Monday, October 14, 2013

A Worthy Quest, A Worthy Foe


The rock rolled away from the entrance to the cave. Hot air rushed it, carrying with it bits of sand and dirt. Even early in the morning, the heat was already oppressive. Ren moved outside and began photosynthesizing. Aziza and Cyrus both set out to find water and were both successful. Yaotl used his psionic ability of concentrate water for himself and Nuru.
The ground was made up of loose rocks and sand. They traveled slowly, Ren guiding them. They walked for a couple of hours, sand and hot air blowing against them, when Ren, Yaotl, and Cyrus saw something flying in the air. It looked like a large bird, but all the dirt in the air made it difficult to identify.
Cyrus pulled his longbow and shot at it. He was sure he hit it, as it quickly climbed into the thick haze above. Yaotl shook his head and they continued on.
An hour later, a large group of birds emerged from the sandy haze and rained javelins down upon the group. Nuru took a spear in the neck and collapsed in a pool of blood.
“Great job Cyrus!” Aziza yelled angrily.
The birds swooped down and attempted to impale the characters with spears, but the group repelled them. They could see now that they were Aarakocra. Ren tried to speak with them, but it was clear that they did not speak a common language.
Ren knocked out two and Yaotl put one to sleep with psionics, but the group was still out numbered and no one had escaped the attacks unscathed.
It's more dangerous than it looks.
Yaotl leaned down and examined Nuru, and could clearly see that he was dead. 

A small group swooped back down and threw a net over Yaotl. Cyrus reached into the net and grabbed Yaotl. He then teleported them both a few feet away and Yaotl out of the net. Ren psionically attacked one of the attackers, using all of his psionic might, he broke into the Aarakocra's mind and mind-linked with the creature.
“We do not wish to fight!” Ren pleaded.
“Where the eggs?” The Aarakocra demanded.
'We know of no eggs.” Ren pleaded.
“Why you attack, if you not steal eggs?”
“It was a mistake, a misunderstanding.” Ren explained, “We're very sorry.”
“Walkers steal eggs.”
“What did these walkers look like? We can help.” Ren offered.
“All walkers look the same!” The Aarakocra insisted.
“We can help you find your eggs.”
There was a long pause, but Ren could tell that the Aarakocra were discussing the situation. The characters put their weapons away, showing that they did not wish to fight. Ren told the group what was happening and they agreed to help.
“Hold out your arms.” The Aarakocra finally spoke into Ren's mind.
Ren did as requested and held his arms out. Two Aarakocra swooped down and grabbed Ren's arms, they barely lifted him off the ground, obviously straining. A third Aarakocra arrived and grabbed one of Ren's legs and began flying high into the sky. Ren shouted to the group to hold out their arms.
Yaotl and Aziza held out their arms and two Aarakocra picked out Aziza, but three were needed for Yaotl. Cyrus hesitated for a moment, but finally held out his arms. It took three of the Aarakocra to lift him as well. It was a rough way to travel, but much faster than walking over the treacherous terrain.
Yaotl, Ren, and Aziza enjoyed the ride and the feeling of flight, but Cyrus threw up.
When the group finally reached their destination, a cave in the peaks of the mountains, their arms were intensely sore. The group took a few moments to heal from the fight and then stepped inside.
"If you ask me if I want a cracker, I'm going to melt your brain."
The Aarakocra in the cave watched them closely and an old Aarakocra slowly gaited up to the characters.
“Hello.” Yaotl spoke.
The old Aarakocra tilted his head to the side, “Hello.”
“I am Yaotl of the flame.” He held out his hand.
“I am *screech-scraw* of the wind and master of the Way.” He replied.
The old Aarakocra stared at Yaotls hand.
“What is this?” He screeched.
“It is a welcoming gesture.” Yaotl explained.
The old Aarakocra held out his hand and was quite surprised when Yaotl grabbed it and shook it. The old one pulled his hand back in shock.
“I'm sorry, it is how my people show trust.”
The old one looked perplexed, but grabbed the top of Yaotl's hand and shook it wildly.
“Strange custom.” He observed.
“We were told that someone had stolen your eggs and we are willing to help retrieve them.” Yaotl explained.
“I am sorry about your friend.” The old one apologized.
“He was not much of a friend.” Ren replied.
“I will send some of my men to retrieve his body.” The old one offered.
Yaotl thanked him and wanted to know more about the eggs. The old one, whom the group nick named Raya, explained that a large horde of Sligs attacked their home and stole some of the eggs. Ren asked if they knew which group of Sligs had stolen the eggs and Raya explained that two different groups of Sligs lived nearby. Both would have reasons to take the eggs.
The Slig tribe in the east would most likely sell them into slavery, while the tribe to the west would most likely eat them. Ren decided to check out the western Slig tribe first.
Raya offered them a reward, if the bring the eggs back, but Yaotl refused. He only requested that they rest for a couple hours to regain their strength. Raya agreed and had food and water brought to them. Yaotl cooked the raw meat and managed to burn it. The group still ate it, but mocked Yaotl's cooking skill.
Another elderly Aarakocra approached Aziza and took her aside. He complimented the knot work on her cloak and showed her his own. Aziza told him that she was a Preserver and she would not speak to a Defiler. The elderly Aarakocra assured her that he was no Defiler and they both cast a cantrip to prove it to each other.
Satisfied, they began talking about Preserving. The elderly Aarakocra gave Aziza a spell that, he believed, would help them, invisibility. Aziza thanked him and offered her own limited inventory of spells for trade. He thanked her and chose magic missile and they spent the next couple of hours learning the spells.
Finally, the group was ready to go. A group of Arakocra picked up the characters and flew them down the mountain. The flight took a couple of hours, but the group landed a few hundred yards away from the western Slig village. They sneaked forward, using the rocks as cover and surprised a lone Slig sentry.
The used psionic sleep and knocked him out, then Ren laid on his chest. Aziza laid on his left arm, and Yaotl his right. Cyrus kept watch for more Sligs.
The woke the Slig and Yaotl cast zone of truth. Ren quickly broke the Slid's mind and mind-linked with it.
“Where are the eggs?” Ren demanded.
“What eggs?” The slig responded, his stomach growling.
“The Aarakocra eggs, do you have them?” Ren asked.
“We have no eggs. Yum, eggs.” The Slig thought.
Ren turned to the others, "They don't have them, although they would like to."
Who wouldn't want an omelette made with eggs this big?
Ren turned back to the Slig. “We're going to let you up, do not scream, or we will be forced to kill you. Do you understand?”
“It is better to live, I think.” The Slig answered.
They let him up and Ren gave him some dried meat. The Slig ate it, but complained that it was cooked. The group left, heading back to the waiting Aarakocra. They flew toward the eastern Slig tribe, arriving at dusk. Everyone was exhausted from the journey, especially the Aarakocra, so they decided to wait and sneak into the village at dawn. That night, Yaotl commented that he would like to learn the Aarakocra language.
The sun began to rise and everyone got ready. Aziza memorized her new spell. The Priests all prayed. Food and water were consumed. After a brief discussion, it was decided that Yaotl, Ren, and Rata would sneak into the village to look for the eggs, while Cyrus and Aziza stayed back. Ren passively contacted Aziza and she turned the three invisible. Ren and Rata walked very quietly and Yaotl used his psionic ability to dampen his foot falls.
Being their first experience with invisibility, they did not discuss how they would keep in contact, and they quickly got separated.
Where did all my friends go?
They all wondered around the village, until Ren spotted the eggs in a hut. There were two guards next to them.
Ren called out quietly, “Yaotl, Rata, are you close?”
Rata was, “Ren!”
A couple of nearby Sligs heard the whispers and began looking around. The called to some more and were obviously listening intently. Rata moved into a nearby hut, as Sligs began to unknowingly surround them.
Ren used his passive contact and mind-linked with Aziza. He quickly told her what was going on and they sight-linked. Aziza and Cyrus said they would cause a distraction, but Ren used Aziza's eyes to contact and sight-link with Cyrus.
“Oh no!” Aziza exclaimed, “He's going to do something stupid!” She grabbed Cyrus, “Quick, teleport us!”
Ren attacked three of the closest Sligs, knocking one of them out, breaking anothers arm, and wounding a third. Cyrus and Aziza teleported behind them and Aziza rushed forward, with her tortoise blades. She killed the Slig, whom Ren had wounded previously.
Hearing the noise, Yaotl created a flame blade and quickly attacked the closest Slig, hoping to cause chaos in their village. Rata began casting, raising sand warriors from the ground beneath them. Ren and Aziza continued fighting the Sligs around them. Cyrus rushed through the crowd and grabbed a few of the eggs and teleported them away.
Pictured: Top quality photoshop
As the Sligs rushed toward the fighting, Yaotl, Ren, and Aziza just kept fighting them. The additional sand warriors were greatly helping. Rata hid in the hut, guiding his warriors. Cyrus ran back toward the village and cast an oil spray on a group of Sligs. Yaotl, seeing an opportunity, cast flaming hands and set those three ablaze.
With a path cleared before her, Aziza ran forward and grabbed the last few eggs. Ren, and the sand warriors, protected her from the horde of Sligs that were pressing down upon them. Yaotl killed one of the burning Sligs, as he ran. Cyrus shot another burning Slig with an arrow and put him out of his misery. One Slig was still burning and collapsed on the ground, desperately trying to put himself out.

