Friday, 7 June 2013

Dark Sun Marauders (Season 3, Chapter 6)

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.

There were six cells, six targets: the Caravan Gate, the Guard's Barracks, the Northern Tower, the Stadium Gate Tower, the Templar's District Wall, and the Trader's District marketplace.  With Mutami's cell captured, that cleared the Caravan Gate, but time was short, and the other cells needed to be brought down in the next few hours, or the city would beset alight.

The barracks were the closest target, and the group was able to reach them without much hassle.  Kal'kin found a few lookouts positioned on nearby rooftops, and though he made a bit of a noise taking the first one out, the others didn't offer much resistance.  They went down, and Mutami, with Beren close on his heels, kicked in the door.  The three members inside were quickly overpowered, and the urns recovered before they could be used.

The next cell - targeting the Northern Tower - proved more difficult.  Their leader was a scoundrel called Horne Tomorev, ironically known as "the healer", and his men were better prepared for combat.  Their blades were covered in the venom of a nocturnal rock lizard, which rendered predators temporarily blind so as to allow the lizard to escape.  They also blinded the party, but not with the same consequences.  Beren seemed to perform far better without his sight, and Mutami was able to catch a sniper through a small window, across a few streets, by sound alone.  With Kuoruar! and Kal'kin pairing up against him, Tomorev found he had caught his last runaway slave, and was dropped, messily, to the ground.


Travelling across to the other side of the city took time, which meant that when they turned up at the next cell's safe house, they had already moved along.  Knowing where the target was, this time, they set up the ambush.  Whilst Beren and Kuoroar! took up the roles of brothel bouncers (the real bouncers being strangely absent for the next hour or so), the others took to the rooftops, and waited out the arrival of Davica, an archer, and (as they soon discovered) a defiler-in-training.  The battle was fierce, raging back and forth across the empty market streets, with flash-bangs going off, and multiple snipers on rooftops.  Kal'kin and Mutami were forced to flee as Davica's life-sapping magical energies were revealed, but Paelias ensured that they did not fall to the dark powers. 

Despite their fellow smugglers falling, Davica's underlings were determined to start the fire that would sweep through so much of the area and cause wide-spread panic, but ultimately, they were thwarted.  With the urn pushed up against the building's wall, the last smuggler was killed, and the hazard eliminated.

Knowing they had little time to spare, Kal'kin still convinced Paelias and the others to travel slowly, giving plenty of time for them to rest, before they reached the Stadium Gate.  Their bodies were starting to show the exertion of the night's activities, and getting there a little bit late seemed better than arriving there without any stamina left!

Hur Angroc, or "Wall", was already leading his group to the gate when Kal'kin spotted them. The large half-giant turned, growled, and ordered his mul savages (disguised poorly in the armour of Tyr's soldiers) to hold them back.  And they would have been successful, too, if not for Mutami's suggestion, and Paelias' ability with his crossbow.  "Shoot the pot,", he said, "Blow it up before they get to the gate, and take them out, too!"

The shot was a long one - the distance was significant, and there were multiple bodies moving about between Paelias and the target.  Plus, the urn wasn't as large a target as the Hydra he had felled the other day!  But still, the tinker readied his bow, set fire to the bolt, and took his shot.  The burning bolt sailed true, and the resulting explosion took out the smugglers and guards, and coated the half-giant in sticky flames, before starting a significant fire in the immediate area.  Fortunately, the blast wasn't near the gate, so the only structural damage was to a few nearby houses; and the area was well-to-do enough that streets were wide, houses were sturdily constructed, and the chance for mitigating fires was minimal.  And so the party turned, and raced for the Templar's Wall.


The hour of the attack was almost upon them, and Mutami was struggling to hide his nervous looks.  Helen Gayle, the bounty hunter from Urik was somewhere nearby - but as always, she kept to the shadows.  Two smugglers moved towards the wall with their urn, as various watchers waited upon rooftop and behind dark alleyways for those who would stop their sabotage.  They had seen the blast go off - too early, and too small.  The fire told them what they needed to know, that another cell had been compromised, and their mission, too, was under threat.

Being prepared only helped so much - Kuoroar! was able to sprint past guards, whilst Kal'kin skittered across wall and rooftop towards their targets.  Even when Helen appeared, along with her shadowy assassin friends, they only slowed Beren and Mutami's advance, they couldn't stop it....until a still-burning Hur reappeared on the scene.  Crying out in a mad rage, the flaming half-giant charged at his would-be killer, Paelias, and brought much rage to bear upon the poor eladrin.  The tide had turned.

Kuoroar! was fighting off Helen,  who was struggling to strangle the barbarian with her leather garrotte; Mutami had suffered one-too-many arrow-related internal injuries; Kal'kin was having to hide from the rooftop archers after ensuring the elf did not immediately die; Paelias was knocked out with a hefty blow of Hur's shield; and Beren, despite carving his way through numbers of his kin, was still being pushed around by the crazed Hur, who was still intent on stomping on Paelias' head.  For a moment, it looked like the urns would be set, and the Templar's Wall would come down.

With a shove, Kuoroar! caught Helen between his back and the wall, and she collapsed, the cord about his neck finally allowing him to breathe freely.  Kal'kin threw caution to the wind, and scuttled up the wall, to tear the archer apart.  And Hur's rage could only last so long - his injuries were already grievous from the explosion, and Beren only had to focus on them, and the hefty giant fell.  Paelias was safe, and Mutami had regained consciousness, and even managed to pick up the urn.

That was when the Caravan Gate exploded.


Kal'kin didn't have to think hard.  Mutami, despite acting for them, was clearly still playing the part of a Urik spy.  he had been the one to encourage Paelias to trigger one urn, and even now was holding another - was he taking it away, or moving it closer to its target?  The explosion from the Caravan Gate only clarified things: his first piece of information was that it was his cell that was targeting the Caravan Gate.  Clearly, that was now shown to be a lie - had there been a seventh group all this time, or was his group never entirely captured?

Kal'kin's thoughts didn't dwell on this for long.  Even as the various pieces were coming together in his head, his dagger was flying through the air, and embedding itself into Mutami's chest.  He was already injured - the blade just finished things off.  The elf dropped to the street, and the urn he was holding fell with him.  The liquid within spilled forth; without a trigger, it didn't erupt, but when brought into the air, it still caught light.  With quick medical attention, Mutami's chest wound could have been recoverable; but the fire-goo within the urn sealed his fate.

The intense heat left Mutami quite well done, but Kal'kin didn't mind.  One freshly barbecued elf was plenty for a single thri-kreen the enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment