Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Eleventh Session: Mercy for the Merciless

Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

Jessel came through the doorway and nodded to the group. They acknowledged him, but turned back to the captives. Alaxander told the captives, in Balican, that they were not there to hurt them. He then introduced the group.
Malison, Half-Elf Domestic Servant. By: Nick Robles

One of the male humans, short brown haired and bearded, spoke up and introduced the captives. He was Dalgar, the other human, short black haired, beardless, and sporting many scars, was Jamil, and the half-elf female, long auburn haired with a scar above her left eye, was Malison. He explained that the bandits had attacked his caravan a few weeks ago, killed most of his guards and stole all of his goods. Jamil was one of his guards and Malison was his domestic slave. He thanked them and espoused that he wished he could pay them for his freedom.
Alaxander was translating for the members of the group who did not speak Balican. Jessel spoke up, speaking through Alaxander, and asked Dalgar for his slave as payment. Dalgar agreed and told Malison that she now belonged to Alaxander.

The group took the former captives back to the store rooms, to get them food, water, shoes, and cloaks. Jamil took one of the extra shields, an obsidian battleaxe, and a leather breastplate. He told Dalgar that their contract was up, so he was available for hire. Vashti offered to hire him for three ceramic pieces, one up front and two more once the bandits are taken care of. Jamil readily agreed.
The group then began discussing what to do with their new slave. Jessel made the point that if they simply free her, she would likely wind back up in slavery, Kalino was worried about taking her with them, and Vashti was worried about her dying in the wilderness. Grak suggested that he escort Malison, and Dalgar back to Magosa.
Dalgar agreed immediately, as he was anxious to get his trading company started again. Kalino did bring up the point that Grak would likely be able to protect them the best. The group was reluctant to see their best fighter leave, but saw no other way to make sure the freed captives got to Magosa safely. Vashti gave them food and water for the trip and wished them well. Grak lead Dalgar and Malison away from the ruined keep.
Jamil, Gulgish Mercenary. With chitin shoulder pad and bone sword.
Jamil told the group about a hidden door in the Dune Freak's room. After some searching, Shade found a door that lead to a stairway. The stairway went up to the room that Jessel was tied up in. The group thought it was a good time to check on their prisoners, because they did not know where to go. They dragged them down into the room where Dalgar, Jamil, and Malison were imprisoned.
They decided to interrogate them again, starting with the more cowardly of the two. Alaxander, Vashti, and Jessel crowded into the small room and removed the captive's helmet. Their captive stared at them in silence. They asked him what he knew about the keep's basement. The bandit explained that he wasn't allowed down there too much, but he did know that Lareth had an obsession for secret doors. He knew about one at the bottom of the stairs that lead into a hallway. The stairs were behind another secret door in the keep. He knew little else and his sniveling was bothering the group, so they rebound him.
The other captive bandit was less cooperative and started using the will, so Alaxander and Jessel threatened him. He was a little more cooperative after that and explained that they lived in the keep, because they had not proved themselves loyal to their captain. Once they proved their loyalty, they could move downstairs and have more responsibility, and more loot. He acknowledged that there was a secret door at the bottom of the stairs. Satisfied, Vashti fed and watered the captives, then rebound them.
It took them a little while to locate the second secret door at the bottom of the secret staircase. They followed the hallway, Shade looking for traps along the way. He found a curious made-made slit in the wall, from which, they could see a bone crafted wall of some kind above their heads. Shade grabbed some rocks and shoved them into the tracks to prevent it from dropping. They moved on.
They followed the twisting hallway and came to a split in the corridor. They chose to go left. Shade moved slowly and as quietly as he could. He entered a room and found himself surrounded by bandits, it was an ambush.
"For a few seconds, this place was Armageddon" - Agent Paul Smecker
The bandits stabbed Shade with their daggers and he fled back down the hallway. Jessel ran forward and used his morningstar to clear a path through the bandits. Alaxander disappeared and Julius used the way to throw rocks. Vashti engaged with her bone club. Kalino spoke to his rope and told it to bind things, then he threw it at the one bandit who was wielding an obsidian battleaxe, instead of a bone dagger.
While the rope was entangling the bandit's feet, Jessel cast a spell that froze the bandit in place. Alaxander reappeared behind the bandits and attacked with his bone club. The bandits appeared amateurish, as they fought poorly. Four of the bandits were killed and three were captured, including the bandit with the battleaxe. Two of the captured bandits identified the battleaxe-wielding bandit as the captain of their group. The party tied him up and took all three back to the room where their other captives were being held.
The group took a few moments to investigate the room and adjoining rooms. They held a sleeping area with bedrolls and personal items. They also discovered two privies and a door that opened to a blank wall. However, the group heard a crashing sound when that door was opened. A bone portcullis had come down in the hallway. Apparently Shade's attempt at disabling it with rocks had failed. Alaxander convinced the captain to show them a secret door, which opened into a small room with the portcullis controlling winch. 
