• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

3.5 UNDER A DARKSUN: ELEMENTS

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 040
“GO AND GO ”
07/25/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE KINGS
DAY: 07
KA: 190

THE KINGS DAY 07
Koe and Drak leave Tyr in hope of catching up with Yaesha and the caravan in Alturak.


THE KINGS DAY 8
The Tsalaxa caravan arrives at Silver Springs. Lilapaul is not present. “Personal Business” you are told.

THE KINGS DAY 09
Koe and Drak, on a self-imposed forced march, they reach Alturak a few days later. They have missed the caravan by a few days.

THE KINGS DAY 010
Koe and Drak don’t bother stopping as they pass Silver Springs.

KINGS DAY 11
Olan looks over Choro’s book about Kalidnay. Olan feels the author is suggesting Kalid-Ma, the ruler, was “metrosexual” or at least a cross dresser. Strange. Choro suggests he is misreading it which Olan can not dispute. But what can’t be disputed is the similar appearance of the ziggeraut Kalak is building and the structure Kalid-Ma had built. It is as they are from the same blue prints.

Choro and Olan are going over the book further when they begin to discuss other stuff. Choro admits he was once a slave and feels for the people that are slaves. Thinking about it, Choro decides not to speak of it any further.

KINGS DAY 12
Yaesha and the caravan are moving more cautiously as they pass by Raam. The tension has not dropped any. Choro calls out as he sees two people hurrying after them. It is Koe and Drak !

They catch up and Koe, slightly winded, addresses Yaesha. “We missed you in Alturak.”

“You are late. We will discuss discipline later.”

KINGS DAY 14
They arrive in Draj.


[DM NOTES: Tim and Dan, the players of Koe and Drak really threw me for a loop with their decision to aid Klok. It was meant as an intro to Drak thinking about his origins but oh my! ]
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 041
“TIME FOR ACTION”
07/25/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 12
KA: 190

Olan closes his eyes in the shade of the Tsalaxa porch.

THE SAND IS HOT ON YOUR BARE FEET. A GENTLE BREEZE RELAXES YOU. YOUR HAIR FLITTERS ACROSS YOUR BROW. IT IS A PLEASANT DAY. KOE, CHORO AND DRAK ARE ELSEWHERE DOING WORK FOR THE HOUSE. TODAY IS YOUR DAY OFF. YOU WISH TO ENJOY IT.

BEHIND YOU IS A LARGE OPEN FACED TENT. RED, PINK AND PURPLE PILLOWS LAY ON A SOFT BUT THICK RUG. BLUE AND RED SILK BLANKETS CASTE SHADE INTO THE TENT. A NSMALL WATER FOUNTAIN GENTLY TRICKLES. MAGICAL IN NATURE…. MUCH LIKE THIS DAY. NOTHING COULD MAKE IT BETTER. NOTHING… EXCEPT FOR SOMEONE TO SHARE IT WITH.

THAT IS WHEN YOU HEAR A SOFT COOING SOUND. HE HAPPILY BUT SLOWLY TURN AROUND AND LOOK INTO THE TENT. DRESSED ONLY IN GOLD, SILVER AND AZURE BEADS ON HER NECK, WRISTS AND HIP IS A NAKED FULL FIGURED FEMALE ELF. MOISTURE GLISTENS ON HER BREATS, FIRM STOMACH AND ONE THIGH AS SHE SMILES AT YOU.

“I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU MY PRINCE. BUT FIRST I HAVE TWO THINGS FOR YOU. THE FIRST, IS A REQUEST. MY PEOPLE… MYSELF ALSO, ARE TROUBLED AND ARE IN NEED OF AID. THE SICKNESS IS BACK AND WE ARE SUFFERING FOR IT. I KNOW WHERE IT ORIGINATES FROM. I NEED YOU TO DEAL WTH IT. IT IS GROWING….. BECOMING STRONGER. IT HAS MUTATED INTO SOMETHING VERY DANGEROUS.”

THE OH-SO FAMILIAR ELVEN WOMAN SITS DOWN AND SMILES COYLY AT YOU. “IF THIS CAN BE DONE, I MAY BE ABLE TO RESUME LOOKING FOR YOUR BROTHER WHOM LIVES NEAR HERE.”

