Friday, 1 March 2013

Dark Sun Marauders (Season 3, Chapter 2)

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game.  The current adventure is a return to the world of Dark Sun.  In the previous seasons (the first run by me, the second run by Richard), the party were involved with hunting through Kalak's pyramid, confirming if the Sorcerer-King was truly dead, and retrieving the Orb of Dust.  The group is currently readying Tyr against the invading Urik army. 

Kulo, was angry.  Yes, still angry.  His emotions over the last few weeks had wavered between "angry" and "really angry", which, in part, was what caused the spiked chains he wore around his shoulders to change.

Magic had destroyed the world - but that was magic in the hands of people, defilers who sapped the life energy from everything around them in order to fuel their own powers.  The magic hanging around Kulo,'s neck was different, as was most of the magic that found itself as enchantments in the various (but rare) items he and his friends had discovered.  And thanks to his anger, to his palpable rage, Kulo,'s chains now twisted and warped in his hands far more than they once had.  The links of stone, bone and leather were almost becoming an extension of his own emotions.  The hate radiating from the chain was palpable to those nearby, as it wraps itself around the half-giant.  If the gladiator had known of demons and their kin, he could perhaps have made the connection between what his chains were becoming, and the adornment worn by those in the abyss.  Sadly, this was not the case.

With nothing left to do but wait out the invading force's arrival, Kulo, grew increasingly restless.  The ex-slaves he tried to train seemed to have reached their peak, and taking out his frustrations on them only resulted in hampering both their morale, and Tyr's numbers of able-bodied soldiers. If there was more that he could teach them in the scant few days left, surely he would have stayed.  But they slowly stopped wanting to spar with him, and turned instead to refining their abilities with each other.

When Kuoroar! and Kal'kin opted to help Beren out with a little down-time enforcing, Kulo, begrudgingly came along.  He wasn't the best option for uncovering Urik spies or sympathisers, but neither were any of the others.  Brute strength would have to do where a quick tongue and diplomatic attitude would fail.  Plus, there was talk in the mission outline of hidden weapon stashes! 

Algoth was a merchant, selling pots and urns from many distant cities...but perhaps a few too many from Urik.  Another thri-kreen by the name of Ix'it had been spying on his operations, and so the group moved to check them out.  Naturally, the shop was closed when they arrived, and Kal'kin went and unlocked the door before Kulo, could bash it in.  That made the half-giant angry - angry enough that when he had dragged one of the larger, sand filled urns inside, he decided the best way to confirm there were no weapons within was to break it open.  There was a great mess, but sadly, no hidden weapons.

The others discovered the clue that lead them onwards (this also angered Kulo,), which was a strange marking on the bottom of many pots.  Kulo, recalled it had something to do with a house, or another city, or other power, but filled with his typical rage, he really couldn't recall much more than that.  In the end, they moved onwards, out the back of the shop, and down into the warehouse.  That was where they met the smugglers.

Although, "met" might not be an entirely accurate description.  "Fought" would be closer, "beaten, maimed,  and eventually killed" more accurate yet.  These fellows were lead by another half-giant, and definitely had both strength and speed to their numbers.  Fortunately, whilst Kal'kin brought speed (managing to not only harass the goods line, but take down many of their number), Kuoroar! and Kulo, brought strength.  And, Kulo, might acknowledge after a few strong ales, Beren handled his own well enough.

The fight was vicious from the gladiator's point of view - if it wasn't for Paelias (the replacement Eladrin the templars had offered up), Kulo, might not have lived through it.  That definitely made him grumpy!  As it stood, Beren wasn't in a great position to ever seriously look at procreation in his future, after a few of the smugglers went to work on his more tender bits with their barbed, hooked whips.  Kulo, was proud of his son's battle presence, though even this made him angry - why was his body failing him already? Why couldn't he be stronger, faster, tougher?  And the over-grown insect, Kal'kin, had proven himself an able part of the group, as it - he - leapt about the room, stabbing here and clawing there.  But ultimately, the skirmish still left Kulo, angry.

Some had escaped.  Kulo, had managed to catch the last smuggler who tried to leap through the trapdoor, his chain digging into the soft flesh about his neck, and the smuggler's own weight snapping his neck as Kulo, held the other end of the chain firmly.  But there had been others working beneath the warehouse, others who had taken the goods passed down to them, and who were all gone, by the time the party was in a state to follow.  And so, back in the warehouse, Kulo, fumed.

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