Kalino watched Jessel run in the distance. After a few minutes, he asked Shade what happened. Shade explained that Jessel picked up Abu and ran away, which made no sense. Kalino suggested that Jessel was under magical or psionic mind control. Shade, Vashti, and Julius agreed. They discussed chasing after Jessel, but they knew that they'd never catch him.
Alaxander then reminded them about the prisoners on the top floor of the keep. There was some looks of resignation, but they agreed to free them. The entrance hall they were standing in had two single doors and a set of double doors, excluding the doors to the outside.
They chose the door on the right. Shade hid next to the door, while Alaxander opened it. Alaxander tried to act surprised when he saw the two guards and a guard dog inside the small barracks. He turned to run and the dog chased him, chomping at his heels. The two guards engaged Vashti, who was the closest obvious target.
One of the guards struck a glancing blow on Vashti and the other missed. Shade emerged from his hiding place and clubbed one the guards in the back of his head. The blow surprised the guard and rung his ears, but did not knock him out as Shade was hoping. Kalino jumped forward to help Vashti. Julius and Spike attacked the dog.
Alaxander turned and attacked the dog with the way, as Spike bit at it. Julius tried to hit the dog with his bone longsword, but missed. The dog was badly injured at this point and ran away, through the open door to the scrub plain. Shade was having trouble hitting the guard he had surprised, but Vashti and Kalino were able to would him badly. The guard retreated into the barracks.
The other guard stepped forward to engage and struck Vashti in the shoulder. Shade, Kalino, and Vashti struck back. The guard dropped his bone short sword and fled back into the barracks. The group allowed the guards to surrender and stripped them of their weapons and armor. Only then did they let the guards flee into the scrub plains.
They next set up at the door to the kitchen in the same way, with Shade hiding and Alaxander opening the door. Inside the kitchen were two skeletons and a fat cook. One skeleton had a stone short sword and the other had a short bow with flint tipped arrows. The skeleton with the sword walked forward to engage Alaxander, who was momentarily overcome with his phobia of undead. Shade and Vashti did their best to ward off the skeletons attack, but it managed to strike Alaxander with a glancing blow.
Alaxander and Vashti destroyed the sword wielding skeleton. Shade engaged another human guard. The dogs rushed to attack Kalino and Julius, who began trying to fight them off. Vashti ran into the kitchen and struck at the skeleton archer. Unfortunately, there was no room for Alaxander to engage the skeleton safely, but he decided that now was not the time for caution. Alaxander jumped onto a low food cupboard and destroyed the skeleton with a swift blow from his bone club. He then promptly fell off of the cupboard.
Shade wounded the human guard, but did not kill him. Julius wounded another human guard and Kalino tried to strike that dog attacking him, but missed. Vashti ran through a door connecting the kitchen to the dining hall and dispatched the guard fighting Shade. The final guard threw down his sword and babbled in some unknown language, but he was obviously surrendering. They tried to get him to call of the guards, speaking to him in Tyrian and Balician, but he did not understand.
Kalino killed one of the dogs with a vicious sweep of his chitin khopesh. Shade began magically speaking with the last dog and convinced it to retreat, although it was still very angry. The group saw the cook running out of the tower and let him go.
The group quickly looted the barracks and kitchen. They found some clothes, low-quality weapons, bits, beans, corn, farro needles, and water. They ate and drank their fill.
Even though it was late and they were feeling quite tired, they decided to move upstairs.
Day 10, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun
The stairs led to a large room where they encountered a horde of ten skeletons. Shade and Kalino ran in to engage them, but a skeleton then blocked the stairway. Shade and Kalino were able to destroy two of the skeletons, but Alaxander was having trouble clearing the stairwell. Shade was getting peppered with arrows from the skeleton archers and Kalino was badly struck in the torso.
Vashti, from her position on the stairwell, channeled her elemental lords divine energy and caused the few skeletons she could see to flee. Unfortunately, Alaxander broke the magical compulsion by attacking the skeleton in the stairwell. Kalino and Shade hobbled for the stairwell and quikcly destroyed the skeleton that was causing Alaxander so much trouble.