YOU ASK WHAT THE SECOND REQUEST IS. SHE SMILES….. “ONLY…. YOURSELF.” SHE PEERS THROUGH HER LONG DARK BROWN HAIR AS SHE REMOVES A TARA WITH BEADS HANGING FROM IT. “AFTERALL- THIS IS BUT A DREAM- THE ONLY LIMITS HERE ARE WHAT YOU DESIRE.”

Olan opens his eyes with a start! Lilapaul has contacted him- here in Draj at the Tsalaxa compound. The plague! It has gotten worse! Lilapaul has said so! The tiefling jumps to his feet. What to do? Olan knows he can and must do something then he hears a commotion outside of the gates. Guards are shouting and pulling open the doors.

In comes a well made carriage with armed guards. Surrounding it are six armored crodlu with riders. All have the marks of House Tsalaxa. It has to be Yadda again. As the compound guards begin to close the gates Koe jogs in. He waves off the guards for a moment. Stumbling and nearly collapsing, Choro comes in. The stamina training has restarted. 😊

One of the carriage riders hopes off and removes a box from the back. He sets it down as a step and opens the door. Indeed- it is Yadda Tsalaxa.


Yaesha, Bartus and Massa come out of the main building. Koe goes to meet them by Yadda’s carriage. He was contacted by a messenger ahead of time. Also contacted by a messenger is Drak whom arrives too late for the open gate. He leaps up onto the gate and drops down in the courtyard.

“Drak! Choro! What is happening?” calls out Olan.

“Messenger…. Says come quickly. Drak …klik klik… come quickly.”

“Hargh…. Same….. Ah……”

“What so they say?” Asks the thri-kreen.

“Something about the plague….. crap I have information they need.”

“How?” huffs Choro.

“Lilapaul spoke to me.”

“Oh….well then it has to be important.” Grumbles the half-giant shaking his head in disbelief.

The three continue to watch as Massa becomes very upset about something discussed. Yaesha and Yadda both turn and snap at her. She doesn’t say anything after that. A small case with a handle is brought to them by another of Yadda’s guards. They set it down on the box used as a step. Everyone gathers around it blocking Olan and the groups view. Shortly everyone is dismissed. Koe walks back to with a wand or rod in hand that has a ruby gem tip.

“What was THAT about?!?” calls out Olan.

“Plague still exists. It is spreading. Contaminating the oasis.” Begins Koe.

“Yes. Including Silver Springs.”

Koe pauses. “Go on.”

“Ah…. Lilapaul contacted me. She wants us to help her.”

“I am sure she does.

“What is that?” asks Choro.

“Rod of Health. It can cure injuries and neutralize poison.”

“Nothing for disease?” quips Olan.

“No. Tomorrow we go towards Silver Springs. We must search for the origin of the plague and end it.”

“Anything else?”

“Curing magic that doesn’t require knowledge. I know some. Choro some also.”

“Can we request healing fruits?” Choro says louder than he meant to.

A guard comes over with a small sack. Yaesha follows him. “You may have these to use also. You leave tomorrow morning.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 042
“ENCOUNTERS LEADING TO SILVER SPRINGS”
07/25/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 12
KA: 190

WINDS DAY 13

Each of the caravans leave together. Massa takes the lead hoping to be the first to find the source and destroy it to regain her position within the Trade House. Bartus falls behind as he tries to pace himself and his caravan as they are to go beyond Alturak and Grak’s Pool. Yaesha follows Koe’s caravan. Yaesha will go towards Nibenay and Gulg.

WINDS DAY 14
Koe doesn’t show it but appreciates seeing Massa being stopped and harassed by the Raamian army. There are nearly no other adventurers or travelers. No traders, farmers or merchants are willing to be exposed to the plague.

They set up camp away from Yaesha. They have visitors that night. Two very large scorpions with reddish black barbs approach the camp. Drak calls attention to it and everyone, just starting to fall asleep, gets up. Koe calls on his inner power to stun one and does as he cracks the shell. Choro calls up fire and everyone can hear the heated up air scream and whistle as it escapes from within the vermin’s shells. Soon the two are killed and the thri-kreen looks to prepare food and weapons from the remains.

WINDS DAY 16
Koe and the group have not seen a person in nearly 48 hours now. Perhaps this is why the creatures are becoming more aggressive. A large earth elemental becomes hostile as they close in to it. Only Choro seems to be able to damage it and takes it down.

WINDS DAY 18
They see smoke in the near distance as they near Silver Springs. Drak subconsciously finds himself hungry. “What is that smell?” asks Choro.

“Bodies.” Answers Koe. “Burning bodies.”

