In this week’s Tales From the Plunderbund Consortium, there may or may not be an orb…..there is. Speaking of orbs, here’s a video of an orb that I have long been a fan of and I hope that if you have never seen these films, maybe you will seek them out.
Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium
Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 12
As Illana continued to look Dimebag’s broken and liquefied body, the other adventurers came down the hallway to see what was up. While it was obvious that Dimebag had fallen into a trap, some of the party member had their suspicions that Illana had deliberately sprung the trap. Any such beliefs were kept to themselves, however.
No knowing what to do with the body, the party simply had Illana drop the giant stone back on Dimebag to act as sort of a makeshift grave. They then continued down to the end of the hallway to what appeared to be a dead end. Working together, the adventurers discovered the stone sconce that, once turned, opened a secret door.
Upon the door opening, the group was confused at it appeared to lead right back into the room where they fought the air elementals. However, upon re-entering the room, several wax blobs that had been lying around the room began to congeal in a nearby shallow pit in the floor. The blobs came together and then disappeared into the floor, leaving behind a wooden box that emanated strong magic.
As Illana had not prepared the Identify spell that day, she was unable to determine the function of the box. The party decided to continue searching the dungeon and worry about the box later. As they were walking, Pane-Pan asked to carry the box, and Coraanu handed it over. Pane-Pan then used his immense psychic power to form a vision in his mind of the box’s previous owner. In his mind, he saw a human standing over the box on the shores of the Sea of Silt. The human uttered a single key word, which resulted in the box “unfolding” and eventually taking the shape of a silt skimmer. Despite learning the function of the box, Pane-Pan declined to share with the group what he learned.
Continuing, the group eventually came to another room. As the door was not trapped, Coraanu had Alexa kick the door in so the party could immediately engage with any guardian that undoubtedly lurked within. As the door flung open, the adventurers saw six imps standing over the body of a woman it appeared they were about to sacrifice. Unfortunately, the group had no time to consider how the woman got down here, as the imps attacked.
During the fighting with the imps, Coraanu felt a strange sensation wash over him. He then saw the woman rise from the ground and walk over to him. The woman transformed and sprouted wings, revealing herself to be a succubus. Having fallen for her charms earlier, Coraanu allowed her to lean in for a kiss. Luckily for Coraanu, the succubus was distracted by the cuteness of Hookeri’s new pet, and she was only able to peck Coraanu on the cheek, saving him from certain death. Free from her charms, Coraanu and friends made short work of the succubus and remaining imps.
As the party searched the room, a dwarf entered the room. The party recognized him from their time in Gulg, it was Dimebag’s genetically superior brother, Darkius. Darkius explained that he had been training to become an earth cleric, and that he had learned from the element of earth of Dimebag’s insane plan to track down the obsidian man. He had thought to stop Dimebag himself, but it appeared that the giant block of stone had do it instead. Still needing to stop the obsidian man itself, Darkius asked to join the party. Desperately in need of a health, the group agreed.
After the battle the group pressed on into the dungeon, fearing that if they took too many breaks night would fall, the mists would enter the dungeon, and they would disappear like everyone else who was ever caught in the Kalidnay mists. As they continued through, they fought giant magical snakes, found a chest full of silver coins and spell tablets, and Coraanu was nearly killed after setting off a scythe trap.
At one point during their journey they came upon a shrine to what appeared to be a former ruler of Kalidnay. Inspecting the shrine, it was obviously corrupted and it appeared that any who dared passed would be attacked with necrotic power. Sensing the shrine’s evil, Darkius prayed to the earth and learned a 30-minute ritual that would dispel the corruption. Bored and not wanting to wait that long, Pane-Pan decided to see what would happen if the magic box found earlier was placed on the alter. The Folding Silt Skimmer exploded in a flash of magical light.
Eventually the group found a hidden chamber. Within this room was a pedestal holding a small obsidian orb. Sensing its immense magical and psionic power, Coraanu immediately threw his bag over top of the orb. Indignant, the orb telepathically communicated with Coraanu demanding to be handed over to, “the hottie with the actual magical power, not your spirit magic mekillot crap.” Coraanu declined the orb’s offer and did not tell Illana that the orb wished to speak with her.
Upon removing the orb from the pedestal, a wall shifted revealing a small, secret room, on the floor of which appeared to be a teleportation circle. After much experimentation and using Hookeri’s new pet as bait, the party discovered the world’s slowest portal. It takes approximately one hour to teleport someone from the Vault of Kalidnay to one of the ruined towers above.
Due to the slow nature of the portal, the group found that night had fallen and the streets were covered in mist. As such, they would have to camp in the ruined tower for the night. Unfortunately, the bringing together of the Orb of Khalid-Ma with the Rock of Getting Eating by a Roc in Kalidnay led to a portal being open and the emergence of horned devil Sthaggaxtrix, boyfriend to Niansu the Marilith (and current owner of Hookeri’s first pet).
