Thursday, August 13, 2020
Session Forty-Three: The Demon of Yaramuke
"Normally, it's fifty years before some greedy fools come down here looking for treasure. You're here early, so you must have found the secret to making the palace appear." The horned man began.
"Every fifty years?" Vashti questioned, "How long have you been here?"
"I'm not sure," the horned man began, "at least five hundred years, but likely many more. I've lost count."
Shade heard the talking and rejoined the group.
"If the palace appears, why don't you go home?"
"I can't." The horned man pouted."I'm stuck here on this little world."
"You're not from Athas?" Shade questioned.
"No," The strange man answered, "I am from another plane. And before you ask, no, not an inner plane. There are so many planes, your little minds cannot comprehend them."
"Planes that aren't the inner planes?" Vashti asked, "I heard of the possibility, but I never knew."
The horned man laughed, "Yes there are other planes. There's an infinite number of them. Unfortunately, you can't send me home, so I won't be giving you want you want."
"We want the gem you're holding." Vashti stated.
The horned man smiled, "I know."
"What do you want for it?" Vashti asked.
"I get very bored, so you're going to play a game with me." The horned man said pompously.
"We're not here to play games." Shade interjected.
"Well," the horned man smiled, "you don't have a choice."
The horned man disappeared with a loud bamf.
Alaxander complained, "Hey, he stole my move!"
Jessel appeared from down the hall and asked after the group's health. Everyone assured Jessel that they were fine. Jessel then told them about Abu and his horde of minions outside of the palace and that they were digging out the entrance.They assured Jessel that they knew.
Shade returned to the room with the chest and searched for traps, he found none, so he walked forward. He leapt back when he felt his foot depress a pressure plate and her heard a rush of wind come from somewhere. Luckily, he jumped back quick enough and dodged the trap.
He tried to find the pressure plate, but it was blended very well with the floor. He gave up after a few minutes and decided to just jump over where he thought the pressure plate was. Unfortunately, there was another pressure plate and he wasn't fast enough to dodge the dart that stabbed him in the arm. He suddenly felt weaker.
He moved forward and did not find another trap in the floor. Despite his weakened state, he was able to find a trap inside the chest, but he was unable to disarm it. Looking at the rotted wood and rusty iron, he thought the best way to deal with it would be to bash it open. He did so.
Inside were a few metal coins and an apple. He was feeling hungry and ate the apple. He saw the world around him shrink. Kiara gasped and explained that he had grown to nine feet or more. Shade did his best to dodge the traps and exit the room. Everyone else gasped when the saw Shade and he had to explain that he ate a magic apple.
The next room they checked was filled with the bones of humanoids. Human, dwarf, elf, and even gith bones were visible. The bones were unceremoniously discarded into this large room and filled over half of it. The bones were stacked to the ceiling, in some places.
Shade opened the last door and found a narrow staircase leading ever deeper. There were no yellow crystals to light their path, so they lit their torches and descended deeper. Shade lead the way, with Julius guarding their rear.
The staircase lead to a large cave that was obviously not part of the palace. The walls were roughly cut and the ground was uneven. They stood on a small island, with many more islands scattered throughout the cave. Between the islands was the black water and in a few spots, the water bubbled and steamed. It was hot and humid in the cave, which the group found distasteful.
Standing on many of the islands were skeletons with bows and arrows. On the center island, next to a man-made pillar was the horned man. He was leaning casually against the pillar.
"Certainly took you long enough." The horned man complained. "Now, come and get me!"
Not wishing to fool around, Jessel and Vashti both presented their holy elements and called upon the forces of creation. Together, they demanded the undead flee from their presence. The undead fled before their power, walking into the black water. The horned man accused them of cheating.
Julius used the way and began charging electricity in his left hand. Alaxander used the way to strike the horned man, but he barely noticed.
The horned man then said he would bring some of the creatures from his home plane. Two disgusting bags of flesh appeared with a bamf. The bags of flesh had a humanoid head, torso, and arms, but their legs were hidden by saggy skin that seemed to be filled with liquid and fat. The horned man said that there should have been five, but two was good enough. The disgusting creatures moved to attack Kalino and Shade with their fists.
The disgusting flesh bag creatures clawed Kalino, but missed Shade. Shade ignored the creature and fired his bow at the horned man. The arrows hit the man, but they did not harm him in the least. They simply bounced off.
