Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sixth Session - Helping the Dead

Julius: Human male psychokinetic. Played by Dave. Speaks Balician and Tyrian.
Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. Speaks Balician and Elf.
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. Played by DM. Speaks Rammin and Tyrian.
Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, and Balician.
Grak (aka Guacamole): Pterran male ranger. Played by my 7 year old son, because Clyde could not make it. Speaks Pterran and Giant.
Demetrius: Human male. 25 years old. Shepherd. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.
Salvador: Human male. 41 years old. Mason. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.

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

High sun passed in shade, but not in comfort. The rocks were far too warm to lounge on, so the group stood or squatted in the shade. When High Sun had passed, Grak took down his cloak, which caused all of the other cloaks to fall onto the hot stones below. The group grumbled at Grak's thoughtlessness, but said nothing.
The group continued down the road and were surprised by four strange crab-like creatures that popped up out of the dirt. The creatures had a hard round shell, two or three flat chitinous tails, nine pointed legs, large mandables, and no obvious sensory organs. The creatures teleported Vashti, Kalino, and Salvador away, but somehow left all of their inorganic material behind. Grak, Alaxander, Julius, and Demetrius began fighting the creatures, as the creatures began eating Vashti's dropped ceramic peices and the blades of Kalino's khopesh.
Meanwhile, Vashti, Kalino, and Demetrius could hear the sounds of battle in the distance. They began making their way back to their friends, while loudly shouting.
Grak was doing well against the beasts, but Julius, Alaxander, and Salvador were finding it difficult to get through the creatures tough shell. One teleported away when Grak wounded it badly. When Vashti, Kalino, and Salvador returned to the group, they were able to gang up on the remaining creatures and kill them.
Julius used the Way to cook one of the creatures and Vashti cooked another with a fire. The group ate one and enjoyed the taste. Alaxander and Kalino took some of the shells to use for crafts later. Pleased with their success, the party continued down the road.
An hour later, the group saw an armored caravan wagon coming toward them. The mekillots pulling it walked slowly down the road. The group decided to hide and avoid the wagon, just in case they were looking for slaves to capture. As the wagon and crodlu outriders passed, Grak stood up from his hiding place. The crodlu riders pointed their spears at him and the wagon's archers pointed their crossbows at him, but they did not strike. Once the wagon had passed, the crodlu riders lowered their spears and followed.
This is the way I roll.

The group shook their heads at Grak's insensibility and continued toward Vashti's home village. When the sun neared the horizon, the group tried to find a place to camp. After an hour, it was obvious that nothing would be found. Guthay shone brightly in the night sky and the group set up camp on the side of the road.

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

During the night, Julius was keeping watch. He heard someone politely get his attention. Right next to him was a man who looked as if he'd been wandering in the desert for weeks. He asked Julius for food and water. Julius shared some of the meat, but said they had no water to spare. The man thanked him and ate the meat.
The man then asked Julius for a favor, but promised him money upon its completion. He asked Julius if he would take his body to Tyr. It turned out that the man was dead and needed Julius' help. Julius was confused, because the man had obviously eaten food. The spirit revealed that he had not actually eaten the meat and showed Julius how it had simply passed through him.
Julius woke up Kalino and Vashti. The spirit explained that he had been murdered by bandits and needed help getting his body back to Tyr in order to find rest. He explained that he was a psionicist in life and was trying to start a career as a trader. The bandits had captured and tortured him, even removing his tongue. He was actually communicating with them using the Way.
The group talked. Julius didn't believe the spirit and thought he was lying. Vashti wanted to help, but was afraid that it might be more complicated than the spirit said. Kalino was confused and didn't know what to think about the situation. The spirit promised them a mountain of silver once his body was returned to Tyr. The group reluctantly agreed.
He said his name was Atkil Kerkstra and their rewards would be great for helping him. He lead them to where his body was. It appeared that he had failed to tell them that the bandits that killed him were still in possession of his body. It was in the back of a wagon, with a couple of kanks staked nearby, that was surrounded by ten sleeping bandits. There were six more on patrol around the camp armed with bone daggers and bone darts.
Bone daggers, the weapon of choice for bandits.
Julius wanted to leave, but Atkil convinced him that he could help. He had a power that could cause the ground to look like a different type of ground. Then, all Julius would have to do is sneak down and grab his body. After plans were discussed and finally agreed upon, the group hesitantly conceded.
Atkil created an illusion of magma bubbling up around the wagon. Kalino used the Way, although Vashti witnessed some suspicious energy flowing from the ground into his hand, to suggest that the guards flee from the magma. Five of the six guards did so. Alaxander used the Way to lower the ambient light level and muffle Julius' foot falls on the rocks.
Unfortunately, the remaining guard spotted Julius and called out. He threw a bone dart at Julius, but missed. The other bandits started to groggily awaken, just as Julius made it to the wagon. He was surprised to find, not one, but five bound bodies in the back of the wagon. Atkil appeared and told him which body was his. Julius grabbed the body and fled.
Julius was almost out of sight, when one of the bandits rose to his knee and held his hand above the ground. Life energy flowed from the ground into his hand and the small scrub pushing through the rocks crumbled into ash. Magical bolts flew from the defilers hand and struck Julius in the back.
Grak roared in anger and charged toward the defiler, followed closely by Vashti and Kalino. Julius yelled to stop, that he had the body, but no one listened. Alaxander began using the Way to send rocks flying toward the defiler. The bandits grabbed their weapons and surrounded the defiler. Grak, Vashti, and Kalino engaged in melee with the bandits.
Grak killed the bandit blocking him from his true target and engaged the defiler. The defiler managed to fire magical bolts at Grak, but it did not slow him. Grak ripped into the defiler with claw and fang. The defiler fled, as bandits moved forward to block Grak's advance. Seeing the defiler flee, Julius reached out with the Way and telekinetically threw a large, jagged rock at the defiler. The rock struck the fleeing defiler in the head, send blood, bits of skull, and small bits of brain matter into the air and all over the rocks. The defiler was dead.
Alaxander and Julius continued to use the Way to attack the bandits, as Grak slashed out with claws and teeth. Kalino used his bone club, as his khopesh was useless, and Vashti attacked with her club as well. The bandits fought well, using their bone daggers and darts to stab at the group with obvious skill.
When Julius was near exhaustion from using the Way, he ran down to engage the bandits with his obsidian scimitar. The bandits were trying to hold their own, but it was obvious that, although they outnumbered their foe, they were no match for their combat prowess. The bandits began fleeing into the night to escape. Those that remained were killed. The group did not follow the fleeing bandits.
They put Atkil's body back in the wagon and looted the dead. They found some ceramic pieces and another wagon with a twelve gallon barrel of water and many bags of clothes. They hitched up the bandit's kanks and began driving them toward Tyr. Vashti and Kalino laid down in the back of the wagon and tried to go to sleep. Grak pushed Vashti off of her bags of clothes and laid down in her spot. Vashti did not complain, but Kalino made room for Vashti next to him.

Come back in three weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures under the Dark Sun.

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