“It’s a purge.” Follows Olan frowning sadly at the smoke.

Following the smoke, they arrive at Silver Springs. Basettu and his archers all stand ready with their bows drawn. “Do not approach any further.” The Watcher of The Walls declares.

“We man no harm. You know this. Allow us in.” calls out Koe.

“Toramund was quite specific. None are to come in.”

“Toramund….?” Koe asks Olan.

“Their chieftain.”

“Huuurm…… Lilapaul is expecting us.” Calls out the Mul.

“No doubt but she has no say in this matter.”

“It is about the sickness and disease.”

“Exactly Mul. We have lost many to it already. Damned Raam travelers.” Spits out the elven archer. “Now leave- begone. Or we add you to the fire.”

Koe ponders his options as Olan spots a small lizard on the ground. The green and brownish-gray lizard slowly and carefully walks over pebbles on the hard packed road leading into the oasis. It stares at him as if sizing him up. Olan sticks his tongue out at the little lizard. The words “OLAN MY PRINCE, YOU HAVE ARRIVED. I HAVE ORDERS FOR YOU NOR YOUR FRIENDS TO NOT ENTER. GIVE ME A MOMENT.” Blow in his hair.

“She is aware we are here.” Olan tells the others.

“Aware doesn’t help. Where is she?” grumbles Koe. Choro points behind them. Three tall figures dressed in robes are approaching them.

“Welcome Koe.” Answers the middle figure as she removes her hood. It is Lilapaul, Silver Springs’ Female companion and defiler.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 043
“TO THE RUINS”
07/25/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 18
KA: 190

Lilapaul smiles and steps up to Olan. She caresses his face and smiles. “Allow me to introduce Torime and Wessla. They help me with gathering information.”

Neither remove their hoods. “The Prince, The Mind and the Fighters.” On says.

“How quaint to finally meet you.” Finishes the other.

“They have helped me confirm what my magic sought. The cause and location of the plague.” Says Lilapaul as she steps forward revealing her long leg through a slit in the robe. She wraps one leg around Olan’s while holding his shoulders.

“It is the Black Sand Raiders as you already know.” She begins.

“Fevil- their clan’s defiler…. Seeks an artifact.” Continues either Torime or Wessla.

“This artifact is believed to be buried in a ruin in the desert.” Finishes the other.

“In his mission- he released undead that carried the disease. This disease was minor and something a mere cleric could resolve.” Says Lilapaul as she turns and rubs her body up and down on Olan whom is forgetting whatever she just said already.

“Magic has affected it.” Says one hooded being.

“It has grown stronger and takes on an intelligence.”

“You my Prince, and you three can go to the ruins. Find the source and learn how to destroy it. You will be heroes.”

Koe stares and frowns as she describes how to locate the ruins and how she must stay here with her people.

WINDS DAY 19

“I do not like this.”

“None of us do Koe. But if we can end the plague…. Maybe stop the war before it begins…” starts Choro.

“I do not like being an errand boy. Tsalaxa or Lilapaul.” States the mul.

“How do we… know this is….klik… the right way?”

“Maybe because of them.” Says Olan pointing.

A dozen skeletons are charging their way. Choro blasts them. No more skeletons.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 045
“GUARDS OF THE TUNNEL”
08/08/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 19
KA: 190

“Shouldn’t we sneak in?” asks Choro.

“Not today. Today we take it to the Raiders. We finish this.” Growls the mul.

He leads up a dune. “There was a butte. Dull arrow tip shaped with two holes on top. Like that.” And he points to a stone cliff rising from the valley of sand before them.

“Looks right.” Says Olan.

“What are the holes?”

“Entrances I would guess.” Adds Olan.

The four pulling two crodlu with them march down the dune towards the strangely shaped stone natural structure. Olan spots a cave entrance and guards before it. “That appears to be it.”

The mul doesn’t answer as he merely marches directly at the cave. Four bored guards spot them approaching under the moon light. One retreats into the cave and the other three draw their weapons. Once the group get within 75 feet of the guards they are commanded to stop and go away. Koe doesn’t even slow down.

One guard raises his hand to begin to swing his flail and Koe strikes him down. He dodges the other clumsy attacks by the other two and elbows another in the throat dropping him. He goes to trip one using his weapon but the guard somehow stumbles over and onto the kama. His weight pulls it out of the mul’s grasp. “Fine.” He states and strikes the man down.

