Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Session Eighteen: Pain and Fear

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

They gourp woke up outside of Fort Skonz. The sky was clear and a cool morning breeze was quickly turning warm. Thankfuly, the road had been cleared somewhat by the wind. Kalino cooked a meal of rice and sand crocodile that was quite tasty.
The group set out to look for water and take stock of their inventory. Unfortunately they had to feed their kanks and erdlu from their stores, because there was no food to forage.
Julius asked one of the Fort Skonz guards how far until they reached Tyr. The guard told him it was two days away, so they better stock up before heading out. The group decided they had enough and set out toward Tyr.
A few hours after high sun, Julius and Alaxander found themselves on the mindscape, each facing a giant sand colored lizard. Even though Alaxander and Julius tried to hide their mental personas, the lizards found them and clawed at their mental forms. Julius cried out that he was being attacked mentally and Alaxander informed them that he was as well. Julius created a giant wall of mental sand stone between himself and the lizard. Alaxander created a mental fortress made of spinning blades and stood atop it.

 The lizard attacking Julius tried to break through the wall, but was unable to do so. The lizard attacking Alaxander grew to much larger proportions and tried to strike at him, but was rebuffed by a spinning blade. Julius had no training with mental attacks, so he started scanning the dunes, because he knew that his assailant would have to be within his line of sight. Alaxander made himself grow immense on the minscape and growled ferociously at the lizard.
The lizard facing Alaxander retreated from the mindscape. The lizard facing Julius smashed through his wall, scratching his mental persona again. Julius was quick to rebuild his mental sandstone barrier, as he spotted the sand colored lizard crouched on a dune. He activated the way and began to freeze the reptile. The children watched the chaos from the safety of the wagon, holding some of the extra spears. The groups pack erdlu stared on with indifference.
Kalino called out that a lizard forced him to the mindscape, but then retreated. Alaxander spotted the lizard as well, after Julius called out its location, and teleported to it. He attempted to stab it with his iron dagger, but struck the sand instead. Kalino saw the lizard and ran toward it. Jamil guarded Vashti. Shade did not see the lizard. Vashti used her elemental magic to create a warhammer made of water. It struck at the lizard, but missed.
While continuing to freeze the lizard with the way, Julius also used the way to throw a rock at it. Alaxander used telekinesis to throw a spear at the lizard, but missed Shade finally saw the lizard and began shooting at it, but then his mind was invaded. He found himself of the mindscape with a huge lizard, that he could not identify as an id fiend. The minscape id fiend neary bit Shade's mental persona in half. Kalino sliced the id fiend with his obsidian khopesh. Vashti attacked with her spiritual hammer, but missed again. Julius' mind broke open and the lizard caused Julius extreme pain. The pain was so great that he couldn't stand, or concentrate enough to maintain the way.
Pain: Imagine one of these in an orifice you don't want it in.
Alaxander kept trying to attack by telekineticly throwing spears, but the id fiend dodged them. The fiend used the way to drain the life force of everyone near it. Shade fell to the ground, unconscious. Spike charged the lizard and bit at it ferociously. Kalino felt an attack on his mind and then felt agonizing pain, just like Julius. Kalino, however, screamed, grit his teeth, and continued to attack the monster.
Suddenly, Alaxander's greatest fears seemed to come to life around him. He could tell they were not real, bit the fear he felt certainly was. Alaxander kept stabbing the id fiend with his iron dagger. Kalino chopped at it repatedly, Julius cried, and Shade took an unwilling nap. Jamil suggested to Vashti that they leave, but Vashti refused to leave her friends. Jamil said he saw something and ran into the desert. Before he came into contact with anything, he cried out in pain and collapsed. Vashti's spiritual hammer smashed the id fiend and finally killed the beast.
When the id fiend died, Julius' pain subsided. Kalino's pain continued and he spotted what Jamil had been running toward, another id fiend. Kalino charged, screaming in pain and rage.
Alaxander teleported five feet above the lizard and came crashing down upon it, stabbing with his iron dagger. Kalino tried to attack, but his strength failed. He succumbed to the pain and collapsed. Julius began using cyrokinesis. Vashti ran to heal Shade. Spike continued to tear at the dead id fiend, not knowing that it was dead.
"I haz the way." - Id Fiend
Julius continued with cyrokinesis, trying to freeze the lizard to death. Alaxander stabbed relentlessly with his iron dagger. Jamil gritted his teeth against the pain and attacked the lizard with his obsidian battleaxe. Kalino was still screaming and writhing on the ground, overcome with pain. Vashti continued to heal Shade, who became conscious.
The lizard sent out a wave of dread, in addition to the pain that Jamil and Kalino were feeling, their fears came to life around them. Kalino tried to fight the lizard, but the pain and fear were too much of a distraction. Jamil succumbed to the pain and collapsed again. Alaxander ignored the hallucinations and stabbed the lizard again. Julius was feeling mentally weak, so he drew his obsidian scimitar and charged the id fiend. Shade got up and called Spike to him. Vashti ran toward the battle, expecting more of her companions would need healing.
The lizard struck out with tooth and claw at Alaxander, but only managed to scratch him a bit. Alaxander returned the favor with his dagger. Julius swung his scimitar, but hit only air. Kalino collapsed again and joined Jamil on the ground. Shade picked up his bow and fired an arrow, but the arrow bounced off the lizard's hide. Vashti checked on Jamil, but quickly surmised that the pain was only in his head.
The lizard started to run and Alaxander gave chase, teleporting and stabbing it again. Kalino and Jamil breathed a collective sigh of relief, as their pain disappeared. Julius was happy to see the id fiend go. Shade shot at the lizard again, but Vashti was in the way and took the arrow in her shoulder. Shade apologized.
Realizing that it would not easily escape, the id fiend turned on Alaxander and scratched him again. Alaxander stabbed with his iron dagger and Shade's arrows fell true, this time, killing the id fiend at last. Vashti removed the arrow from her shoulder and handed it to Shade, point first. She told him that he needed to work on his aim. Shade agreed and apologized again.
They left the id fiends to rot in the hot sun. Vashti healed Kalino and Shade some more, but most of Shade's perceived injury disappeared after a few minutes. The users of the way determined that the injuries he was suffering from were only in his head. They gathered the wagons, made sure the kids were okay, and continued down the road.
Night fell and they set up their camp along the side of the elevated road. Julius was keeping watch and found himself in the mindscape again. He saw a large patch of darkness with multiple eyes watching him. Being training in the way, Julius caused his image to fade from the invader's view. The invader retreated from Julius' mind.
Julius looked around in the real world, but it was too dark to see anything clearly. He tried to sense the use of the will or the way and was able to sense it faintly, but it ceased shortly afterward. He woke up Kalino and told him what had happened. Kalino closed his eyes and put his hands to the side of his head. Kalino confirmed that the psionic presence was gone, but warned Julius that ever sense the fight with the id fiends, the way hadn't been working constantly for him, only intermittently. Julius understood and went back to keeping watch. Kalino went back to sleep.

