Sorry for the one day delay, but it’s finally here, the glorious 10th chapter in everybody’s favorite tale that comes from a consortium with the name Plunderbund. We are all still mourning the loss of Hookeri’s pet, but the quest must go on. In honor of Hookeri’s rage, and apparent ass whooping, I give you this gem.
Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 10
DM’s Note: At the end of the previous session, the player who plays Hookeri was going to to have Hookeri attack Illana out of rage and grief for the loss of his beloved pet. However, that player failed to show up for this session. As such, it has been assumed by all that Illana absolutely wiped the floor with Hookeri during that fight.
Having sealed a demonic portal, but earning little in the way of money or fame for their efforts, the party returned to the Olivian compound to discuss their next plan of action. While eating their continental lunch, Pane-Pan saw Headmaster Wiggin from the University of Inix being dragged, beaten and bloody, through the manor by two half-giant guards. Being ever nosy, the group followed.
The half-giants dragged the Headmaster down the hall to a door that appeared to head towards a basement. Exiting the door were the head of the Olivian noble family, Giovvo Olivian, and a masked fellow who obviously looked to be a torturer. Giovvo reiterated to Wiggin that, per their arrangement, the Headmaster was to psionically protect his son Girias at all times, in exchange for the Olivian family supporting his failing psionicist academy. Assuming Wiggin sold his son out (half-true, Wiggin simply didn’t stop Pane-Pan from killing Girias), and unable to interrogate Wiggin through psionics (due to Wiggin being a powerful Psion when he hasn’t been beaten half to death), he had arranged to get the information from Wiggen the old fashioned way (physical torture).
Knowing that Pane-Pan (and possibly Coraanu) would be exposed as the murderer should the torture work, Coraanu stepped in. In a dazzling display of cunning linguistics, Coraanu was able to convince Giovvo that members of the Jura Dia elf tribe had conducted a raid on the Olivian pool house and that Girias was killed during the execution of the plan. As this supported the girlfriend’s accounting of events, Giovvo was convinced. However, he told Headmaster Wiggin that due to his failures the Giovvo family would not contribute another dime to the University of Inix and he looked forward to seeing it go out of business.
Appreciating the fact that Wiggin had allowed him to kill Girias, and wanting to have a powerful psion on his side, Pane-Pan asked Dimebag if House Inikia might be open to sponsoring the school as it would be a great please for them to sell their mind enhancing “spices.” Dimebag set up a meeting with House Trader Osdac.
While the meeting seemed to be going well at first, Osdac was having trouble picturing how such a small school could generate enough profit to warrant the effort. It was then that Coraanu remembered that “they had another school,” specifically, the government run Defiler Academy. Together, they came up with the brilliant idea of investing in the Defiler Academy, where the spices would be all the rage, and then investing some of the profits into the University of Inix. Helping such a small school that offers scholarships to poor free citizens who normally couldn’t afford psionicist school would counteract the negative publicity that normally would have resulted from working with defilers, who are hated across Athas.
As a reward for their help, Pane-Pan was enrolled in the University of Inix. He was provided a long-distance learning obsidian orb that would allow him to study at the school no matter where he adventured in Athas.
Feeling that they accomplished all they could in Balic, the party decided to head back west to the ruins of Kalidney some of the party members had business there. Before leaving, Coraanu decided to look into Kalidney’s history. Apparently, many centuries ago, all of the people of Kalidney disappeared overnight. During the day the former city-state appears to be any other abandoned city or outpost, however, at night, a white mist rolls thought the streets. It is said that anyone caught in the mist disappears forever.
Despite the dangers, raiders, monsters, and those who simply don’t want to be found do live in Kalidney. They simply retreat to safe areas that remain untouched by the mists each evening. Intrigued, Coraanu sought information on anyone in Balic who had adventured in Kalidney and soon learned of Maraquen, a female half-elf who lived there for a year while ducking her creditors in Tyr.
