Julius: Human male psychokinetic. 22 years old. Played by Dave. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Giant.
Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. 17 years old. Played by Ben. Speaks Balican and Elf.
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Played by DM. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican.
Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, and Balican.
Grak (aka Guacamole): Pterran male ranger. 19 years old. Played by Clyde. Speaks Pterran and Giant.
Demetrius: Human male. 25 years old. Shepherd. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.
Salvador: Human male. 41 years old. Mason. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.
Pasha Altan Hassan: Dwarf male. 74 years old. Guard, laborer, and Pasha. NPC. Speaks Nibnese, Tyrian, and Dwarf.
Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.
When the group saw that Magosa was burning, Julius and Alaxander rushed forward to help put out the fire. Kalino, Grak, Demetrius, and Salvador parked the wagon close to Magosa, but out of range of the fire. Grak went to go help with the fire. Kalino told Salvador and Demetrius to watch the unconscious Vashti, then he went to help as well.
|I think we have a slight problem.|
The group could see that nearly every resident in Magosa was injured, some badly. Julius and Alaxander used the Way to help as much as possible, while Grak just used his brute strength. They all threw dirt onto the burning thatch and were able to smother the fire in a couple hours. While the mud brick walls of the village stood strong, nearly everything else was destroyed.
The group could see a battle had taken place. There were blood spots on the ground and broken weapons scattered about. The front door to the village was broken. Julius spotted some broken bone daggers and bone darts. He recognized them as the same style the bandits they had defeated two nights ago had used.
Julius found Pasha Althan, who was badly injured, and asked him what had happened. The Pasha explained that they had been having some trouble, off and on, with a group of bandits. He thought they had driven them off for good last time, but this time they had returned with reinforcements, both living and dead.
Altan explained how Emir had told him how the group had bravely taken care of the gith. He offered the group a valuable amethyst if they would go and drive the bandits off for good or kill them. Julius agreed to help, but admitted that Vashti was injured and needed a few days to recover. The Pasha promised all the assistance the village could offer. Julius then asked where Asli was, for he had noticed that she was missing. The Pasha explained that she had been taken by the bandits, as well as all of the dead bodies.
Besides being injured, the people of Magosa were exhausted. After the group's wagons came into the open area of the village, the entrance was stuffed with rubble to prevent anything from coming inside. The group helped with the watch, except for Grak. Grak walked off into the wilderness. No one followed, because they figured Grak could take care of himself.
Day 14, Week 1, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun
Grak was able to track the bandits into the nearby canyons. He silently followed their tracks for four hours, until he saw a ruined castle in the distance. The tracks seemed to lead there and it seemed to Grak that is was a good place for bandits to hide. He left and arrived back in Magosa just as the sun's first rays peaked over the horizon.
Under the Magosa's healers gentle care, Vashti awoke. She immediately preached a sermon and then magically healed herself. She then used her healing skills to help the villagers and her gardening skills to help start the repair of Magosa's burned yucca fields. Kalino had carpentry and weapon crafting skills to assist the village. Julius assisted with his bone-crafting skills and Alaxander helped with his tailoring skills. Grak assisted with heavy lifting and tried to teach Julius to speak in the giant language.
Altan insisted the village change from yucca frond roofs to erdlu hide. The group thought it was a good idea, even though it would be more expensive. The village shared water and yucca fruit with the group. By mid-afternoon, Emir arrived with a wagon full of goods and a few of his children. Fikri was happy to see the group and Havva was happy to see Julius.
|In case you forgot, Havva is 14.|
Just before the sun set, Emir bid them farewell and took his family with him. The group helped clear out enough of the burned out rooms, that they had a more comfortable place to sleep. They again helped with the village watch, except the exhausted Grak.
Day 15, Week 1, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun
In the morning, Vashti preached a sermon, while everyone else got ready for the day. Salvador and Demetrius decided to stay in the village to help rebuild. They also agreed to watch the wagons and other goods. The group agreed, taking only some water, yucca fruit, and dried meat from their stores.
