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Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium
Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 7
After a successful trip to the Rez, Ilana and company stocked up on supplies and headed back to the main road. The intended to continue east to Balic, with the hopes of meeting up with Coraanu’s old tribe, the Silverhand Tribe (of which the Songstealer clan had once been a part).
A few uneventful days of travel later, the adventurers saw a huge sand cloud in the distance. Not only that, but the sand cloud appeared to be moving closer to them. It soon became apparent that this sand cloud was caused by a raiding party of about 40 Thri-kreen heading right for them. As the party began debating whether to run or fight, Hookeri told them to hold for he saw something very strange. The raiding party was being led by an elf, his father Mutami.
As Mutami and his bugs began to surround the party, Mutami started his, “we are here to raid you, give us your stuff” speak when he suddenly stopped and said, “my adopted son Hookeri! What brings you to me this day!”
After a few minutes of conversing, Hookeri learned that Mutami had given up looking for the ones who killed his distant cousins the Songstealers as he believed they will never be found. When asked why he did not return home to “mom”, Mutami explained that, while he missed Ekee, he had found a new destiny. During the journey he met with Celba Silttamer, the new leader of the Silverhand tribe. Celba explained to him that it was her great vision to bring elves and Thri-kreen together to overthrow Sorcerer King Androphinis and create a new Elven-Kreen empire. Enamored by Celba’s ideals, Mutami joined up with her and quickly became her right hand and leader of the Thri-kreen shock troops.
Introducing himself as the last surviving member of the Songstealers, Coraanu asked to be taken back to the Silttamer main camp. Mutami, of course, agreed and the party began the next stage of the journey. All the while Hookeri was quick to make sure the other Thri-kreen knew that Mutami was his father and that he deserved special treatment because of it.
After a few hours of travel into the desert, Coraanu was treated to an unexpected sight. All of the clans that make up the Silverhand Tribe had appearently come together, thousands strong. From what Coraanu remembered of his childhood, this rarely, if ever happened. The party was brought to the center of the camp before an impressive “wedding or junior prom” sized tent. Out from the tent came someone Coraanu instantly recognized, the third daughter of the former chief of the Silttamers. Someone Coraanu had been instructed by his father to give no mind to as she should never amount to anything as the third daughter of a chieften.
Perhaps most disconcerting, Celba had apparently grown a foot taller and put on approximately 100 pounds of muscle while still maintaining a delicate, feminine frame. With all the grace of a Real New Jersey housewife, Celba came over to Coraanu, gave a disingenuous huh, and in a fake pandering voice talked about how good it was to find that a member of the Silverhand tribe was still alive! Coraanu attempted to engage her in conversation, but she insisted that any conversation be put off until after that evening’s celebratory feast. Further, she directed that the adventurers be taken to the hot springs to bath before the festivities.
Even though they were all told that they had to bathe or they wouldn’t be able to attend the feast, Dimebag showed off his bitching scars from his former dis-enstomach-ing and explained that he was not medically cleared for a hot spring. Mutami, who would be escorting the party to the springs, agreed, but gave Dimebag a wet-nap and told him to take a “lady of ill repute bath.”
At the hot springs Mutami was very forthcoming, perhaps a little too forthcoming, with what Celba was trying to accomplish. They had spent the past year and a half gathering all the clans of the Silverhand tribe together, and they were recruiting any Thri-kreen who would listen. Obviously, they still had a ways to go before they could invade a city state. When Mutami made that observation, Coraanu asked how they intended to be able to defeat a sorcerer king? Mutami deflected the question by saying that Celba was “working on plans.”
Wanting to know just how important his father was, Hookeri asked what Mutami’s rank in Celba’s army was. Mutami explained that it was basically Celba, then him, and then a counsel made up of all the leaders of the other clans; however, they would make sure that each clan chief would think that, “they were actually the one in charge *wink wink*.” Hearing this, a mischief making plan entered into Coraanu’s head.
While most of the adventurers were enjoying a spa day, Dimebag decided he was going to “do recon.” Approaching Celba’s awesome-ass tent, he saw that the entrance was guarded by two bugs. He decided to go around to the back and, failing his arcana check, decided to lift up the tent to sneak under. This resulted in Dimebag taking significant magical electrical shock damage.
Undeterred, Dimebag consumed his fruit of invisibility and snuck past the bug-guards (DM’s Note: Calling a Thri-kreen a bug is basically a racial slur and will likely get you eaten). As Dimebag entered the tent, he saw that it was a short hallway leading to a black, silk tent flap that, presumably, led to the main tent area. Having passed his arcana check this time, Dimebag was able to sense that this silk flap was also magically trapped. Every the clever one, Dimebag took out and assembled his 10 foot pole and gently moved the entrance flap aside.
Hearing a loud explosion coming from the encampment, the adventurers threw on their clothes and rushed to see what happened. It turned out that moving the tent flap aside caused a fireball to go off in the entry way. As the party arrived to the center of camp, they saw the two guards hauling Dimebag’s unconscious and charred body out of the tent.
Assuming it must be “some terrible understanding,” Celba exited the tent, went over to Dimebag’s body, and used her psionic powers to revive him to nearly full life. Seeing this, Pane-pan realized that Celba had psionic powers far more advanced than he. Once again coming back from the precipice of death, Dimebag begged for forgiveness and explained that he had been coming to the tent to proclaim his love for Celba. Finding him cute, Celba told Dimebag that he would sit to the right of her tonight while Coraanu would sit on her left. She then retired back into her tent.