The others arrive wondering what is possessing Koe. Even for him this was reckless [ DM NOTE: not sure what the player was thinking…..see how it ends later]. Choro ties the crodlu to a large rock near the entrance. He spots several torches behind the rock. He lifts up a body to move it and it moans. It is the man whom Koe punched in his throat. Both Koe and Olan turn as screams come from the darkness within the cave. Koe takes a defensive stance as Drak and Olan ready their weapons. Seven more guards come rushing at them. As they enter the moonlight Drak and Koe begin to strike them down. Olan throws daggers as the guards try to flank the two. Choro notes the green fungus on the downed guards armor, weapons and body. The plague.

The leader is struck by the monk and loses his breath. Then a stomp on he top of the foot and he goes down. As Drak and Koe continue to deal with the guards they kick and stomp the downed leader- keeping him down. The leader is a black and blue mess but alive when the six guards are defeated.

Having taken several heavy hits, Koe and Drak hope for some healing. Koe uses his healing equipment first. Choro offers help with the Eternal healing rod he was given for this mission. He has some success then it suddenly flashes and shuts out energy [ DM NOTE: Nat 1 on Use Magic Device]. He undoes the healing and then some to Koe and the item will not reactivate. Koe is not impressed, even with Choro taking as much damage as he did.

The leader is unconscious and near death. However the gate guard is awake now. Barely. They try to get him to speak but his crushed throat makes his words impossible to understand. It is decided that Olan will go in first with his darkvision. Drak with follow but at a “safe” distance.

“The Wind will Command” thinks the guard.
 
Last edited:

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 046
“THE WIND THAT COMMANDS”
08/08/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 19
KA: 190

Olan sees a passage that cuts away from the main cavern. He decides not to check it out and moves forward. Following about a minute behind comes Drak. When he looks down the new passage way he hears the distant sound of insects. He believes it to be Kanks and moves on.

“Was it good to separate the party?” asks Choro to Koe.

“They can see without giving themselves away. They will be okay.”

Choro nods absently….. disagreeing but trusting his friend.

The tiefling spots a large semi-humanoid figure within an opening of the cave system. Stepping up to it he sees a woman’s nude upper body with antlers on her head. From her waist sprout dozens of tentacles. It is a statue. Curious.

Then he hears a gentle whistle in the wind. As he concentrates on it to better identify it becomes stronger. Before he realizes it, he has walked across the cavern floor avoiding a few holes in the floor. He stops before a large pit where two chitin-like talons with small holes stick out. The chitin talons heave and a gray spider-like creature rises. The gentle breeze flowing through the cave here whistles on the holes of the fluted fore-limbs. In a panic, Olan discovers he can can move away- even as the creature attacks him with a bite. The bite doesn’t register as pain but the fear of its awareness terrifies the rogue.

Drak spots the statue and readies himself for an attack when he hears a distant whistle. He walks slowly past the statue then spots Olan with a large spider-like creature next to him. The thri-kreen charges and attacks to defend him. It bites him and suddenly he finds he can not move. The bite has paralyzed him! As if sensing the amount of control it has over the two, it waves its talons and dripping mouth from kreen to tiefling to kreen.

Outside, Choro is trying to listen to the awakening leader. “Something about whispering and wind. Weird.”

“They should have reported back by now.” States the increasenly impatient mul.

“Splitting the….” Begins the half-giant.

“Stay with the guards. Do NOT Leave them. Wait for me to return.” And the Mul enters the cavern with a torch.

“…party…..oh my.” And Choro sits down and listens to the guards gurgle and babble more about whispers in the wind.

Koe moves along at a good pace. He doesn’t pay attention to the branch within the cave. He hears a whistling sound as he spots a statue. He ignores both as he spots both Drak and Olan with a giant spider. He rushes at it and even as he hits it, it bites him. He can not move! [DM NOTE: We are all certain this is the beginning of a TPK].

The Spider takes shots at each person. It is enjoying this immensely. Then comes the sound. A flute is being played. The creature hisses. The whistle’s magical effect is being countered through music. Olan, bleeding from several puncture wounds is dying. Koe and Drak are both badly injured but alive.

“She will not accept dead gifts.” Says a woman after the spider retreats into its pit. She hums gently as she places her hands next to the worse wounds on Olan. They close most of the way but not completely.

Other Black Sand Raiders and freeman infected with the plague go to the three and begin to tie them up. They are then led away through a series of caves into an area with doors. They pass the doors and see light. The morning sun is beginning to rise.
 