Their interrogation did not reveal much more information than they previously had learned. The bandits made a living by raiding small caravans and travelers on the Altaruk-Gulg road. They were allowed to live below because they had been with the group for over a year. Their will using captive had contacted the captain and that is how they were able to set up the ambush. After getting this information, Jessel said that he had to leave, the Earth spirits were calling for him. He stepped through a dimension door he had opened with the will.
Vashti brought up the idea that they had too many captives to keep securely with only one guard. They, of course, decided that they would not just murder them in cold blood, but they couldn't have them returning to the bandit group either. In the end, Vashti convinced the group that the men were only with the bandits for money. So, she decided to incentivize them with the best thing she had, ceramic pieces. They would, however, keep the captain and user of the will captive.
The first bandit was the coward they had captured in the keep, he took a ceramic piece and a bone dagger. He ran out of the keep as fast as he could. The second bandit was less enthusiastic, but took the ceramic and bone dagger. He walked out of the keep. The last bandit did not believe the group was really setting him free, but playing some sick game. They would let him go, only to stab him in the back. He told them that if they wanted him dead, he'd rather get stabbed while looking at his killers. They convinced him with one ceramic, five bits, and a bone dagger, that they would not kill him. He jogged out of the keep, looking back constantly. Now that the three bandits were dealt with, the group returned to the cellar.
Following the other twisting corridor, they found another room. Shade went quietly inside by himself. There were three doors and a doorway into another room. Shade sneaked to the doors and inspected them for traps. He found no traps on two of the doors, but there was one on the central door. He attempted to disarm it, but set it off by mistake. The group heard a loud crashing back down the hallway. A bandit came out to investigate and saw Shade. He yelled something, which Shade could not understand.
Nine bandits came rushing out of the adjoining room and the rest of the heroes rushed in to meet them. Shade was stabbed a few times and fled through one of the doors, which turned out to be an awful smelling privy. Most of the bandits were using bone daggers, but one had an obsidian falchion. Julius used his bone longsword and engaged the falchion utilizing bandit. Kalino attacked with his bone longsword and Vashti stood behind him and used her magic.
The hammer of the spirit.
Shade opened the privy door to attack the bandits outside, but was outmatched. He cried out for help and Vashti ran to assist him. Kalino, Julius, and Alaxander were holding their own, but were getting worn down. One of the bandits fled and Alaxander teleported with the way to head him off. Julius was able to slay the bandit with the falchion, then he fled away from the fight. Vashti healed Shade and then ran to heal Julius. Kalino killed a couple of bandits, as Alaxander slew the last of them.
Searching the adjoining room, they found another sleeping area with personal items. The group was in bad shape. Hurt, tired, and out of magic, they decided they needed to find a place to rest. Their first thought was to retreat to the room with the fallen dune freak, but discarded that idea when they figured out that the bandits would eventually find them. They settled on the decision to go back to the spider tower and sleep there. Jamil gathered their prisoners and escorted them upstairs.
They cleared an area to sleep and barred the door with bones and the burned out carcass of the spider. Then they organized a watch and went to sleep.

 Day 2, Week 2, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

When they awoke, they passed out food and water. Vashti made sure to provide food and water for their captives. Vashti healed Shade and Julius as much as she could. Jamil then escorted the prisoners back downstairs.
Vashti, Alaxander, Julius, Shade, and Kalino returned to the room where they fought the group of nine bandits. The bodies had been cleared and their personal belongings removed. There was one door that they had not explored, so Shade quietly opened it and crept down the hallway beyond. It led to a junction with hallways on the left, right, and a downward staircase straight ahead. Shade chose the staircase.
Shade had noticed the corridor getting warmer and he saw why after ten yards. He looked right, around a corner and saw a small pool of magma. What surprised him was that inside the pool was a red scaled, bipedal, lizard. The lizard noticed movement and looked up. It seemed surprised to see Shade hiding a few yards away.
Shade didn't wait for the lizard to call out, he turned and ran back to the group. They set up a defensive line at the hallways junction, as four of the lizards charged them. They were howling and blood thirsty.

Red bipedal lizard that likes heat. By Ansa2613

Join us in two weeks for another exciting session of Adventures Under the Dark Sun.

2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters
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, Tyrian, 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 DM (Clyde moved). Speaks Pterran and Giant.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/theif, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Elf and Tyrian.
Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.

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