Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Session Twenty-Two: The More You Know

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

Alaxander Eious of Balic
The group was at Serena's hut, wondering what their next move should be. Serena was cooking, while fawning over Alaxander. He didn't mind. Shade had five hours before the meeting with Templar Tavio and Vashti told him that she didn't trust Tavio one bit.
They came to the conclusion that everyone who interacted with Tavio did not like him. They guessed that his half-giant bodyguard, Qom, and his pet psionicist, Utza, may not like him either. They decided to go talk to Utza.
They paid the gate tolls and made their way back inside Tyr. They took up position outside of the School of Thought, waiting for Utza to appear. After five minutes of waiting, Vashti and Alaxander got bored. They went to the marketplace, so Vashti could buy some crickets and honeyed grubs for snacks and Alaxander could buy a hat and scarf for Serena. Julius, Shade, and Kalino waited.
Vashti and Alaxander returned and and waited. A couple of hours passed and they spotted Utza walking toward the school. The group chose Alaxander to go talk to her. Alaxander jogged up to meet her and smiled. She was taken aback by his smile and stunning blue eyes.
Utza of Tyr
Alaxander made some small talk with Utza and flirted with her a bit. Utza was responding positively, so Alaxander steered the conversation to Tavio. Utza admitted that she didn't like Tavio, but she had to work for him for the tuition deduction at The School of Thought.
He got her to tell him about a dwarf Tavio keeps in his home, a slave she thinks, and does not let him leave. Branak was his name. Alaxander walks her to her class and insinuates that he will see her later.
Alaxander returns to the group and passes along the information she gave him. The group decides to ask about the dwarf Tavio keeps as a slave. They returned to the marketplace and began asking questions about a dwarf named Branak.
Their first stop was a clothing merchant they had become acquainted with two days earlier. He had only been working in the Tyrian marketplace for six months and Tavio had been over the marketplace that entire time. He did not know a dwarf named Branak. He did direct them to a food merchant, Aban, who had been in the marketplace for much longer.
They walked into the open stall of Aban, the foodstuffs merchant. When Shade began talking to him, Aban mistook Shade for a half-elf with a fancy cloak and boots who have rescued his daughter from a slaver caravan. Shade did not correct him.
By questioning Aban, they discovered that Tavio had been administrator of the marketplace for about a year. Most Templars move on after a few months, but Tavio seemed to like his position and the money he was making. Tavio appeared far richer than his station provided. Shade then asked about Branak and was told that Branak was a potter and disappeared about eight months back. Aban then directed the group to a dwarf named Fadi, the potter, whom Branak used to work with. Shade thanked Aban and purchased a pound of farro flour. He paid Aban an entire ceramic piece, which is ten times the cost of the flour.
The group found Fadi's ceramic wares easily enough and Shade went to speak with him. Fadi also mistook Shade for the half-elf who rescused Aban's daughter. Shade did not correcr him either.
Fadi confirmed that Branak used to work with him and, although reluctant to admit it, Branak was more skilled in their trade. He told him that Branak's family was arrested just as Tavio took over administration of the marketplace. Branak went to try and free them, but never returned. Fadi believed that Branak and his family were dead.
With a smile, Shade informed Fadi that Branak was alive. He then informed him that he was being held by Tavio as a slave. Fadi was pleased by the news his friend was alive, but cursed Tavio quietly.
Shade reassured Fadi that they would rescue Branak, if they could. Fadi gave him a small pot with his makers mark, so Branak would know that they had spoken with him. Shade thanked him and gave him a ceramic piece for the information and the small pot.
The group then scouted the Templar's home. His house was surrounded by a low sandstone wall. The wood gate was locked with a wooden lock. Shade easily and quickly picked the lock, while the rest of the group blocked him from observers. Shade, Julius, and Alaxander decided to go inside, while Vashti and Kalino waited outside.
Shade, Alaxander, and Julius walked through the small front yard. There were a couple of yucca trees and several cacti. The ground was covered in rocks, except for the stone path leading up to the house. It was an hour before high sun. They decided to knock and see if anyone was home.
The door was open by a thin human wearing a long tunic and sandals. He introduced himself as Nazem, Templar Tavio's personal slave. He was quick to tell them that damaging a Templar's property was punishable by enslavement. Shade told Nazem that they had an appointment with Tavio. Nazem invited them into the foyer and had them sit. He told them that Tavio should be home soon and not to move. He also provided some small cups of water for them. Nazem then passed through a curtain into the main house to make Tavio's lunch.