“Run!” Ren shouted, as he fled east, away from where the Aarakocra waited for them.
Rata commanded the sand warriors to guard their flank and they quickly ran into the crags of the area. The burning Slig finally managed to put himself out and collapsed, unconscious. The Sligs did not follow the group very far, they had been surprised and taken a lot of casualties. They began gathering their unconscious, determined to recover and find their attackers.
The group made a wide path, just in case they were being followed, and made it back to the Aarakocra. They quickly and carefully packed the eggs and flew off, back toward the Aarakocra's distant mountain home, which the players nick-named the Crescent Peaks Tribe.
Upon their return, the Aarakocras rejoiced. Although none of the characters spoke Aarakocra, many of the Aarakocra thanked them.
“Thank you.” Raya began, “You have ensured out tribes survival with your actions this day.”
More food and water was brought to them. Yaotl, again, cooked poorly. Raya gave the group gifts, even though they protested. Seventeen ceramic, which Raya assured the characters that the tribe had no use for, and a cherry, which would grant clairaudience to any who consumed it. They group thanked Raya and promised to be allies for all time.
They also give you 1,000 points.
They made arrangements for the Aarakocra to carry the party to the Bromil Pass the following morning. They ate, drank, and slept, knowing they should be safe in the mountainous caves.
In the morning, a group of Aarakocra flew the group to the Bromil Pass, only stopping for high sun. The group had extremely sore arms, but the trip took, at least, a whole day off their journey. They thanked the Aarakocra as they flew away. Then, turning southeast, the group began marching back toward Nibenay.
And far away, a Slig, who had third degree burns all over his body, awoke and swore to the Dragon that he would have his revenge.

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