Saturday, 25 April 2020

Dark Sun: The One Where Garrok Went Bonkers at the Oasis and We Got the Girl

Dark Sun.  Session held 24 Apr 2020 (online).  I'll talk more about the system/campaign in my monthly round-up post.

Second session of an on-going campaign.  Edwin joined.  Spencer’s character having been killed, he introduced a new one.  Some players from the previous session were unable to attend.

Game Master

Wandering Mul Druid (Lv.1)

Half-Giant Ranger (Lv.1)

Follower:  Hardy.  Dwarf.

Halfling slave Psionicist (Lv.1)

Thri-Kreen Druid Trader (Lv.1)

Follower.  Kreekit, her nephew.


Ian's map (messed about with)

 Day 3 (Night)

The party was camping at the site of the fight with the giant hornets.

Two hours into the night, they were joined by travellers Garrok and Geo, introductions were made and the newcomers agreed to join the quest.  Some members of the party remained at the camp, recuperating.

Tracks of the renegades were found, leading to the SW, these were followed (leading into Hex 1, sandy wastes).  As we did so, we observed a cloud of dust – a large group of humanoids travelling as speed.  Knowing that this was likely to be a party of elves, and fearing that they might be hostile, we decided to avoid them and diverted to the W (moving into Hex 2, stony barrens).  The elves passed without incident.

We now observed a number of strange structures, which we assumed to be the nests of giant hornets.  Some debate was has as to whether to destroy them or to open one to discover what was inside.  However, we decided that to tamper with one risked awakening all the hornets nearby, and no-one had the appetite for that.  We resumed our pursuit of the escaped slaves.

Day 4 (Day)

(Hex 3, sandy wastes, oasis).  We discovered that the tracks of our quarry had been obliterated by the passing band of elves.  More importantly, we found an oasis, surrounded by mud and fringed on one side by trees.  It was decided that we should rest here during the heat of the day.  Two mekilots were watering at the oasis, so we took up position away from them.

Geo found the trail leading out to the SW.

While the rest of the party were resting, Frip observed a robed Thri-keen come out of the trees and perform some ritual at the water’s edge.  He reported this to Gre’kkt and the rest of the party.  An additional mekilot had turned up.

Day 4 (Night)

As the party were rousing, four mud-covered humanoid figures rose from the mud.  Too late, these were recognised as banshees (undead dwarves, cursed to roam the earth because they had died before completing their focus).  They uttered piercing screams.

Garrok, Hardy and Kreekit entered into a frenzy and rushed into an attack on the banshees, to no effect.  Two of the mekilots fled, but the third also suffered a bout of madness.  Fortunately, the Thri-keen emerged and used his powers to banish the banshees.  Garrok was able to shake off the effect of the cry, but Hardy and Kreekit weren’t.  Frip levitated out of the way and those in their senses retreated to the shelter of the trees as the mekilot charged.

Kreekit made an ineffectual attack on Gre’kkt.  Hardy took his flint spear and made a foolhardy charge on the mekilot.  Although the ex-gladiator managed to find a vulnerable spot and drove his spear into the creature’s skull, it was an uneven contest and he was trampled and killed.  The beast stampeded off.

As his companions retrieved what was left of Hardy’s body, Gre’kkt exchanged formalities and gifts with the druid.  He was able to tell her that the elves we were tracking had been captured by dwarves from the nearby settlement of Kled and gave her directions to get there.  Geo gave an eulogy for his companion.

Gre’kkt and Garrok had both previously been to Kled.  They knew that the dwarves there were employed in excavating the ruins of their lost city of Kemalock and were in constant conflict with a settlement of elves to the north (in part, over rights to this oasis).

Travel (through Hex 4 and Hex 5, both sandy wastes).  We came across a large patch of cacti resembling writhing brains.  Those who knew the wastes advised that these contain worms which, when the plant is cut, come out and attack, entangling their targets.  We moved on.

Entering the rocky badlands (Hex 6), we came to Kled.  On Gre’kkt’s advice, we waited until daybreak before entering the settlement, under the watchful eye of town guards all along.

Our first stop was the market, where Gre’kkt enquired of trader contacts (there were none present) and bought some Esper Weed (which when chewed would grant psionic effects) and a broken short sword (made of some form of metal!).

We then presented ourselves to the headman, Barrunas.  A venerable dwarf, he had founded the settlement over 150 years ago.  Although known to Garrok, he was reserved until he heard that we were intending to trade for his captives.  He drove a hard bargain: his preferred option being a rich reward, he also offered us the option of instead entering the mine and defeating a Sand Golem (and anything else that we might encounter).  After some discussion, we offered him Garrok’s monkey paw (which had the power to curse one’s enemies) and a hefty payment from Gre’kkt’s reserves.  Fripp gave Garrok his animating oil to replace the paw.

Barrunas led us to the captives, warning us that the woman was ‘trouble’.  Frip confirmed that this was indeed our quarry, Aspis, allegedly abducted by renegade elves.

This is where the story began to unravel.  Aspis ordered that her slaves be freed and that we immediately proceed to the elvin stronghold, where she would begin negotiations for the freeing of all her father’s slaves and the other elves held captive in Urik.  This caused some consternation.  Frip hastened to obey, but Gre’kkt pointed out that our employer was her father, who had contracted for the return of his daughter, and certainly not for a slave rebellion. 

Aspis’ haughty attitude decided the matter.  Garrok and Geo bundled her in a cloak, while Gre’kkt administered a paralysing bite.  She was bound and gagged.  While this was happening, the elves affected an escape.  One was killed, but the others fled.  Barrunas demanded that the party leave the settlement. 

The party was now faced with the prospect of the three-day journey back to Urik with a prisoner who may have arcane or psionic powers, and also the chance of being intercepted by an elvin warband.  Nevertheless, it was decided that we needed to camp and rest-up, so in order to be fresh if we did encounter trouble, and to give absent members of the party a chance to rejoin us.

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