Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Session Twenty-Seven: Opportunity plus Instinct equals Profit

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

Day 11, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

The group awoke in the tower without a plan in mind. They discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that Jessel should be alright and that they had no idea where he and Abu went. They decided that they were going to accompany Vashti back to her village. They had two kanks, two dozen freed slaves, and few supplies. They also had few choices, so they set out for the closest city-state, Tyr.
While everyone was getting ready, Vashti took the opportunity to cast detect magic. She looked at the jars and bucket they acquired from the destroyed ogre fortress. The contents were all magical. None of the weapons or armors they found in the tower were. She informed the group that the purple goo was created with plant magic, the blue liquids with healing magic, and the clear liquids with protection magic.
Two hours into the march everyone was startled by a loud scream. Vashti, Alaxander, Kalino, Shade, and Spike ran over, Julius walked, to see what had happened. There was a sand colored viper in the dirt with an ex-slave next to it. Vashti grabbed the ex-slave and began dragging him away.
The viper bit at Vashti, but its teeth penetrated her cloak and not her skin. Kalino hacked at the serpent with his chitin-lined khopesh and Alaxander struck at it with the way. Shade used his bone club and Spike finished the snake off with a nasty bite.

Kalino went to work, skinning and butchering the snake. Vashti checked the victim over and, sadly, discovered that he was dead. The rest of the group organized the former slaves and dug the man a grave, using weapons for tools, since they had nothing else.
After walking for a few more hours, the group decided to hide during high sun. There were so many people to keep protected from the heat in the open scrub land, that Julius poured two gallons of water onto a large sandstone and then froze the water with the way. Everyone was fascinated with the frozen water and the cold of its touch.
An hour after high sun the large group reached the immense walls of the rocky badlands. They wandered through the canyons until night fall. They set up camp, the ex-slaves organizing themselves into small groups, who conserved heat by huddling together. Julius kept the first watch, while Vashti set up a ward with the way.
An hour into his watch, Julius heard the clicking of chitin echo off the canyon walls and it was growing louder. He looked around, but could see nothing in the darkness. He woke Vashti. Vashti could sense through the way that nothing dangerous was within sixty feet of her and told Julius.
Julius then woke Kalino, who jumped and asked what was wrong. That woke up Shade, who quickly grabbed his club. Julius said something was in the darkness and it was moving toward them. Vashti then sensed, with the way, that it was a giant arachnid and it was moving toward them with great haste.
"S-Spiders?" Shade complained, "I really don't like spiders."
Everyone got ready for battle as Shade felt around. He found a dried bush and set it on fire. The light revealed a giant, five-foot long, spider as it ran toward Vashti. Julius detonated the ground behind the spider, which wounded it. Vashti tried to club the monster, but missed. The spider bit Vashti with its large mandibles and Vashti slumped in its grasp. Alaxander used the way to increase the light the small fire was creating. Kalino rushed the spider and stabbed it with his bone longsword.
Shade used his shortbow and shot the spider with some arrows. Kalino continued to stab at the monster, as did Alaxander. The spider tried to bite Alaxander, dropping Vashti to the ground, but missed. Julius stabbed the arachnid in the eye and threw his weight into it. The spider convulsed and thrashed around. Julius pulled the sword free, as the spider rolled onto its back and curled its legs inward. The great spider was dead.
Kalino went to investigate Vashti's body and announced, "I think she's dead."
Alaxander went through Vashti's belongings and pulled out the jar of blue liquid. He shrugged and began pouring the liquid slowly down Vashti's throat. Kalino suggested pouring it on the wound instead and Alaxander began to do so.
Vashti's flesh began to sprout green tendrils, which wound around each other and pulled the wound closed. Vashti woke up and started screaming. The group just stood back and watched, not knowing what to do. As she screamed, they saw the wound close and grow a scar of thorned vines. After a few minutes of screaming, Vashti collapsed unconscious.
They made her comfortable, while Julius and Kalino cut some the giant spider's chitin away and made a sled for her. Kalino then began butchering and cooking the spider's meat.