Day 14, Week 2, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

During Alaxander's watch, a sand colored, stripped, four foot cat leaped out from the darkness and landed on Vashti. It tore into Vashti's sleeping form. Shade woke from the commotion as Alaxander used the way to disappear.
Vashti screamed, which woke everyone else. The cat grabbed Vashti by the neck and dragged her into the darkness. Shade shot the cat with an arrow. Everyone got up and grabbed weapons. Alaxander reappeared and stabbed the cat with his iron dagger. Instead of a weapon, Julius used the way to slowly burn the cat.
Alaxander's teleport and attack startled the cat, which forced it to change directions. This allowed the rest of the group time to run toward it. Shade told Spike to attack the cat and the dog rushed forward. Julius walked forward and continued to burn the big cat. Shade shot at the cat, but struck Vashti instead. Vashti stopped screaming and fell unconscious.
Alaxander stayed close to the cat and used the way to increase the ambient light, so they would not lose the cat in the darkness. Spike bit the cat viciously, as the rest of the group surrounded the it. Seeing that it was surrounded, the cat dropped Vashti and attacked Alaxander. While it scratched and bit at Alaxander, injuring him a bit, the cat had little chance now that it was surrounded. The party stabbed, slashed, and burned the cat to death.
Jamil grabbed Vashti's bleeding body and rushed to the wagon, where the medical supplies were kept. Alaxander teleported to the wagon and bound her wounds before she could bleed out. Shade used the arrow extractor to remove the arrow he shot her with. Julius joked that Vashti was going to remove Shade's bow privileges when she woke up.
Having no one to drive their second wagon, they thought about abandoning it. They decided against it and thought about tying the two wagons together. Eventually they decided to just camp and do their best to nurse Vashti back to health.
An ideal spear wall.
Julius tried to find shelter, but became frustrated when all he could find was sand. Shade found some old bones and, using the fifty yards of poor quality cloth they were carrying, created a makeshift shelter for the group. The group anticipated enjoying the shade in the morning. Kalino cooked for the group and trained the children to defend themselves, if needed. He trained them to get into the wagon and use the extra spears to create a spear wall toward the enemy. He then worked on his chitin khopesh.
Shade fed and watered the animals from their stores, as there was no vegetation for the animals to graze on. Julius alternated between napping and keeping watch. Alaxander used the opportunity to sew tunics for the children. Jamil watched over Vashti, feeding her tiny sips of water to keep her hydrated. He was going to chew food and spit into Vashti's mouth, but Julius convinced him that it was not necessary.

Join us in four long 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.
Jamil: Human fighter,  24 years old. NPC hireling. Speaks Gulgish and Nibnese.

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