Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Session Twenty-Eight: Truth is One, Paths are Many

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

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

Kalino took the last watch outside of Serena's hut and was cooking breakfast when Jessel walked up to him. Kalino was surprised and nudged Julius awake with his foot, while greeting the half-giant. The commotion woke up Shade, who woke Alaxander.
They all greeted Jessel with half-hearted welcomes. They weren't sure if Jessel was still in the thrall of Abu. Julius asked Jessel to open his mind and allow him in. Jessel asked why and Julius explained that he wanted to make sure Jessel was not under magical compulsion. Jessel agreed and allowed him inside his mind. Julius read the surface thoughts of Jessel, while asking him questions.
It was clear to Julius that Jessel was still under Abu's spell, but since Abu was not there, he was not a danger to the group. He then asked what happened with Abu and Jessel was reluctant to speak of it out in the open. His thoughts, however, showed Julius a brief glimpse of the events that had transpired.
The rest of the group brought Vashti out from the hut, hoping there was something the earth cleric could do to help her. Julius was still processing what he had saw, as Jessel looked at the plant matter growing out of Vashti's side. Jessel was shocked and had no idea how to help her.
Julius asked Alaxander to use the way to silence the area around them, muffling their conversation. He excused the group from Jessel and informed them that Jessel should be fine, as long as Abu was not present. He aslso told them a story of templars, King Kalak, and a weeping monster. The group was surprised by the information and invited Jessel to tell them his story.

"Abu had to get to Tyr as quickly as possible, so I carried him. We ran for two days to get here, nonstop. I was exhausted and thirsty, but we went straight to the templar quarter in the golden city. Abu got dressed in a templar's cassock and got me this leather breastplate. He showed the templars this medallion he was carrying and the templars seemed to know that it granted Abu some authority.
We went into the golden tower, which isn't gold. I think it's painted stone. We waited in a room and had some attractive slaves give me food and wine. The wine was so good. After a few hours we were allowed to enter another room.
We saw Kalak sitting on a throne made of iron, with gold inlays. The floor was also inlaid with gold; the whole room was money and had a cloud ray curtain behind Kalak. Kalak looked the same as we saw him in the gem's vision. Abu presented Kalak with the gem and Kalak told me to leave them. I waited outside for about twenty minutes and Abu came out. He was injured, burned and wouldn't let me heal him.
Abu lead me down this onyx staircase to the lower levels of the tower. The floor was uneven and the walls curved erratically. I was lost within minutes. There were these tapestries that showed huge waterfalls and there were also statues of animals. We walked for awhile."
"Were you underground?" Julius asked.
"I think so." Jessel answered, before continuing his tale. "We finally went into this big room filled with statues. Abu reached into the beak of a kes'trekel statue and a large horned statue of some imaginary beast moved.
Behind the statue was a door bound in iron. Inside the next room was an emaciated creature that I had never seen. The thing had irregular tufts of hair, scars all over its body, and broken horns on top of his head. It was weeping and blind.
I asked him why he was there and he said that he dared to stand up to Kalak during his genocidal rampage. He also admitted to help created the gems. I asked him what the gems did and he said that they could have killed Kalak, but that Kalak is so powerful now, that he wasn't sure anymore.
Abu left the gem in the room and told me that he couldn't speak of his master's plan or anything we had seen. He did say that I could speak of it and that he was going north, to the ruins of Yaramuke, to find the next gem. Oh, he also said that he would never be free of his master, until he had brought all the gems to him. And that's it, he let me go."
There was silence after the story was finished. Finally Shade broke the silence by asking where Yaramuke was. No one knew, or had even heard of Yaramuke. They knew it was north, because Abu told them that, but not how far. They wanted to go to Abu, but also needed to help Vashti.
The group decided that finding a druid and helping Vashti was more important, at the moment. Kalino admitted that he knew a druid near Raam. No one knew the way to Raam either. So, Jessel and Shade went into the city to talk to their tailor friend, Hassam Fah.
Shade and Jessel made their way into Tyr's marketplace and found Hassam's stall. They greeted him and were told that the new market templar wasn't as bad as Tavio had been. Jessel saw a hemp tunic he liked and asked Hassam to alter it to fit him. Hassam agreed and payment was made. While Hassam began altering the shirt, Shade and Jessel took the time to ask him questions about the location of Raam.
Hassam told them that Raam was north of Tyr and east of Urik. They'd never been to Urik, so they weren't sure where it was either. Jessel asked if any caravans would go that way and Hassam knew House Vordon sent iron to Urik, for obsidian mining. He didn't know anything beyond that though and had only been to Urik a couple of times. They thanked Hassam for the information and promised to return later for the tunic.
Meanwhile, at Serena's hut, Julius and Kalino were working on making and selling bone weapons. They were also selling cooked erdlu meat and making a decent profit. Alaxander was spending time with and helping Serena around the hut. Vashti was with the children and Aamina, helping in the farro fields.
Shade and Jessel went to the warehouse of House Vordon and asked for work. The employees of House Vordon were enthralled by the well-spoken half-giant and Jessel took the opportunity to preach a sermon. The sermon proclaimed the goodness of the earth and convinced some listeners to hold earth in higher esteem.
After the sermon, an agent of the house, Yara Zein and her dwarf bodyguard approached Jessel and Shade. She was impressed with Jessel's sermon, but demanded proof that he was an earth cleric. She pulled out her iron dagger and cut her own arm. Jessel rubbed dirt into her wound and healed it. Convinced, she told them that she would hire them as caravan guards. They left, eager to tell the group about their job prospect. Jessel purchased a couple of gallons of ale to share with the group.
When they returned to the group and explained their plan to get paid to go to Urik, two members of the group were less than excited. Julius and Kalino refused to work with House Vordon, because they dealt in slaves. The group tried to convince Julius and Kalino that slaves would likely not be on the transport, since slaves were in such high demand in Tyr. Julius and Kalino held fast, despite having the blue alcohol that Jessel offered, and said that they would follow the caravan, but not participate in the defense of a slaver's wagon. Julius did know House Wavir, of Balic, did not deal in slaves.
Shade, Jessel, Vashti, and Alaxander went back into the city to talk to House Wavir. They found the warehouse of House Wavir easily and inquired about employment. They talked to Farouk, who was impressed with their skills, especially after Vashti created water. He offered them minimum food and water and fifteen bits a day. They agreed. He had a contract drawn up, while the rest of the group was brought into the city. House Wavir paid a templar to read the contract and witness both sides making their marks upon the document. Farouk then told them that the caravan would be leaving in two hours.
The group quickly said their goodbyes to the children in Serena's care, Serena herself, and Hassam. Jessel got his tunic and Vashti purchased a new green robe. They all packed their goods onto their pack kanks. Shade decided to gift one hundred fifty pounds of dried erdland meat to Serena, for her hospitality. Serena was sad to see them go, especially Alaxander, but invited him to return.
They met House Wavir's six wagon caravan outside of the stadium gate, with House Wavir's blue and silver flag waving proudly in the warm breeze. With one last look at the golden tower, peeking above the walls of Tyr, the group set off into the wilderness.

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.
Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.  

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