 Day 12, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

After hours of butchering and cooking, Kalino was finally able to lay down and sleep. Unfortunately, he was only to sleep a few hours before the rest of the group was packed and ready to go. The ex-slaves had organized themselves into protective groups and were showing an efficiency that the party did not expect.
They large group drank the last of their water.
Shade led them all through the rocky badlands, confident in his ability to find his way through the rocky crags. After a few hours, Julius started questioning Shade's navigational skills, but Shade was confident in his ability to lead them out. Julius became convinced that they were lost as high-sun neared.
Before Julius could confront Shade, they saw a group of eleven thri-kreen in the distance. They readied their weapons, but tried not to appear threatening. Julius chose himself to be the spokesman for the group and approached the kreen.
The kreen did not appear threatening, but Julius did not have much experience in dealing with them. The kreen were traders and thought the group was foolish for not having supplies. The kreen offered to sell them water and hungrily asked if there were any elves in the group. Julius honestly told them that there were no elves among his group, but asked the kreen if they could show him the way out of the badlands. Julius, Kalino, and Alaxander pooled ten ceramic pieces together for the kreen, despite Shade's objections.
During high sun, the thri-kreen were puzzled by the groups need to hide from the sun. While they admitted it was hot, there was no need to be lazy. Kalino took the opportunity to catch a nap, which fascinated the kreen. Julius explained that soft skinned people, such as themselves, needed to hide from the brutal sun during the hottest part of the day. The kreen did not fully understand, but they dropped the subject.
The kreen were true to their word and led the group out of the badlands and pointed to Tyr. Julius thanked the kreen and paid them. Shade grumbled how he could have done it for free. As the sun approached the horizon, the group walked through the scrub lands toward the city. The ex-slaves thanked the group and began breaking off to go their own way.
A few slaves followed the group to Serena's small hut. Alaxander was chosen to knock on the door. When he did, Serena answered and was very pleased to see him. She hugged and kissed him. She invited him in and fed him some of the farro gruel she, Aamina, her mother, and the children were eating.
Everyone else tarried outside while Alaxander explained to Serena what had happened to Vashti. Vashti was carried inside and laid down on the tightly packed dirt floor. Her cloak was rolled up and placed beneath her head. No one had any healing skills, but Serena's mother promised to look after her.
They slept around Serena's hut that night.

Day 13, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun
They checked on Vashti in the morning and she was, thankfully, still alive. However, it was obvious that the plant matter in her side was growing from and into her. The group had no idea what to do about it, but she seemed to be okay.
Shade and Alaxander planned to go into Tyr and resupply the group with water. They went into Tyr and purchased the water, along with a thirty-gallon wooden barrel to carry it in. They thought about buying another wagon, but came to the conclusion that kanks were more maneuverable, so they purchased just enough for the kanks to carry. While in Tyr, Shade dropped off Vashti's new armor to be resized for her.
Julius and Kalino stayed outside of the city and purchased a meat erdlu. They slaughtered it and Kalino cooked the meat. Julius collected the bones and began crafting a shortsword from the femur. He was having difficulty getting it right. They had a plan to sell the meat the following day.
Alaxander heard Julius' and Kalino's plan to make money and he decided to make some money himself. He found travelers leaving Tyr and approached them in a kindly manner. He told them that he was a proficient practitioner of the way and would teleport them to Altaruk for a fee. It took him an hour, but he was able to find someone who could afford his rates. He did the same thing in Altaruk for the return trip to Tyr.
They slept outside of Serena's hut that night.

Day 14, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

Kalino woke early and shared some meat with Serena and she shared her farro porridge. He then went to the gates of Tyr to sell his nicely seasoned erdlu meat. The tempars on duty were quick to take some of the meat as samples. Kalino also had to pay taxes, which he did without hesitation. He turned a profit and split it with Julius, who was still struggling to make a bone shortsword.
Shade chose to relax and play with Spike, enjoying the day off. Alaxander made his ceramics teleporting someone to Altaruk and someone else back to Tyr.
Vashti awoke as everyone else was eating their evening meal. She felt terrible and was shocked to see the plants growing in her side. Shade explained to her what had happened, with Alaxander and Kalino filling in details. She told them that she remembered dying and that the afterlife was a place of gray nothingness. Still exhausted, she fell back asleep.

Day 15, Week 1, Sedulous, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

Kalino decided to assist Julius with making the bone shortswords. He wasn't much help, but Julius was able to make one by the end of the day. Kalino tried to quickly find a buyer, but failed to do so. Alaxander continued to make ceramics teleporting people to and from Altaruk. He was approached by Samir of House Vordon and offered a job with the marchant house. Even though the compensation was very adequate, Alaxander turned the job down. He didn't want to swear allegiance to a merchant house.
Vashti preached her sermon and used her divine magic to heal herself. She was feeling much better, but decided to stay at the hut and help Serena and her family for the day.
Shade decided to stalk and hunt an erdland in the wild scrublands near Tyr. He found one and attempted to sneak up on it. Unfortunately, it spotted him and started to run. Shade rained arrows down upon it, but failed to bring it down. He tracked it for a few miles and shot it again, but this time the erdland attacked. It pecked Shade hard on his chest, but Shade was able to stab the erdland with his iron dagger and bring it down. He dressed it and packed most of the meat onto one of the pack kanks. They returned to Serena's hut and everyone was impressed with his kill.

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 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.

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