Shade waited a few minutes before peeking through the curtain into the main house. He saw a bone spiral staircase to his left, a nice sitting room to his right, and a hall in front of him. The hall had three doors on the left and one on the right. Shade quietly walked to the door on the right, he could hear Nazem in the far room on the left.
Shade decided to check the room down the hall on the left. Moving the curtain aside, he saw a Dwarf sitting in a room filled with ceramic working equipment. There was also a small cot in the corner. He asked if he was Branak, which Branak confirmed. Shade gave him the pot made by Fadi and Branak laughed at Fadi's rudimentary skill. Seeing that Branak was not chained or tied, he asked him why he didn't just leave, because he knew he was imprisoned by Tavio. Branak explained that his family was being held by Tavio and would be killed if he did not help the Templar.
Shade confirmed with Branak what he was suspecting, that Tavio was the counterfeiter. Just then, Nazem called out, wanting to know what Branak was saying. Shade hid behind some of the equipment when Nazem appeared. Branak told Nazem that he was just babbling to himself. Nazem grumbled and went back to his work.
Branak whispered to Shade that he used special clay and glaze to make the counterfeit ceramic pieces. He said that the clay had to be imported, because it was unavailable in the city-state. With a small amount of pride, he said that they were nearly identical to real ceramic pieces. Branak refused to leave, because his family was still being held captive. Shade told him they would do what the could for him and left.
Shade sneaked back into the foyer and told Alaxander and Julius what he had found out. Julius went outside, while Kalino came inside. A few minutes before high sun, Tavio came home.
Yucca Tree
Tavio was furious to see Shade and his two thugs there. He told him that he needed him after high sun and not before. Shade explained that he was just anxious to compete his work, but Tavio kicked them out anyway. They sat under his yucca trees during high sun.
After high sun, Tavio had them go around back, to the rear yard. The rear yard looked very similar to the front yard, only larger, with three yucca trees, and a wood chair to lounge in. None of the characters decided to sit in the chair. They also saw the orange pear tree that belonged to Madam Kelstraad.
Tavio joined them with Qom and Utza. Soon after, six armed and armored elves arrived with a ceramic jar. Tavio offered the elves water, or fruit, which they declined. The elves set down the jar and Branak came out of the house when Tavio waved for him. Branak inspected the clay and said that it was good. Tavio then told Shade, Kalino, and Alaxander to kill the elves.
Kalino summoned Julius and Vashti with magic, but disguised it as the way. Shade shouted at the elves to run and attacked Qom with his bone club. Alaxander also yelled at the elves to run and teleported behind Tavio. Not quite understanding what was going on, the elves ran away. Qom struck Shade with his huge two handed club and nearly knocked Shade off his feet. Utza opened a dimension door with the way and stepped through it.
Julius and Vashti ran through the front gate and into Tavio's yard. Kalino cast another spell, also disguised as the way, and grew to nearly eight feet tall. Alaxander put his iron dagger to Tavio's back and in his most menacing voice told him to call off his half-giant. Julius and Vashti arrived, ready to fight. Tavio sighed and told Qom to stop. He then told the group that they would all be sent to the arena for their actions.
Vashti cast hold person on Tavio, whom they then tied up. Alaxander ran to go get another Templar. He spotted one and told him that a citizen was counterfeiting ceramics and had the proof in his home. The Templar, seeing a chance for a small amount of glory, told his superior and they called together two other Templars and some guards. They arrived at Tavio's home and only then did Alaxander reveal that Tavio was the counterfeiter. He further explained everything that had happened, making sure to mention a couple times that Branak was working for Tavio against his will.
The Templars grudgingly thanked the group for doing their civic duty and were dismissed. Shade grabbed the orange pear tree and allowed one of the city's psionicists to confirm that the tree belonged to the Kelstraad estate. Once confirmed, they were allowed to leave, but the Templars threatened that if they did not return the tree to the Kelstraads, they would be prosecuted for theft. They group assured the Templar that they would return it right away.
Serena by Rahaf Dk Albab
After returning the tree Vashti got their last gem appraised, a cracked bloodstone worth twenty ceramic pieces. They then went to the School of Thought to look for Utza, but were unable to locate her. Alaxander left her a note, thanking her for her help. He thought about leaving the bloodstone as well, but did not trust the school's staff to not steal it. Shade went to an armorer and paid him double the normal cost to have his inix shell breastplate repaired. He asked if the breastplate could be repaired quickly. The armorer said he would have it repaired by high sun the next day.
The group was in high spirits. They returned to Serena's hut, where Alaxander presented Serena with her hat and scarf. Serena was overjoyed and gave Alaxander a hug and kiss. Alaxander didn't protest.

Join us in one week 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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