Julius tried to use the way, while maintaining his previous power, but failed. Alaxander used the way to strike the horned man again with a wave on mental force. Shade and Kalino attacked one of the fleshy creatures, while Vashti and Abilkisu attacked the other. The disgusting creatures struck back, but only did minor damage to Kalino, missing Vashti. Kiara hid behind a pillar, readying her obsidian scimitar, but was too scared to move. Jessel began finding his was across the small islands, trying to close the distance between himself and the horned man.
The horned man turned to Alaxander and smiled. He sunk his clawed hand into Alaxander's shoulder, then stabbed him in the right side of his torso, with his other claw. The horned man found an opening in Alaxander's armor and seriously injured him. The horned man then tried to bite Alaxander, but his sharp teeth could not penetrate Alaxander's armor.
Shade dropped his bow and pulled out his alhulak and dagger. He then started jumping across the black water, to the small islands. He was trying to get closer to the horned man. Alaxander used the way to mentally punch the horned man again. Julius continued to charged electricity, while attempting to manifest more, but he failed again. Vashti and Abilkisu killed the disgusting fleshy creature, while Kalino killed the other.
The horned man teleported to another island in the cave and took Alaxander with him. They were behind a large column of black steam, but Alaxander was screaming, so everyone knew where they were. Shade and Jessel jumped from island to island, attempting to reach their friend. Alaxander used the way to push the horned man away from him and into the black water. Suddenly, four sword wielding skeletons rose up out of the black water to attack Vashti, Julius, and Jessel. Kalino started to cross the black water, to go help Jessel, who had two skeletons attacking him.
The horned man climbed out of the black water and attacked Shade, clawing him in the thigh. Shade returned the attack, but was incredulous when he discovered that his weapons could not harm the horned man. Kalino kept beating on the skeletal warrior that was now attacking Jessel. Jessel used his magic to spray the horned man with sand, blinding him. Julius kept building his electrical charge and swung his sword at the skeleton warrior, but missed. Kiara built up some courage and charged the skeleton attacking Julius. Abilkisu and Vashti were fighting a skeleton of their own.
A sphere of pure blackness formed around the horned man. No light could penetrate it. Shade could hear the horned man mumbling angrily in a strange sounding language and backed away. He emerged from the darkness and then shouted that his weapons could not hurt the horned man. Jessel and Kalino were beating up on a skeleton, when Jessel missed the skeleton and hit Kalino in the stomach. Kalino fell over, the wind knocked completely out of him. Alaxander turned his attention on the skeleton that was attacking him and hit it with a punch of mental force. Vashti and Abilkisu were making headway in defeating their skeleton and taking little damage in return. While continuing to charge electricity with the way, Julius attacked the skeleton attacking him. Kiara assisted Julius.
Vashti and Abilkisu defeated their skeleton, as did Julius and Kiara. Shade hopped over to the middle island and gave the final blow to the skeletal warrior Kalino and Jessel were fighting. Jessel looked over Kalino, to make sure he didn't do any permanent harm, and to apologize. Alaxander was easily dodging the skeletons blows and using the way to pummel it.
Everyone started moving toward the central island to regroup. Shade ran over to assist Alaxander. Kalino stumbled back and laid against a pillar on the central island, holding his stomach and trying to catch his breath. Alaxander struck the skeleton again with the way.
Abilkisu and Vashti moved onto the central island and attacked the last skeletal warrior. Suddenly, out of the black water rose the horned man, who stabbed and bit Abilkisu. Abilkisu thought he was going to die. Julius released the electricity he had been storing. The electricity arched toward the horned man and it looked like it was going to miss, but because the horned man was wet, it struck true. The electricity coursed through the horned man and he gave a loud shout of agony. Jessel and Alaxander tried to hit the horned man, but they both missed. Vashti dragged Abilkisu away and magically healed him.
Still steaming from the electrical shock he had just received, the horned man turned to Jessel. The horned man was furious and his eyes were glowing a dark, blood red. Knowing that Jessel had no weapons to harm the horned man, Kalino stretched forth his had and, between gasps, muttered an incantation. Three bolts of magical energy flew from his fingers and struck the horned man. The horned man looked surprised, but his eyes turned black and his lifeless body tumbled to the floor.
Jessel looked at Kalino in surprise and said quietly, "Well, now I don't feel so bad for hitting you."
Thank you for reading and 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. 18 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, Tyrian, and Balican.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Balican, Elf and Tyrian.
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Party NPC. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican.
Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.