During the few hours between bathing and the feast, Coraanu decided to meet with each clan chieften individually to tell them what he had learned about how Celba and Mutami were manipulating. Most simply dismissed Coraanu as crazy or a liar; however, an elf chief named Solzak seemed genuinely afraid of Celba. He basically told Coraanu, “look we all know the truth we just pretend not to, now just shut up, keep your head down, and enjoy the prosperity that Celba is bringing to the tribe.”
That night at the feast a good time was had by most (not Coraanu). Pane-pan got it on with a big thoraxed lady-bug, Hookeri got to talk with his father, Alexa got to drink a lot, Ilana did a lot of drugs, and Dimebag thinks he got a handy from Celba under the table. At one point and elf came over and starting hitting on Alexa. Not impressed, Alexa used Nok’s Gauntlets to knock him the fuck out. At the same time, Ilana cast Reduce on the elf, causing his now tiny body to fly away from the force of Alexa’s punch.
During the meal Coraanu again attempted to use the power of being a dick to mess with Celba. Using the spell Mage Hand, Coraanu spilled wine all over the elven cloak that Celba wears to show her leadership of the tribe. Without any sign of annoyance on her face, Celba telekinetically wrung out the cloak, and then used Prestidigitation to instantly clean it. From there Celba invited Coraanu, his “bodyguard” Alexa and Dimebag back to her personal tent.
Upon entering the tent, both Alexa and Dimebag failed their saving throws and had their minds turned off by Celba. She then called upon her arcane power to cast Dominate Person on Coraanu for the next eight hours. Failing his save, Celba forced Coraanu to disclose everything he had learned or suspected about the massacre of the Songstealers. Once he disclosed all he had learned, Coraanu could feel Celba probing and re-writing his mind.
Celba locked deep within Coraanu’s mind all that he had learned since first meeting Mutami. She then instructed him to continue his journey to Balic. Upon arriving there Coraanu was to disappear from his friends for two to three days. Upon returning to his friends, he was to inform them that during his independent investigation he learned that High Defiler Vaerhirmana (Androphinis’s head defiler) had orchestrated the massacre and that they need to track him down and kill him as soon as possible.
The next morning everyone on the party woke up in the guest tent with only the memories of what a great time they had at the hot spring and feast the night before. All traces of memory of their conversations with Celba and Mutami had been scrubbed from their brains. Coraanu urged the party to continue their journey to Balic and they left the Silverhand Tribe encampment and continued east.
About a day into the trip they were ambushed by a pack of Brohgs. Luckily, their aim was terrible and three of the six party members have at least one level in barbarian. As such, the fight was a piece of cake. More unnerving, two days later Coraanu heard a voice in his head. The voice introduced himself as Androphinis, Sorcerer King of Balic. Considering the sheer psionic power tearing at his mind, Coraanu had little reason to doubt the voice. Androphinis instructed Coraanu to come see him in Balic one week for today. The sorcerer king said nothing more but it was clear to Coraanu that bad things would happen if he failed to follow the order.
Upon reaching Balic the adventurers had a choice to made, pay one silver and go through the regular line, or pay one gold and go through the safe “bribery line.” Despite needing to go though the bribery line or face death for being discovered as a defiler, Ilana chose the regular line. Having drank a number of beers by that point, I can’t remember all the nonsense that happened. What I do know is this: 1) Ilana got discovered; 2) some of the adventurers caused a distraction; 3) Ilana ate her potion of invisibility and ran away; 4) most of the other PCs were deputized as “Templars for a day” to go hunt Ilana down and turn her in.
Immediately upon entering the city, Pane-pan was mentally contacted by Ender Wiggin, Headmaster of the University of Inix, a long distance learning psionic academy. Headmaster Wiggin asked Pane-pan to come see him the next morning. As usual, the adventurers took advantage of Dimebag’s contacts with House Inikia to crash at their barracks while in the city state. Shortly after arriving there Dimebag was offered a job by someone in the House compound. This individual, who offered no name and was not asked by Dimebag to provide one, was willing to pay Dimebag and his compatriots one gold now and one gold at the completion of the job to break into the Arsenal, the heavily guarded and fortified Balic military shipyard, to locate and steal a copy of the plans for building the psionically powered ship helms that propel the Balic naval fleet. Dimebag and company accepted.
The next day Pane-pan, along with good friend Hookeri, headed over to the University of Inix. Upon arriving and being ushered into Headmaster Wiggin’s office, the Headmaster explained that he knew why Pane-pan was in the city and that he knew who had killed Pane-pan’s cluch.
The Headmaster told Pane-pan that on that day, Girias Olivian, son of family head Giovvo Olivian, had decided to prove to his father that he was finally ready to enroll in the military academy. To do so, he and some of his noble friends formed a hunting party to bring back a trophy. Knowing of his son’s mischief, Wiggin had been hired by the family to keep psionic watch over Girias. As such, he observed from his office when Girias and his friends ran into Pane-pan’s cluch, panicked, and slaughtered them all.
Headmaster Wiggin urged Pane-pan to give up his quest for vengeance. In exchange he would enroll Pane-pan in his schools for free (a 100 gold piece per year value!). He would also give Pane-pan a long distance learning obsidian orb that would allow him to take “online” classes in his own spare time while traveling with his compatriots. After all, as Thri-kreen never sleep, he would have plenty of opportunity to study.
Pane-pan thanked the Headmaster for his offer but turned him down. Blood would be answered for with blood. Wiggen assured Pane-pan that he would not sell the Thri-kreen out to the Templars and they parted amicably.
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