Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ninth Session: Fighting for Their Lives

Cast is placed at the end of the session journal entry.

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

Desert bandits wear blue to blend with the sky, except on Athas, where the sky is green.
Grak charged into the room and attacked the elf who shot him. Inside the room, however, were eight human bandits, another elf, and a tied up and gagged half-giant on the floor. There was a hole in the outside wall that lead to the silt moat outside. The bandits swarmed Grak and flooded out of the room, to confront the rest of the group. Julius and Alaxander used the way to engage them, but soon switched, Julius to his obsidian scimitar and Alaxander to his bone club. Kalino was attacking with his bone longsword and Vashti with her bone club.

The bandits were armed with bone daggers, except for one, who wielded a stone morningstar. That bandit attacked Kalino viciously. The half-giant struggled and managed to rip the hemp rope that bound him.While the battle raged on, the half-giant rose, spit out his gag, and punched one of the bandits in the back of the head.
Grak, meanwhile, killed one of the elves and was ripping another bandit apart with tooth and claw. The other heroes were proving their mettle and felling the bandits as well. Although they outnumbered the heroes, the bandits could see that the heroes were formidable. Their morale began to fail, but they were trapped and unable to escape them.
The half-giant cast a divine spell and one of the bandits froze in place. He then grabbed the frozen bandit and began beating the other bandit with him. Even though most of the bandits had fallen, Kalino and the mace-wielding bandit were still thrashing each other brutally. Julius, Alaxander, Vashti, and Grak jumped in to help the bloody and beaten Kalino. The bandit finally died when Vashti smashed his face with her club.
One of the bandits tried to run, but was blocked in by the silt moat and the heroes in the doorway. He tried to throw some of the building's rubble into the silt, but was too slow. The half-giant cast another spell and froze him in place. The half-giant then bound the two frozen bandits with the ropes that once bound him. He gagged the bandit who had stabbed him with the gag that had been used on him.
The half-giant introduced himself as Jessel and told the party he was captured by the bandits while wandering in the desert. He then magically healed Kalino, which endeared him to the group. Julius and Alaxander dragged the dead bandits from the hall into the room. They looted the bodies, taking their weapons, armor, and coinage. They then disposed of the bodies into the silt moat.
Jessel pointed out the bandits ceramic water barrel. The group emptied the barrel by refilling their waterskins and taking long drinks. Everyone in the group was hurt and their magical resources were running low. Even though it was only mid-afternoon, the party decided to reinforce the door and go to sleep. Jessel used a spell to repair and reinforce the wooden door. They set a watch and went to sleep.
During the second watch, Jessel noticed the tied up and gagged bandit concentrating. He surmised that he was using the way and informed Grak. Grak punched the bandit in the head and knocked him unconscious. This woke the other bandit and he scooted away from the heroes.
Jessel and Grak took the opportunity to question the properly intimidated bandit. The bandit began by telling them that he didn't even like the other bandits. He then told them that they served a powerful fire cleric named Lareth, who wanted to burn the world. He lead them on raids for supplies. The bandit also told them that the majority of the bandits stayed below the keep and that he was not a full member of the group, so he wasn't allowed to go below. The rest of the keep was left alone, because of noises the bandits would hear at night. Satisfied, Grak knocked him out as well.
Jessel was worried that the psionic bandit was contacting his friends below, so he and Grak woke the rest of the group and told them what happened. The group agreed to move, so they gathered their belongings and went to the spider tower. They cleared the bones and dead spider, to clear a spot for them to lay down. Julius set the spider carcass on fire, with the way, to provide some light and heat. Jessel suddenly cocked his head to one side and apologized. He explained that he had to go, but promised to return when his work elsewhere was completed. He used the will to open a psionic gateway and walked through it. Everyone bid him farewell and laid back down, but slept lightly.

Day 1, Week 2, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

Alaxander was keeping watch when movement in the courtyard was heard. The spider had burned itself out and Alaxander could see light through the cracks in the door. He looked closer and saw at least a dozen torch bearing bandits searching the courtyard and surrounding area. He woke the rest of the group.
They decided, in whispers, to blockage the door with the spider's carapace and the bones that littered the tower. Alaxander used the way to dampen the sound they were making and they blocked the door completely with the burned out spider carcass and various bones. Then, they waited.
Nothing here, but us bones. Move along, move along.

An hour so passed and the door opened. Vashti could hear the bandits speaking Nibnese. They were reluctant to clear the doorway, because of the tower's previous occupant. They assumed that the bones and chitin they were looking at were from the spider's victims. They bandits closed the door and moved on. Vashti whispered what the bandits had said. Satisfied that they would not be disturbed, the group went back to sleep.
Just as the sun began to lighten the sky, the group gathered their belongings. Julius gathered some of the bones and fashioned some crude bone helmets that would block the eyes. He then placed them upon the captured bandit's heads. While Julius was doing this, Vashti was preaching a sermon on the benefits of water. She then healed Kalino, Grak, and Julius a bit.
They cleared the doorway and saw the keep's courtyard was empty. They resolved to search the rest of the keep, before exploring the underground area. The first room they found had ruined and rotted animal pelts and stuffed animal heads. Alaxander inspected them and found some pieces were salvageable. He cut the salvageable parts out from the scraps and put them in his backpack.
The next room had once been a bedroom, but the furniture was all decayed and most of it had crumbled into piles on the floor. The room across the hall was large, with an open fireplace and dilapidated tables. Julius noticed a ceramic barrel next to the fireplace and went to investigate. He removed the cover and found the barrel was empty, but a one foot long tick crawled out of the fireplace, surprised him, and sank it's hypostome into his back.
"Aaahhhh!" - Julius

Julius began screaming as the rest of the group rushed to help him. The tick was drinking Julius' blood and the group was trying not to hit Julius, as they hacked at the giant arachnid. Julius was growing weak from blood loss, but the group managed to kill the tick and extract the hypostome from his back. He was pale and weak, so Vashti prompted him to eat and drink a bit, before they moved on.
The final room was also strewn with broken furniture and pieces of the collapsed roof. Inside, nesting among the debris was a giant fifteen foot lizard. Alaxander told everyone to freeze, as the lizard looked in their direction. Alaxander bravely move forward, whispering quiet words of comfort. He stepped lightly and slowly, showing no fear or aggression. The lizard simply stared as Alaxander placed his hand lightly upon the lizard's snout. Knowing that the lizard was not going to attack them, he slowly backed out of the room and suggested the group leave the lizard in peace. The group readily agreed and went back into the grand hall of the keep.

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

2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast
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.
 Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.

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