Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Session Fifty-Six: Pro Libertate

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

Kalino and Jessel used their giant lizard hide to drag everyone, and their equipment, away from the battlefield. They traveled on top of the canyon walls, so their movement was slow going and they often ran into deep canyons that were impassable. Jessel led them to a dead end canyon with a large rocky overhang to hide from the sun and scouts.
They laid everyone out and set up a temporary triage, with Jessel serving as their healer. Kalino nervously kept watch. When camp was set up and secure, Kalino laid down and fell asleep. Jessel barely managed to stay awake to keep watch.Day 22, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

Jessel woke Kalino before the sun had fully risen and apologized, because he had to go. Kalino understood and thanked him for his help. Kalino knew that they would have all died, if not for Jessel's timely assistance. Jessel opened a dimension door with the will, and stepped through.
Kiara regained consciousness that morning, as Kalino was cooking a bland breakfast of lizard meat. After she ate, Kiara petitioned her sorcerer king for spells and was granted them. She used the Lion of Urik's magic to heal the group. They were all conscious, but no one was ready for a fight.
Kalino, Shade, and Alaxander spent the day doing some spear training, Julius carved a bone longsword, and Kiara rested. Everyone was pleased that there was no excitement.

Day 23, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

In the morning, things were much the same as the day before. Kiara used her master's magic to heal the group and they spent the rest of the day relaxing and slowly depleting their stores of food and water. Some of the group were able to find water trapped in areas of the canyon and near the canyon opening.
It was a quiet day, with no unexpected visitors.

Day 24, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

After the morning's healing, everyone was feeling much better. Although they still had bruises and small wounds from the battle, they did not fear dying if a group of tari found them. They decided to wait until Vashti emerged from her cocoon, before departing. They were worried that it would take a week, or more, but they were wrong.
That evening, as the sun was setting, Vashti's cocoon started shaking. Bulges appeared randomly across the surface of the cocoon and tears began to appear. The group discussed if they should help her, but Alaxander said that on his farm, back in Balic, if you helped a kitsu hatch from their egg there was a chance they could die. Everyone decided to wait.
It took over an hour for a green arm to emerge from the cocoon of plant matter and another hour for Vashti to fully emerge. She was changed and clearly no longer human. Her body was made of various kinds of plant matter. Her hair was gone, replaced with thick stems and leaves. She was exhausted and thanked everyone for watching over her. Then, she fell into a deep sleep.
Everyone was relieved to have Vashti back and they did not include her in the watch rotation that night.

Day 25, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

Vashti retained her magical connection the elemental lords of water and was able to preach her sermon and summon water. Her sermon was more virtuous and inspired.
They planned on moving out late in the morning and return to the site of the tari battle. However, as they were packing up their camp, a forty foot horned lizard crawled down from the top of the cliffs and rushed to attack Shade.
The fight was tough, with Shade being knocked out by the lizard. The lizard tried to flee with Shade's body, but the group was able to slay it. Healing magic was used and Shade regained consciousness.
Shade and Kalino skinned and dressed the giant lizard. They set out the meat to dry and Kalino used the last of his salt to preserve some of it as well. Scavengers picked off some of the meat, but the group did not care much. There was so much meat, they could not carry it all.
Julius finally finished his bone longsword that day. It was carved to perfection and Julius did not believe he'd ever made a better blade.

Day 26, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

The group hid their dried meat among the rocks of the canyon, just in case they had to return for some of it. They knew much of of it would be eaten by various scavengers, but they didn't want a larger creature devouring the meat in one gulp.
They hiked back to their former campsite. The tari archers that had been watching the canyon entrance were gone. Tari bones lay scattered all around, picked clean by vultures and insects. The group looked for weapons, but it seemed the tari archers had gathered those up before departing.
They reset up camp and began discussing what their next move was. Vashti spied on the tari settlement with the way. There were still around sixty tari in the village, excluding small tari children. The group's first idea was for an all out assault. They entertained this idea for quite some time, but eventually abandoned it. They had barely survived the assault against them, by the tari, and now the tari had the defensive advantage.
Kalino asked if Vashti could use the way to link minds with Alaxander, so Alaxander could use teleport to take the slaves out of the village without a fight. Vashti could not link minds with the way and Alaxander explained that he would quickly become exhausted if he were to teleport the slaves out, one by one.
However, this gave Alaxander an idea. If Alaxander could get inside, he could use the way to create dimension doors for the slaves to escape through. Kalino said he could use magic to make Alaxander invisible, as long as Alaxander took no offensive actions against anyone, he would remain so. Alaxander said that he could do it, but it would stretch his mental abilities to scout the entire settlement. Shade spoke up and offered to go with him.
Kalino and Julius began making weapons for the soon to be escaped slaves. Kiara and Vashti planned to hike back to their former campsite to retrieve the dried lizard meat they had left behind. They all agreed and got to work.
Southeast is upper left.
It took Shade and Alaxander a couple of hours to hike to the tari village. When they spotted the tari sentries, Alaxander used the way to mask the noise of his footfalls. Shade used skill alone to sneak past them.
They arrived at the settlements southeast corner and discussed their plan. They would scout the village and return to that spot. They agreed and Shade stealthily climbed the building next to him.
Shade quickly found slaves inside the southeast building. These slaves were mostly orange-skinned humans, with a couple of brown-skinned dwarves. In all, there were a dozen slaves.
There was a tari guard at the front of the building, otherwise Shade may have tried to free them himself. Shade was quick and quiet as he leaped across the rocky pathway to the building to the west.
The building he landed on was a livestock house for the kitsu and the building next to it was a barracks, with no tari inside. There were some weapons in racks and Shade took note of it. He then leaped to across the pathway to the building to the north. No tari called out as he did so, his skills in stealth proving their worth.
Meanwhile, Alaxander strolled quietly into the settlement. He peeked into windows to see what he could see. The building south of their hiding spot was the home of the village chieftain. He was being attended to by two tari females and was guarded by two large tari soldiers.
The building south of the tari chief's home was large and housed a majority of the other tari in the village. The tari lived in nests built from various items pillaged, or found in the canyons. Alaxander walked on, no longer hiding his foot steps, as he was moving among the tari. Most of the tari he saw were civilians, apparently they slew many of their soldiers in the large battle.
Alaxander could see that the village was using some of their civilians as soldiers, guarding the slaves in the cactus fields. He walked casually through the settlement, observing the tari mothers caring for their young and some of the tari looking fearful of groups of slaves. He also observed that the settlement was filthy and the tari did not seem to care.
Close by, Shade was investigating further and found more slaves in the building he was not on top of. He also peeked inside the northwest building and it appeared to be a large gathering chamber for the tari, but there were only a few inside of it at the time.
They both returned to their meeting point and exchanged information. They made a plan and Shade sneaked off, waiting for Alaxander to open a dimension door to his location. Alaxander, meanwhile, waited for Shade to disappear into the badlands before going to work. 
Alaxander used the way to walk through the slave building and, without alerting the slaves of his presence, opened a dimension door. It took the slaves a few moments to understand what was going on. One of them pointed at the door and said something in their language. The slaves stepped through, first hesitantly, but once the guard tari opened their cell door to see what was causing the glow within, the slaves started moving more quickly. 
The guard tari called out to other armed tari nearby. Alaxander quickly threw up another dimension door, blocking the tari guards from running inside. One of tari fell through the second dimension door and, as Alaxander had planned, the tari emerged two-hundred yards to the west of his current location. Once the slaves had all passed through, Alaxander closed both dimension doors and fled through the wall.
The alarm was raised and the tari were scrambling. Alaxander ran through the buildings and into the second slave quarters. He opened a dimension door and the slaves, possibly due to the commotion outside, were more hesitant to enter the glowing dimensional doorway. Again, an old slave present stood and gestured toward the gateway. 
A tari opened the door to this cell and turned to call to his fellows, who were searching the empty slave quarters. Alaxander used the way to silence the tari and opened a dimensional door to block him from coming inside. The slaves saw the tari attempting to come inside and heard their chittering.
The slaves moved through the doorway with a slowness that irritated Alaxander. Once they had all passed through, Alaxander closed both doors and fled south. He arrived in the barracks and used the way to open another dimension door.
He was becoming mentally fatigued, but managed to grab a few of the tari weapons and throw them through the doorway. Soon after, the door opened and the tari chief was looking inside. He was furious and his eyes grew wide at seeing the dimension door there. Alaxander closed it and hoped the tari chief thought whomever was there had just stepped through it.
Alaxander fled through the wall and watched the village from a distance. The village was in chaos and Alaxander wanted to help the slaves that remained, but could not think of a way to do so. The slaves were under heavy guard. Finally, Alaxander teleported away.
Shade could not speak the language of the freed slaves and had a difficult time calming them down. He passed out some of the dried meat he was carrying and got them to follow him. It was slow going and he had to use hand signals to communicate.
Upon returning to the group, Vashti was able to speak to the freed slaves. Although they were scared of Vashti, due to her appearance, they eventually calmed down once she gave them water. She explained that they were now free and the former slaves thought the group were members of the fabled slave fighting group known as The Free. Vashti did nothing to dissuade them from this notion.
Kalino and Julius gave the slaves the crude weapons they had been making. The former slaves held them high and cheered.

Join us in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures Under the Dark Sun. 
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player 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, Balican, and Urikite. 
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.

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