The group set out in the early morning, following Grak.
The group walked into the canyons of the rocky badlands. The area was rough, with a complex network of twists and turns. A couple hours into their trek they were surprised by a group of six elves, who began shooting arrows at them.
|Elves of Athas > Other Fantasy Elves|
Grak ordered his eagle to attack and ripped into one of the elves with tooth and claw. Alaxander used the Way to shoot rocks at them. Everyone else rushed them with melee weapons. Grak was obviously the biggest threat, so all of the elves targeted him. Grak took several arrows, but kept charging ahead.
Four of the six elves were dispatched and the other two fled deeper into the canyon. The group tried to give chase, but were no match for the speed of the elves.
An hour later, the group arrived at the castle. It seemed abandoned, with crumbling defenses and birds lazily perched on the highest points. Vashti expressed her doubts about the bandits being inside. The castle was surrounded by a silt moat and had a small bridge leading to a set of broken double doors. The group began discussing other ways of entering the castle, as the bridge seemed in bad repair.
Vashti wanted to test to see how deep the silt was. She got out her bone club, had Alaxander hold her feet, and put her arm and club into the silt as far as it would go. Almost immediately, tentacles reached out from the silt and lashed themselves around Vashti. The tentacles were barbed and the barbs dug into her flesh. In addition, teeth began chewing her arm, poisoning her in the process. Vashti screamed that it was a black silt horror and was paralyzed.
Kalino rushed forward and began stabbing at the silt. Julius began using the way to set the horror on fire. Grak tried to shoot it with his new bow, but missed and struck Vashti. Alaxander pulled Vashti out of the tentacles and away from the silt.
The horror then turned its attention to Kalino, wrapping its tentacles around him and biting him. Kalino was paralyzed as well, but Grak pulled him to safety, while slashing with his other talon at the monster. The creature sank into the silt and away from the groups melee reach. Julius continued to burn it with the way.
The creature raised a little out of the silt to allow it to initiate a psionic attack. Julius found himself in the mindscape, with a huge black silt horror in front of him. The horrors tentacles lashed out and pierced Julius' soft body. Julius responded by imagining metal armor covered in spikes surrounding him. Grak fired arrows at the monster and it lowered itself beneath the silt again.
Again, the creature lashed out at Julius on the mindscape, but Julius' armor blocked the attack. Julius continued to burn it, but was getting fatigued. Grak picked up a large rock and threw it into the silt. By luck alone, Grak struck the monster. Julius saw the monster vanish from the mindscape as it died.
They waited until Vashti and Kalino came to. Vashti healed herself and the group crossed the rickety bridge into the courtyard of the ruined castle. Grak noticed some footprints that were fairly fresh. A tower next to the gate enticed Alaxander and he went to investigate. Inside, Alaxander found piles of animal and a few humanoid bones. There were some of the humanoids discarded belongings. He went to investigate and a six foot spider quickly descended onto his back and bit him.
|"Aaahhhh!" - Alaxander|
They again began questioning if the castle was truly abandoned, as they made their way to a large doorway that probably once held a large set of doors. Inside, Grak followed some tracks toward a large room, but also saw some that lead to a blank wall. The large room had piles of ruined furniture and the bare remnants of tapestries. He made his way to the blank wall and began pushing on it. It slid back and revealed a small hidden hallway. They saw that it lead to a staircase, which lead down. They agreed that before going down, they should search the upper portion of the castle, so nothing could sneak up behind them.
They closed the secret door and made there way to the large door, where the other tracks lead. They could tell the door had been recently reinforced, with giant hair hinges and agafari wood. Grak pushed on the door, but could feel that it was barred. He slammed against the door, but it did not budge. He grabbed some of the broken furniture and used it as a make shift battering ram. He slammed against the door and it fell open, revealing an elf, with bow ready.
The elf fired and Grak tried to dive out of the way. Grak was not fast enough and the arrow grazed his arm.
Come back in three weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures under the Dark Sun.