, the adventurers immediately headed out to Makla.  It was their intention to spend a couple days staking out the town under the guise of travelers looking for jobs in the mines.  Traveling at night, they encountered a severely deformed four-armed man on the last day of their journey.  The deformed man informed the adventurers that about a month ago his party had been adventuring near the Pristine Tower when then were attached by vicious monsters.  Everyone but him had been slaughtered; he had only had his arms torn off and eaten by the beast.  Rather than dying, he healed and grew four replacement arms.  Unfortunately, his body was left horribly scarred and he had yet to learn how to use the two lower arms.  He asked the adventurers for food and water.  Coraanu generously shared a portion of his supplies.

Upon arriving at Makla the next day, the adventurers were easily able to enter the city as they are always desperately looking to hire new miners (the mortality rate is so high that slaves can be an expensive option).  The adventurers checked into the local inn and spent the day learning about the town and the mage’s tower; they learned very little.

The next day, just before Daclamitus rolled into town, the adventurers left the town and headed to the secret tunnel entrance that would lead to the mage’s tower.  Coraanu, being a rogue and having darkvision, decided to take the lead.  Unfortunately, he failed to notice the pit trap and fell in, impaling himself on the spikes within.  Luckily, this was not enough to kill Coraanu, and he was quickly rescued by Ilana.  Continuing down the tunnel, the adventurers ran into a hungry Anakor.  Battle ensued, with significant chunks of flesh being rended from Coraanu’s body.  Despite the damage, they were able to handily defeat the clawed horror.

After traveling a little further, the adventurers found the trap door (not trapped) leading to the lowest level of the mage tower.  Upon entering, they found the place to mostly deserted and crumbling, with a rickety staircase leading up.  As they reached the top level, Coraanu poked his head in and was greeted by the sight of a large cyclone of silt.  Apparently a silt elemental had been summoned to guard the room.  Knowing that they needed to access the room, the adventurers stormed the room and engaged in combat with the fierce elemental.  Fierce winds battered them about and the silt blowing in their faces made it particularly difficult to land any solid blows on the elemental.  Having no magic weapon at her disposal, Alexa proceeded to use Nok’s gauntlets to punch the elemental to death, as Coraanu “cut” away at it with the Bonesaw.  Battered, bruised, and in some cases near unconsciousness, the adventurers were able to overcome the adversary and banish it back to the paraelemental plane of silt.

Hurt, the party decided to take a short rest to bandage their wounds and search the room, which, unlike the other rooms of the tower, had some furnishings.  Of particular interest, in the center of the room was drawn a teleportation circle.  Searching the nearby desk, Ilana was able to locate the instructions on how to operate the circle; however, there was no indication as to where the circle would lead.

As they decided the best course of action, the sounds of Daclamitus’ escort could be heard approaching Makla.  As Daclamitus entered the tower, the adventurers went out the nearby window and climbed to the roof, which had some holes rotted out.  Looking through the holes, they observed Daclamitus enter the room, drop his travel pack to the floor, enter the teleportation circle, and disappear.

After failing to find the information they were looking for Daclamitus’ pack, they decided that going through the portal was their only choice.  Ilana conducted a number of experiments to ensure the teleportation circle’s safety, and the party went through.  Upon arriving at their destination, the adventurers were immediately assailed by volcanic heat that sapped their constitution.  It appeared as if they had been brought somewhere within the Smoking Crown.

Lumbering on through the oppressive heat, the adventurers were able to find Daclamitus’ trail and follow it through the volcano range.  Eventually they found their way to a cave guarded by two Minotaur Skeletons that had likely been Daclamitus.  Oddly, the cave entrance appeared to be obscured by a bright white mist even finer than silt in texture.  Unsure how to proceed, the party decided to destroy the guardians and see what happens.  As they had the element of surprise, the party was able to dispose of the large skeletons with relative ease.  When the last skeleton hit the ground, the white mist covering the entrance dissipated and revealed the way in.

As the brave/foolhardy rogue, Coraanu decided to stealth down the cavern and see where it led.  After 20 minutes of travel, Coraanu heard the sound of chanting and/or praying up ahead.  Inching ever closer, Coraanu saw Daclamitus kneeling over what appeared to be the body of sorcerer king Hamanu!  Panicking, Daclamitus attempted to flee; however, his body became racked with pain and he fell to the ground convulsing.  As he was attempting to fight through the agonizing pain, Coraanu heard the voice of Hamanu in his head inviting him to join them in the other room.  Wanting the pain to end, Coraanu agreed.

Upon entering the room, Coraanu saw that Hamanu’s body appeared to by lying in stasis on a stone slab.  Hamanu explained that his psionic powers easily detected Coraanu the minute he entered the cave, and that he had been reading Coraanu’s mind the whole time.  He was well aware that Feera had hired them to found out how Declamitus was providing spells to the Templars, and that the adventurers were employed by the Nibenese army to find out whether the Templars had their spells.

Hamanu told Coraanu that not only was he not going to harm the adventurers, but he was actually going to pay them to complete their mission.  He wanted the party to return to the Nibenese army and report that the Templars do indeed still have spellcasting power.  Further, they were to report that they had learned that Hamanu “had simply put on a show in the area in order to go into seclusion to enter the next stage of metamorphosis.”  As a reward, the adventurers would each be provided one iron sword, axe, or dagger of their choice upon returning to Urik with Declamitus.

Coraanu asked what he should report to Feera, and Hamanu wrote something on the 2-way scroll in arcane writing.  When Ilana later attempted to read the message she realized that it was far above her abilities.

Pressing his luck, Coraanu decided to inquire as to how Hamanu arrived in his current state.  Hamanu explained that he and Ella had recently been pulled by the white mists into another dimension.  [DM’s Note: Ravenloft; 1st Plunderbund Campaign]  Unfortunately for Hamanu, his body did not make the trip with him and he was currently possessing some new version of the Ellakrad currently being wielded by Ella.  On the other hand, he was still powerful enough to send his mind back into his body currently being held in stasis on Athas.  Further, while in this new dimension Ella was unwittingly helping him to obtain even greater magical power.  He fully anticipates returning stronger than ever.  Further, Hamanu was quick to inform Coraanu that if he or the party attempted to reveal any of this information to any other sorcerer king, when he returned to Athas he would be sure to do it while possessing Ella’s body.  Coraanu said he understood and left.

As 30 minutes had elapsed, the other party members were understandably becoming anxious about Coraanu’s fate in the caves.  Just then, they saw Coraanu exit the cave with Daclamitus.  Confused, Coraanu quickly explained the situation to the others (while leaving out the parts about Ella).  Together, they all traveled back to Urik where they received the promised iron weapons.

As they left the city-state to report to the Nibenese army, Feera’s currier reached Corranu with information on the Silverhand Tribe.  While there was no information on who killed the Songstealers, reports reflect that in the wake of their destruction the Silverhand Tribe has drastically increased in power in the region.  The increase in power has come under the leadership of Celba Silttamer, of the Silttamer tribe, who has become the new tribal head.

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