Coraanu and friends tracked Maraquen to the fight club she hosted every night. Approaching her, Coraanu offered to put their best fighter against hers, and if their fighter won Maraquen would take the party to Kalidney. [DM’s Note: I honestly don’t remember what was agreed would happen if the players lost]
To the surprise of nobody, the adventurers offered up Alexa as their champion. They then bet whatever money they could on Alexa winning. When all was said and done Alexa pretty handily whooped her opponent, and completed the prop bets of “choking out her opponent” and “making her opponent cry.” [DM’s Note: Yes, the players really did get the opponent to cry (or at least make it look like he was crying. Unfortunately, due to the amount of beer I had consumed at this point, I can’t remember how they did it]
Admitting defeat, Maraquen, who had a good thing going in Balic, asked if she could modify their agreement. Rather than accompany the adventurers, she would draft a map of the areas safe from the mists in Kalidnay, and she would also arrange for the adventurers to travel in a caravan with some newbie adventurers heading to the ruins of Celik which is close to Kalidnay. The party agreed to the terms.
The adventurers met with the newbies the next day and set off. While the party mostly kept to themselves, Pane-Pan, the ever-social bug, tried to make friends and offer advice to the younglings. That was, until, the caravan ran afoul of giant desert locus that swarmed the caravan and separated the adventurers from Pane-Pan and the newbies. Rather than protect the newbies, Pane-Pan risked chitin and three of six limbs to run through the swarm and fight with the party instead. The PCs fought off their locus rather easily, while the newbies survived but got pretty messed up.
A day or two later some of the group members could see the ruins of some building that had previously been buried in a sand dune. As they approached they saw an altar, and before manifested a Raaig, a ghostly guardian spirit. The adventurers learned that the spirt had killed herself out of despair when her god, the god of the temple, had disappeared and/or been killed a millennia ago. Despite being a ghost, Pane-Pan was able to use his psionic powers to mess with her ghost mind and bring her peace . . . for approximately five minutes. During those five minutes she allowed the group to turn some of their food into potions of healing by touching them to the alter. The Raaig, touched by Pane-Pan’s words, asked if he would be willing to become a Raaig himself and stay with her at the temple forever. In exchange, she would provide great power to everyone else in the party. While they all liked the terms of the deal, Pan-Pan did not and rejected the offer. At that point they all got the hell out of town as the five minutes were almost up and they weren’t sure if the Raaig would appreciate having its ghost emotions manipulated. The scrams they latter heard echoing over the dunes gave indication that they were right.
That night, while on watch, the adventurers (who weren’t on guard) awoke to the sounds of lute music emanating from the desert. The first course of action was for Ilana to use her magic to instigate a magical lute music duel, which became louder and louder and lasted until Illana got bored and quit. Investigating, the group soon found that the music was emanating from a lute being held by a skeleton. Most of the group wanted to get the hell out of there, but Dimebag, who really, really, hates lutes, picked the lute up and smashed it over his knee. This resulted in the skeleton exploding and attempting to tear Dimebag into a 1,000 tiny, fleshy pieces. Somehow, Dimebag was able to shuck and jive and avoid getting torn into dimebag-sized pieces of Dimebag.
After the excitement of a lute that played itself, the next morning while traveling the group heard the sounds of someone calling for help. They soon learned that the request for help was coming from a talking rock. Apparently, the rock was trying to get back to its master in, named Dorlas, in Celik. Unfortunately, the individual transporting him had been eaten by a gargantuan bird. Despite everyone wanting to get as far away from the talking rock as possible, including by throwing it into the desert, Hookeri took the rock for himself.
Low and behold, approximately 1 hour outside of Celik, a giant bird (a Roc to be exact) swooped out of the sky and attacked Hookeri. An intense battle occurred, in which the Roc tried on multiple occasions to fly away with Hookeri and the talking Roc. Rather than simply let the Roc have the rock, the group fought until the Roc (and Hookeri) was severely injured. Expecting this was not last they would be hearing from that damn bird, the group completed their trek to the ruined outpost of Celik.
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