They all fled downstairs and were relieved that the skeletons did not follow them.
Vashti used her healing knowledge to halt Kalino's bleeding torso. They all agreed that they needed to rest before continuing their assault. They thought about barricading themselves inside the tower, but Kalino convinced them that it was a foolish idea. Even if the enemy forces did not break through, the group would be constantly harassed. They grabbed a barrel of water from the kitchen and fled outside.
The group trudged a good distance from the tower. They set up camp and Shade disguised the camp from passers by. Exhausted, they set a watch rotation and slept.
When Shade was awakened for his watch, he felt something move in his boot, just as he was about to put his foot inside. He quickly pulled his foot out and dumped out whatever was in his boot. It was a small scorpion. Shade began beating at it wildly with his bone club, as the scorpion moved toward him. Right as the scorpion was about to strike, Shade crushed it with his bone club.
Vashti used her restored magical spells to heal the group. Alaxander and Julius were excited to go back to the tower with fully restored mental reserves. Shade was pleased that Spike was back on his feet.
Shade went to scout the tower, but was spotted by the guards on top of the tower. The guards yelled and fired arrows, but they were nearly out of range of their short bows. Shade tried to fire back, but his bow string broke. He cursed and ran back to the group and explained what had happened.
The group decided to openly assault the tower. They all ran toward the tower, dodging arrow fire. When they were close enough, Alaxander teleported himself and Kalino to the top of the tower. Kalino grew a khopesh from his arm, using his will, and quickly killed one of the guards. Alaxander tried to push the other guard off of the tower, but only confused the guard with his fondling. Kalino drove his arm khopesh into the side of the guard's ribs, killing him.
Meanwhile, the missing door of the tower had been replaced with a makeshift one. Vashti touched it and used the way to decay it, revealing an empty doorway. Shade, Spike, and Julius rushed inside. There were four skeletons in the entrance hall that moved to attack them, but Vashti stepped in behind them and called upon her element to make them flee. The skeletons fled from her and were quickly dispatched by Shade, Spike, Julius, and Vashti.
After dispatching the skeletons, they went upstairs. Once in the large chamber, Vashti again called upon her element to make the eight skeletons there flee. Julius used the way to detonate five of them and then helped Shade and Spike finish off the rest.
They searched the second floor of the tower. They found a small conference room and two barracks, which together, contained six human mercenaries who quickly surrendered to the characters. They also found one more skeletal archer, which Shade easily dispatched. They discovered an armory with spears, carrikals, some short bows, and two dozen flint tipped arrows. And lastly, they found a large bedroom with a suit of piece mail armor.
Concurrently, Kalino and Alaxander dropped through a trap door into the top floor. There were bone cages filled with miserable looking people. There were also two skeletons guarding them. Alaxander and Kalino destroyed them with haste. They cut the short lengths of giant hair rope holding the cages shut and set the people free. Kalino and Shade armed the two healthiest slaves with the stone short swords of the skeleton guards and led them downstairs. Shade and Kalino were pleased that the second floor of the tower was already secured.
The group disarmed the mercenaries who had surrendered and allowed them to flee into the desert. Vashti healed the former captives to the best of her magical and non-magical abilities. Kalino used furniture and one of the inside doors to secure the doorway, where Vashti had decayed one of the outside doors. He didn't bother making a makeshift door, as the other door still worked fine. Everyone else distributed food, water, clothing, and weapons to the former captives. Everyone, including a majority of the captives, thought it was best to sleep one more night in the tower and head out in the morning.
The captives slept throughout the small tower that night, avoiding the top floor. The group slept in the large bedroom they had found. Kalino asked what they planned on doing with their tower. Vashti hadn't thought of the tower as theirs, but she supposed it was. Some ideas were passed around, such as Serena coming to live there, but nothing was decided upon. There was too much to do before they could think about settling down.
They set up and watch rotation and went to sleep.
Join us in three weeks for another exciting session of Adventures Under the Dark Sun.
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters and other Major 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.
Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, and Balican.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Elf and Tyrian.
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Played by DM. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican.