Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Desert Jaunt

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • GrĂ³in of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
    • The Metal Man, construct
  • Loriel Straight Arrow, Elven Ranger
    • Little Bandit, ferret

First, the party traveled to their employers, the other local lords (and lady). The journey was short and uneventful; they arrived the evening they left, in time for a large celebration. They met Lord Vincent Aldervat, a hawkish, conceited-looking man, though well-muscled; Lord Evan Elpus, a reedy fellow who had the odd habit of always standing behind people, as if hiding; Lady Christiana Vascelles, a late-middle-aged woman with a firm look of command about her; Lord Tomas Cordova, an obvious man of the earth, strong and rustic; and Lord Dunstan Kirkhill, a brawny, red-headed man with a bushy beard. After enduring several rounds of back-slapping from Lord Kirkhill and Lord Cordova, and even a thin hint of praise from Lord Aldervat, they dug in to the free food. Afterwards, thanks to some good negotiating, they managed to up their reward from 10,000 gp to 15,000 gp. Not bad for a few minutes of talking.

From there, however, they needed to find a place to sell their valuables, and decided to head to Mejasta. Along the way, they met two Fae - sylphs, in fact. Caranthir tested some of the limits of his weapon, sending the lizardman-ghost into the Fae campsite, though only learned that the strange creatures were eating (blech!) plants.

En route, the party tested the various potions, rings, weapons, and armor they had collected. The rings were a Ring of Protection +1 and a Ring of X-Ray Vision; the cursed ring, they left alone. The staff was a Staff of Healing, left to the sapper. The boots were Elven Boots, and the horn was a Horn of Blasting; the crystal ball was a Crystal Ball with Clairaudience. The unknown potions were potions of Clairaudience, Gaseous Form, Healing, and Plant Control.

Arriving in the Mejastan city of Final del Rio (and parting with the two fae), they sold their goods (leveled up a number of times), and hired a sage to figure out their more magical items. Llarm took it upon himself to figure out the three magical books; however, after the first transfixed him for a day and a half reading amazing stories, he decided to keep someone nearby, just in case. The first book with a swirl on the cover entrances the reader with beautiful stories; they can't put it down to eat, drink, sleep, or any other actions, unless interrupted. The second book, with eyes, seemed to keep a 24-hour journal of all the things it could see, though it was deaf. The third book, a hefty thing at 6 stone, turned out to be a book of holding, containing a library worth 10,000 gp!

The sage identified the fanged sword as a Sword +1, +2 versus lycanthropes; the scrolls were as follows:
Scroll of Arcane Spells (Written in New Elven): Water Breathing (3rd lvl), Magic Jar (5th lvl), Sleep (1st lvl), Charm Monster (4th lvl)
Scroll of Divine Spells (Written in Nobiran): Snake Charm (2nd lvl), Speak with Animals (2nd lvl), Atonement (5th lvl), Quest (5th lvl), Remove Curse (3rd lvl), Augury (2nd lvl), Restore Life and Limb (5th lvl)
Scroll of Divine Spells (Written in Draconic): Tongues (4th lvl), Growth of Animals (3rd lvl), Cure Blindness (3rd lvl), Continual Light (3rd lvl)

The spellbook contained: Charm Person, Detect Magic, Protection from Good, Read Languages, Sleep; Deathless Minion, Hypnotic Pattern, Invisibility, Necromantic Potence, Ogre Power; Command Person, Enervate, Lightning Bolt, Nondetection; Charm Monster, Find Treasure, Remove Curse, and Wall of Fire.

The dark book, as it turns out, is a sentient spellbook; it can cast the spells within as an 11th level mage: Stone to Flesh (6), Adaptation (5), Teleport (5), Dismember (3), Enervate (3), Read Languages (1), and Ventriloquism (1).

The ranger sent for her ferret, which was delivered just before they moved on. After buying some magical supplies, a few of the party members were enticed by a charismatic shopkeeper to purchase a Warhammer +2, Dwarven Thrower; he whispered that it had once been owned by none other than the dwarven hero, Crag Olofson; indeed, the hammer was obviously well-enchanted, very light in the hand, yet packing a tremendous punch. Unfortunately, his price of 200,000 gp ("A steal! My wife will murder me in my sleep when she hears I sold it for such a low amount!") was too steep for the party; hero or no, the hammer had to stay.

After a meeting to decide where to head next, the group agreed to travel to the great Toprac Igne, the Tower of Earth, in the middle of the Zaharan desert. They packed supplies, purchased camels, and made their way south. One quick boat ride later, and they disembarked on the shifting sands of the Zahara. The weather turned chilly; winter is beginning. Luckily, the weather in the desert is not as cold as that of the Wild Plains.

They had hardly traveled a day before they saw five winged creatures overhead; soon, the creatures had landed, revealing themselves as Lammasu! The Lammasu entreated the party to turn back; the desert was fraught with peril. Even they tried not to travel across it. Undaunted, the party thanked them for their advice, but decided to press forward nonetheless.

Three days into the desert, and they were beset by 12 zombies, which were quickly dispatched to the sand from which they sprang forth. They camped beside an oasis, a mile from a strange, round temple that belched fire into the night sky. They traveled on; three days from their journey's end, they made a slight miscalculation, traveling father south than they had meant, but the error was quickly righted. Soon, they were within sight of the great tower. A city was built around its base; Loriel and Rhea decided to creep into the city, under cover of darkness. After sneaking past a few unused warehouses, they heard a scuff; breaking into a warehouse, Loriel used her ring of x-ray to peer through the building into the street beyond, revealing a lone figure - a man, standing in the street. They moved on, but it wasn't long before they heard another scuff - this one above them. They looked up to see a dark-skinned young man grinning down at them. He whistled, then jumped down, landing lightly on his feet. Two more men - much bulkier - arrived almost immediately. After going through a few languages, they settled on one both could speak. "You should not be here. Leave."

Loriel quickly agreed, and the two elves were escorted to the edge of the city. The next morning, Caranthir lead the party into the city, where he was met by another large man. Through Laurita Gomez, he communicated that they were not welcome in the city, and should leave. The group was on the verge of drawing weapons when a band of hobgoblins attacked - 26 hobgoblins and 8 leaders. Caranthir asked if they needed any help defending themselves; the leader laughed, heartily, then sent two of the younger men. Halfway there, the men turned invisible; moments later, the hobgoblins began to fall, some sliced nearly in half. Seconds later, not a single hobgoblin remained. The two men reappeared, wiping blood from their hands. Caranthir reconsidered his earlier idea to fight them.

However, the large man had an idea; after speaking quietly with a different man, he asked if the adventurers would be willing to fulfill a task for them. They agreed, and were escorted to the tower itself, to meet the leader of the - tribe? City? Whatever it was.

The leader was a huge man - 20 ft tall, at least. He greeted them, and stepped down from his giant throne - though, somehow, when he reached them, he was the height of a normal man. He offered them a quest: destroy the scales, and sow chaos among the elves. They accepted, especially when the man promised to teleport them home. When he mentioned they could pick up their horses as well, they asked if they could make a pit-stop at the fire temple they had seen. Laughing, he agreed, and offered 5 Rings of Fire Resistance. Then, his men placed their hands on their shoulders, and suddenly they were standing at the fire temple...

  • XP from treasure: none
  • 15k gp (no XP)
  • XP from encounters:
    • 5 lammasu (none)
    • 12 zombies (29 ea)
    • Strange desert men (none)
  • Total XP: 348
  • Treasure per PC: none (apart from the 15,000 gp)
  • XP per PC: 39
  • XP per henchman (including Llarm): 19
Starting-new XP: 10702 XP