Last edited:

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 047
“FEED THE NEED”
08/08/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE WINDS
DAY: 20
KA: 190

The “holes” in this rock butte are large enough to house a small fortress. The cavern tunnels lead to it and is where Koe, Drak and Olan have been led.

Looking at these raiders, Koe notes they are not just Black Sand Raiders but a collection of others. Travelers, raiders, farmers…… all infected. Their infection seems greater or at least different. The eyes seem to lack emotion. They understand but seem unable to give commands. They are… undead.

“She is hungry. Give the new race creature to her first.” Commands the young woman whom played the flute. Two men, one dressed as a Black Sand Raider and another wearing a symbol of House Stel pull the unconscious tiefling to the entrance to the tower of the fortress. Olan begins to awaken as he feels his body be placed on the stone floor of a tower. He opens his eyes and sees a large tree within the tower. It is blue with purple leaves and crimson colored vines. The trunk is swollen as if it had swallowed a large meal and now digests it. Then to his horror, he sees several bodies entangled within the vines! The two guards leave him.

Drak and Koe test their ropes. Drak is poorly tied and the loops around his chitin shell slide and move around. Still entangled he begins to claw free. Koe kicks his guards as he struggles with his ropes. The vines from the tree begin to lower and drape themselves on Olan’s legs!

Elsewhere, back at the entrance, Choro is becoming restless. “Danger is the wind: repeats the raider. Growing tired on it, Choro thumps him back to unconsciousness. He looks into the darkness of the cave and the rising sun……

Olan feels his body shift then his legs rise. “Uh….guys……?” and he begins to be dragged for a few feet as his legs are pulled and listed. Soon he finds himself being lifted into the air!

The space is confined as Koe and Drak fight back. The sheer numbers of guards is overwhelming. Drak rips out the chest of one guard. This is when they learn these people are dead…. They are Undead.

Olan is being lifted into the tree. Other bodies are here including one that opens and blinks his eye. Then Olan feels the thorns penetrate his legs. They are sticky and the pain is subtle. He has been injected by something!

Koe fights on then is struck from behind. He drops to one knee. He is struck again….and again…. And again. Drak continues to struggle with his ropes as he swings and claws at anything touching him. Then Koe goes down. The undead continue their assault.

Choro can’t take it anymore. He takes a torch and goes in. He ignores the statue (ugly thing) and nearly walks into a pit. Being more careful, he moves quickly around the several pits here. The next large cavern has a slightly lit section but the half-giant passes it. Have to hurry.

Drak finally frees his arms and grabs Koe. “Sorry…..Olan….” kliks the thri-kreen as he turns and looks to escape. Choro comes into a cavern with a few doors. Looking at the floor….. he continues where the most traffic seemed to be. Choro hears someone in the darkness (the bard) but it doesn’t attack him. Then he hears a troubled dragging sound. Looking at the area Choro spots Drak and Koe. Koe is injured!

Looking to help him, Choro moves to Koe. He is horrified-

Koe is dead.

Asking about Olan, they do go back to save him. Drak leaps up and cuts him free. Angry at the cause of the plague, Choro blasts the tree and sets it on fire. They turn and do not explore the fortress here. A woman, a plague victim, watches them. A druid?

“With the death of…..the tree so comes….. the end of her….. children….. go….. and let me…. Grieve.”

The group don’t care about the depressed undead and leave.

THE WINDS DAY 27

Return to Draj.
 
Last edited:

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 048
“LEAVE TOWN WHILE YOU CAN”
08/20/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE DEAD
DAY: 02
KA: 190

The lose of Koe has impacted the group deeply. Olan and Drak both wait to hear from Lilapaul about Hark and his where-a-bouts. Choro continues to do many of his conditioning and balance exercises (though with less enthusiasm). Even Yaesha is quiet.

More conflicts between Raam and Draj are occurring. It is clearly pre-war conditions. Tetuktitlay, the Sorcerer-king of Draj has given orders to gather any beggars and homeless. They are being secured somewhere within the mud flats for an unknown purpose. Slaves of non-templar and nobles are also being taken. They are joining the military as aids. They bring food and supplies to the Jaguar riders and the army itself.

Yaesha has a hard decision to make. Anyone left within the compound are most likely to be taken as slaves or military agents. He needs to get them out of the city before then. The war, when it breaks out, will begin between the two cities on King’s Road. So they need to go north. They are not ready for the forgotten cities and he is in truth not sure if any trade house is. Perhaps the village the girl mentioned…. The Village of Ravish.

Yaesha only recently discovered this enigma named Orthenta Naybi. A young girl with psionic talents and either cursed or tangled with the wrong people. Her appearance is that of an average teenaged young girl with boundless energy except for her eye. Yaesha can scarcely look at it. It is red and reflective. At times he believes it glows even. She carries a strange and foreign looking stringed instrument. Not a lute, not a banjo…… something else.

He met her near the city gate. She was being bothered by the templars. They were suggesting that needed to show her papers or be placed into prison. Yaesha knew that would equal death or worse- rape then death. He bribed the two templars into accepting he was the girl’s slave owner and she was the property of House Tsalaxa.

Sharing a meal of roasted Z’tal and sweet water, he learned she was a traveler from the north. She lacked clear details of the villages he had heard existed there but she knew more than he did. This included the village of Ravish.

Ravish is a slave tribe village made up of ex-Drajians. Perhaps they would be open to trade. Without clearing it with Yadda, the head of the trade house, Yaesha came to a conclusion.

He contacted the storage building slaves and had them begin to pack a cart as he located Drak. Koe’s replacement was not an easy decision. Drak showed little loyalty to the house but Olan’s loyality was also in question with his close connection to Lilapaul of Silver Springs. Choro was too simple and innocent for the job. He spotted the unlikely new Clutch leader and called him over. Olan watched as Drak walked over to Yaesha and grew curious. He too got up and started over.

“Drak, I know we have not always agreed on how things are to be done but I find myself in a strange position. I need to trust someone. I choose…. You.”

“Klik kik…. Choose,,,, Drak?” Asks the tall thri-kreen with his antennae waving and crossing in uncertainty and unease.

“I have a mission that requires agents that can survive in the desert….. away from the settled Trade roads. You and the others proved you can do this and that you have resources to further help you on this trip.”

“Clutch leader…. I like. What would you…kik…. Have us do? Cilkik.”

“We’re rolling out?” asks Olan as he arrives hearing only a little bit of the conversation.

Yaesha hands Drak a map. He looks it over then hands it to Olan. “No towns listed…. Not even klik… Draj.”

“Security. The red line begins at Draj of course. The next dot on the line is Bitter well. It is a coastal trade center that we sometimes use. Then Ket which you have been too. There is a marker on a Standing Stone with the same symbol as what you see there on the map. Go into the desert towards the White Mountains.”

Olan thinks about how Lilapaul said his sister was to the north. What are the odds…..

“There are ruins on the edge of the Badlands named Hogalay. I am curious if they could be used for a outpost or safe house for if we create a trade route that way. Learn if any are living there and if so, can we work with them. If there are dangers there, what and can they be removed.”

“Anything else?” asks the kreen.

“Be sure to supply yourselves well before leaving to Ravish. There are days of travel before you reach Ravish. Ravish, according to my new contact and your guide, is made up of ex-Drajians. We hope to make trade contacts with them. Learn what they have for resources and offer trade.”

“Wait….. a guide?” questions Olan.

“Yes. A young girl with psionic talents that should be useful in ways Choro lacks. She should be helping with the loading of the wagon.” And with that, Yaesha motions for them to walk to the storage building. A small crowd has gathered here (about 6 of the remaining slaves and workers) and seem entranced. As they get closer they can hear music. The music is coming from inside the barn.

Choro joins the three as he has heard the music and left the Kest’rel Roost to investigate. The music is a welcomed escape from the thoughts and memories of losing Koe and the impending war.

The young girl with an infectious smile and aura of joy sits on a crate while singing and playing a long necked three string lute. It is a happy tale and everyone is enjoying it- even the slaves that were supposed to be packing the wagon.

“She is kik-kik…. A runt” Drak comments with whatever humor he can muster.

“She is. But I still like her.” Adds Olan.

“She is weird.” Comments Choro staring at her red unnatural eye.

Yaesha introduces her to the group once she stops. Choro is very distracted by her eye. Then he learns she is to join them on a quest.

“She is too young.” The half-giant says.

“Young? I am not…. Kik half her age.” Says the thri-kreen with some annoyance.

A bell rings and Yaesha knows it is a warning. The templars are on the move.

“Go! Go now! Take whatever supplies are packed and move out. Go through the northern gate!”

They quickly hitch up a Crodlu to pull the cart and two others to use and travel through the gates. They exit the city and begin up the crumbled King’s Road to the north.

