Friday, 3 May 2013

Dark Sun Marauders (Season 3, Chapter 4)

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. 
Note to self: magic elf-thing can be useful.

We reached the end of the tracks. No pit falls, no false dead end this time. Just a large chamber behind a heavy gate. A gate reinforced, strong enough to keep us out. It took lots of effort to lift it up, and we never got it very high. Kept dropping it, so the elf-thing - e-lad-rin? - "Pay less" - used his magic to walk right through it. It tickled, I'm sure of that, but there was none of that defiling that people talk about. No pain, no destruction, just one moment, he was next to us; the next, he was standing in the middle of the room!

It was impressive, I admit, but would have been even better if he didn't end up hanging from the type, surrounded by hungry snakes! At least, with his weight on the type, the gate was easier to lift, and as Beren held it up, Kuoroar! and I slipped through. So many snakes, swarms and swarms, and the three of us left to fight them, whilst Beren played with the gate. Lifting, dropping, lifting again, like it was all some game, some strange exercise. At one point, he was even lying down under the gate, maybe working on his pectorals?

Through the snake-filled chamber, there was a series of older, more room-like rooms. The old natural caves was replaced with corridors, doors and...a whole lot of blood. We had found the smugglers, and too late to take revenge. Too late to question them. Too late to get any information, save from a single name, and a direction. Whatever the smugglers had come across, it had been violent (good!), and left very few with a majority of their limbs attached.

The room that the disarmed smuggler pointed us to was an eye-opener, indeed. For starters, it was huge - it made the zombie tunnels feel like the slave pens by comparison. Secondly, not only was it large, but it was purposeful. Some strange groove was cut into the ground; a circle connected to an arc, with robed figures standing all around.  Two were larger - larger even than my son or me! And, there was another one of them smugglers, only, this one was all tied up, strapped to the altar.

There was also a large statue at one end of the room, and a whole lot of ceramic pots at the other. But that wasn't important, because Kuoroar! and Beren had already jumped down and attacked. The mul must have been eager for blood, after failing to get involved in the last skirmish. As usual, he went in too deep, without backup. Kuoroar! started working his way around the cultists, but with each fiery death, the centre of the room intensified. Before we could stop them, two cultists poured...stuff from the pots onto the trench, and fire leaps about, burning through the cultists, and bringing on whatever foul magic was happening in the middle!

Well, we fought on, as we had to, and with Paelias' helpful magic, our weapons shone brighter, hit harder, and even aided in our healing.  We were rolling on through the battle. But then, the circle was complete, and the greatest beast I have ever seen was summoned into our presence.  If I were not alive now, I would swear that it was the dragon himself - but this beast, though scaly and spiting fire, had no wings or legs, and had four heads!!  We all cheered when Kuoroar!'s sword cut one of the heads off, and knew victory was imminent...but before we could press the advantage, another two heads had grown in its place.  This happened three times before we slew the beast, and for a while, the real threat of there being no more space in the room was more than just a little concerning!

But, I step up too fast.  I must make careful notes, or else I won't learn from the experiences.  We didn't fight well enough - the demon-lizard was spewing fire as well as blood from axe cut, sword stroke, and more than a few nicks of my trusty chains.  There were also half a quiver of arrows protruding into it, mind you.  But then Kuoroar! went down, and I couldn't get close enough to revive him.  Forgetting the protective boon Paelias had placed on my gear, I crumpled under the heat of the thing's saliva, coating my flesh.  And even through the haze, I could hear Beren collapsing in all his armour.  So - and it is hard to admit this - it was the elf-thing, the eladrin who saved the day.  He must have gotten lucky, found the main head, and pierced it's eye with a bolt, or something like that.  Whatever he did, it worked where our cuts and beheadings had failed, and the brute fell to the floor, before our unconscious bodies could become little more than charred remains.

So yes, the tinkerer did good.  He proved his worth, and I won't hold any more grudges against the like of a thin elf-relative hanging around in our battles.  We must step up our own tactics, too, or else we may not be so lucky next time.  And, one of these days, I really need to get around to learning to write, so I can remember all this stuff tomorrow...

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