After a brief fight, Ilana used her knowledge of “music horned devils totally hate” to create a minor illusion of vaguely technotronic pop music. However, being unwilling to simply allow the  to leave, Hookeri leaped onto its back. The two then went on a flight around Kalidnay, had a chat, and became bros. Based upon their newfound friendship, it was decided they would return to the group’s camp, reopen the portal, and Sthaggaxtrix would return home. Unfortunately for the pair, upon seeing them flying overhead, Illana turned the music back on. To make the ear bleeding pain stop, Sthaggaxtrix dive bombed the camp. As the horned devil did so, the portal reopened, and the two traveled back to Sthaggaxtrix’s home plane.
Having no idea how to return home, Hookeri agreed to accompany Sthaggaxtrix back to his home in the nearby demon city. Meanwhile, back at the camp, the remaining members of the party heard a screech and looked to the sky. Bearing down of them was the giant bird, the Roc, that had attached them previously. Just as it looked like it was about to attack the camp, the bird appeared to use its beak to tear open the prior portal. On the other side, Hookeri saw the head of the Roc coming right for him. While he briefly considered jumping on the Roc and returning home, he decided discretion was the better part of valor and he asked Sthaggaxtrix to get them the hell out of there. Unable to pursue its prey, the Roc exited the portal and flew away.
The orb in their possession, the party was ready to leave the cursed city of Kalidnay. That is, until, Alexa reminded them all that she needed to locate the ghost of Battlemaster Zehiron, who had once trained Nok in the art of fighting. Having no idea where the ghost might be, the group consulted Maraquen’s map, and found that in the south-western part of the city it was known to be an area of high hauntings. As they headed to that area of the city, a pale, white dwarf ran past them yelling, “g-g-g-ghost!” and continued on into the dessert.
Assuming they were in the right place, they continued on and eventually ran into a rather dapper looking Mul ghost wielding a variety of weapons. Alexa introduced herself and said that she had come to seek training from the man who had once trained Nok in the ways of battle. The ghost of Battlemaster Zehiron told Alexa that he would be happy to enter into a training contract with her, there was simply one problem. His existing contract with Rog Lowe, leader of the Mekillot Maulers.
Zehiron explained that thousands of years ago in life he was a “sword saint,” a mystical swordsman who channeled the power of the gods into his blade. Since the death of the gods, many individuals have come to him seeking sword saint training, and in all cases they died during the process. Rob Lowe, on the other hand, has survived the process and is close to what would have been the completion of training more than a millennia ago. Having a student survive the training has illuminated Zehiron to the fact that, with the gods dead, no one will ever again become a sword saint, including Rob. Because the contract between Zehiron and Rob was to make Rob a sword said, Zehiron will be forced to train Rob until the contract is otherwise broken.
Zehiron made clear that the contract would be broken if Rob Lowe was dead, however, he was open to the group finding other ways to nullify the contract. The adventurers then followed Zehiron to the Maulers base where he was scheduled for a training session with Rob. The group took up positions outside the camp to observe. As Zehiron neared the camp the group heard someone say, “hey Zehiron, watch this.” At which point a brute of a man took a steel greatsword and proceeded to cut down five Maulers surrounding him. The man turned to Zehiron and said, “so, am I a sword saint yet?”
Upon Rob Lowe asking that question, Pane-Pan drilled into his mind. He then manipulated Rob’s mind and convinced him that Zehiron answered back that, “yes, yes you are a sword said now.” Zehiron then asked Rob to knock on his sword three times, which would officially end the contract. Rob did so and Zehiron and the group quickly left Mauler territory. Zehiron then informed Alexa that the training would take 250 days of intense work. However, he could possess an object on her person and they could begin training once she had a safe place and the necessary supplies to do so. Alexa had him possess her gauntlets.
Done with their perspective missions and Kalidnay, the group had to decide where to head to next. Pane-Pan wanted to head far north to the Temple of the Sky serpent, while Coraanu wanted to head east to Balic. Pane-Pan agreed to travel to Balic since it was much closer. During their travel that evening they nearly wandered into an Earth Drake that was hunting in the area. Luckily, they moved quickly and found a hidden grotto that kept them safe from the hunting beast.
As they were going to be stuck there for a while, and because Pane-Pan assumed his fellow clutch mate was dead, Pane-Pan asked to hold a Thri-Kreen death ceremony for the fallen Hookeri. As he began do dance around and make chittering noises as Thri-Kreen do, Pane-Pan’s psychic energy mixed with that of the Orb of Kalid-Ma and opened a portal similar to the one that had summoned the horned devil previously.
Hookeri, who had made it to the accursed city with Sthaggaxtrix and was chilling at his home, suddenly saw a portal open before him. Unsure whether he should walk through it, he instead stuck his head through, at which point he saw his adventuring companions performing some weird ritual. Suddenly, Hookeri sense that magic was failing, and he decided to pull his head back rather than take the time to walk through the portal. Unfortunately, he was not quick enough and the portal closed, leaving his head in Athas and the rest of his body in the accursed realm. Darkius then case Gentile Repose on the head in order to keep it preserved, and they bagged the head and took it with them.
Meanwhile, in the accursed realm, sensing that yet another friend of his was dead, the Rock of Getting Eaten by a Roc rolled out of Hookeri’s pocket. Seeing Hookeri’s headless body, he rolled himself around the body to the bloody stump and implanted himself in the spinal column. Hookeri’s body then stood up . . .
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