Orthenta pulls out her instrument to begin playing. Choro, still cautious, asks if he can see the strange instrument. She has no issues with that but stresses not to damage it. She has not noticed he is wearing gloves now. As he walks beside the wagon he “reads” the instrument’s psychic impressions. She has not lied to him about anything and she is not a bad person. He hands it back to her and she smiles and begins to play a merry tune.

“No Runt. No play …. Instru…kik…ment.”

Laughing…. “Why? Don’t like music?”

“Sound carries. Alert predators. Attack.”

“Attack? Why attack someone whom makes them happy?”

“No. Music.”

Teasing she draws her fingers and a oddly shaped pick across the strings once more. Drak whorls his insectoid head around. “Okay……” and sadly she puts it aside. The constant thumping of the wheels as they travel over the rarely used road to the north is annoying. The young girl whispers to herself and the wagon…. “That includes you.” And Olan squints in consideration as the wagon’s wheels no longer squeak or creak.

Before he can ask about it Choro suddenly cries out- “THE BOOK! I Forgot my book!”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 049
“BITTER WELL & BEYOND”
08/16/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE DEAD
DAY: 03
KA: 190


Choro is still sad that he left his book about Kalidnay in a trunk (he thinks…maybe on a desk). Olan is also disappointed. He was beginning to recognize more words. Seemed there was open appreciation of other planar beings.

They try to save their trail rations. Orthenta guesses they have 14 days worth of food. Olan disagrees looking at about 10 days worth. She suggests she doesn’t need food and very little water which she can provide. Olan is coming to be more curious about this teenage girl. She is full of surprises. She and Drak have an agreement. She will play her shamishon (unique stringed instrument) only when in villages. She constantly then asks how much longer until Bitter Well. Drak never knew how hard it was to be a leader of the Clutch.

“Why is it called Bitter Well?” she asks to break up the silence of the long trip.

“Don’t know.”

“I thought you were our guide. Shouldn’t you know?” questions Choro.

“I lived the life of a gypsy. I never settled anywhere long enough to learn much.”

“Really?” asks Olan now as concerned as Choro to the usefulness of the girl.

“Unimportant. Just know we will resupply …our water… there.” Answers Drak.

“From talking to the other travelers, it is a very small dwarven settlement that acts as a trading post and has a Silt Skimmer dock.”

“Drak…. Are all thri-kreen like you?”

“Why?”

“I have never met a thri-kreen before.”

“She is our guide….?” Choro whispers to Olan whom rolls his eyes in agreement.

“And I’ve never seen a New Race like you before. Does the weight of those horns hurt your neck?”

“ah…. No.”

“And I’ve never seen a half-giant up close until I came to your city. Draj is my first city. Are all cities like Draj? Why does the cities of Draj and Raam want to fight? Do they want to fight with other cities? How many other cities are there?”

The questions continue on endlessly driving the Thri-kreen to scout a bit further ahead than before. Even as Drak spots a Stone marker indicating Bitter Well is to the right Olan spots a square shaped sail within the air-bourn silt.

“Looks like a ship is coming in.” He calls out. Orthenta places her stringed instrument on her lap and begins to strum the strings with a happy smile on her face. They are about to enter a village.

They climb a small sand and silt dune and spot five shambles of wood buildings surrounding a large cracked stone. Beyond it are about a dozen dwarves walking to a dock. A fifty foot long wheeled ship is coming to a stop at the dock. It is flying a red flag with a white feather and scroll on it.

A dwarf comes to greet them. Or is it to turn them around?

“Go. You should go.” The dwarf mutters while shooing them away with his hands.

“We are…. Klik… here for House Tsalaxa. We would like …kik clik….to resupply our water….”

“No more water. Maybe on another day. You should be going now.” Continues the nervous dwarf.

They look to where the dwarf s looking and see the source of the village’s water. A slow trickle of water seeps from the crack of the large stone that acts as the center of the village. There is no water to be had.

Olan then looks at the flag again. “Drak- which house has a red flag?”

He turns confused by the question.

“M’ke” answers Choro.

“M’ke….like M’ke of Raam. The city that is declaring war with our city?”

“Sorry to have bothered you sir dwarf.” Responds the tiefling and the four of them and their wagon turn and leave.

That night they set up camp on the side of the King’s Road. Drak gives in to the young girl since she did not get to play at Bitter Well. She sings a pleasant tune about a young hero traveling across the mysterious desert. Olan picks up it is in part about herself.

As they settle in to sleep Drak picks up on movement. Something is scittering along the disrepaired King’s Road. Just as they stand up three large centipedes and a dog sized scorpion appears. They make short work of it…. Especially with Orthenta’s “King”. Her red eye flashes and a reddish humanoid creature appears and attacks the vermin. The whole time she complains about the vermin being immune to her. Choro understands her. She was trying to use her psionics to mentally manipulate them. Vermin don’t have enough intelligence to do this with.

To Choro’s surprise however, she can heal other people with her psionics (Ardent). He can only heal himself.

Olan mentions how odd it was to have a full frontal assault by these four creatures that would have battled each other before attacking them. Most of the group understand what this means- they were summoned. They are also close to Ket where the Silt Clerics were.

Within twenty minutes- they are indeed attacked by three Silt Clerics. They blow in as clouds of silt and reform wielding magically enhanced weapons and protection. They are defeated and searched for clues at what they are doing. They find non-magical goods except for some fruits to heal with which are collected.

Clearly, The Silt Clerics are claiming this area as their own and are up to no good. For the trade road to remain open to Ket and beyond these clerics will need to be dealt with.

Though cautioned by Choro and Olan, Drak leaves the camp that night to hunt. He finds nothing. Silt is not a good environment for creatures it appears.

THE DEAD DAY 4

Now nearing the Tsalaxa trade town of Ket that secretly grows Drajaweed, the group awaken to large lizards warming them selves in the rising sun. One hisses menacely at them and Drak kills it with one strike from his thri-kreen pullarm. The other two decide they can find a better meal elsewhere and leave quickly.

Drak has breakfast for everyone.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: THE ELEMENTS OF EVIL
SEGMENT 050
“BOOKS AND THE TROUBLE THEY BRING”
08/16/19
SEASON: FRIEND’S VENGEANCE YEAR 24
MONTH: THE DEAD
DAY: 02
KA: 190

Yaesha is not happy. The templars came and took several of the last slaves to place into the supply lines of the oncoming war. He orders the last two remaining men to lock the storage area and call it a night. He doesn’t even have men to guard the walls and gate.

As a security precaution, he checks over the compound. He will contact Yadda afterwards and maybe she can conjure up some guards for use. The crodlus are fed and watered. Next he checks the main gate. It is locked. He goes inside and locks himself in the main building. He takes a glass and some broy and goes upstairs. From his office he contacts Yadda.

“What do you want Yaesha?” She demands. Her murky gaunt form can be seen within a dark barely lit cavern that acts as her home south of Draj.

“As you predicted, the templars have come and taken nearly all of the men and servants. The compound is largely unguarded.”

“Then guard it!”

“I am but one man.”

“Aggggh. What do you want?” She hisses through missing and disjointed teeth.

“Security. If not for the compound then at least for the storage building. There are still valuables there.”

There are several moments of silence then an unpleasant “Very well. I will arrive shortly.”

Yaesha knows this means she will teleport into the shadows in the basement of the storage building. He will meet her there.

He crosses the compound from the office building to the storage building. He hears hushed whispering upstairs in the common room where the caravan workers sleep. Curious what the last two servants are doing he goes upstairs to investigate.

What sees both infuriates him and surprises him. The two men are looking at a book. Choro’s book. The one he wanted to see destroyed. Harshly, he calls them away and snatches the book. He will deal with the book himself if need be.

Leaving the fearful men behind, he goes down the stairs and enters the secret passage into the basement. At this very moment Yadda appears within the darkness. A smell of defilement wafts into the air. The defiler is no longer using illusions to mask her appearance.

“I give you this-“ and she holds out a gem. Reluctantly, Yaesha takes it from her. “- with it you may summon servants that will remain within this area only.”

“Thankyou Yadda.”

“As you should! If I were in the middle of….. what have you there?” a sparkle flickers from an eye. “I smell magic. Old magic. You have…. A book.”

“Procured by the half-giant at Silver Springs.”

“indeed.” She waves her hand and it levitates from the crate he placed it on to her hands.

“Does he read it? Does he know what it says?”

“The New Race- Olan- is trying. He has had little success thus far.”

“Really?” she says as she waves her hand slowly over the floating book. It opens and pages slowly flip. “Be sure to tell Choro of its destruction.”

“Yes Yadda. As you say.”
 

Advertisement

Top