Tharaa

Tharaa: Hadrian's Well (Session 6)
Ambushing the Raiders | Attacked by Monsters

WHAT THRICE LEARNED

The Journey Back to Hadrian’s Well

When Rymie, Mae, and Issan return from the ambush, Mae immediately searches the wagon to see if the valuable items are still intact. She finds that the elf is dead. Thrice is not forthcoming with any information about what happened. He blames “natural causes” and suggests they continue on their way and he’ll share what he learned.

The Dead Elf’s Tale

When they reach town, Mae goes out to patrol and Rymie talks with Thrice.

According to the dwarf, the elf prisoner thought the raiders were interested in the well, but Thrice suspects that the elf didn’t know everything, and may not have had the whole picture. The elf estimated that there were 20-30 in their band, but Thrice also suspects that number based on his intelligence.

Thrice advocates finding the encampment and attacking the raiders. He suggests that the group hide outside the city and follow a party of raiders back to find their encampment.

SPLITTING UP THE HAUL

Decision Time

The adventurers are now faced with a dilemma . . . should they give the supplies to Jeselah or sell them to Rikard?

According to the limited knowledge they’ve gathered, there are about 20 poorly equipped soldiers in the town (not including the lord’s men). They would need twice that many men to mount an effective defense. Rikard has about 35 men he could train and equip quickly. He is willing to pay for supplies to equip more than that, though, since he’s trying to raise an army. After some deliberation, the group decides to split the weapons evenly between Jeselah and Rikard. The supplies will all go to Jeselah for distribution amongst the refugees.

At Rikard’s

Thrice and Issan head to Rickard’s, and Rymie suddenly thinks the better of it and hurries after them. Rickard deals directly with Thrice, ignoring the others. He wants the full set of weapons, but seems willing to take what he can get. He lets them know that he doesn’t trust Jeselah and doesn’t think she is effective at her work.

The dwarf offers Thrice 5% of the cut he’ll make raising and hiring out fighters. Thrice negotiates the offer up to 20%, but Rickard wants Jeselah out of the way for it to be a deal. Finally they settle on 10% up front and another 10% if Jeselah is out of the way.

At Jeselah’s

Meanwhile, Mae delivers the other half of the weapons to Jeselah. She feels obliged to tell her about Rickard getting the rest, and Jeselah is so angry she is barely grateful for the weapons. She hints strongly that Mae and her friends burn down Rickard’s, but Mae isn’t interested. She instead advises Jeselah that she set aside her argument with Rickard to focus on defending the town, but leaves convinced Jeselah isn’t focused on that particular task.

AMBUSHING THE RAIDERS

Victory at the Noble Gate

The group reconvenes and decides the best thing to do is to ambush the raiders at the town gate and attack them. After warning the town guard what they’re planning, they sneak out before nightfall and take up hiding places on either side of the Noble Gate, outside of arrow range of the walls. After a long, dull wait, raiders oblige them by showing up at the gate. A rousing fight ensues and the adventurers soundly beat the Noble Gate raiders with assistance from the archers on the walls.

Tracking the Enemy

After the fight ends, the group returns to town quickly. They’re convinced that the raiding group split their attack between the two gates, and Mae fetches Oov and his trackers with a cilops. The adventurers and the cilops & its handler track the surviving elves to the south, but end up at a warren of deep cracks and ravines. Without more information or backup, the group decides it’s safest to return to town.

STRANGE MONSTERS ATTACK

Politics and Rickard’s Heroes

The group returns to town and makes plans to repeat their ambush, but before night falls the group notices something strange. Many of the soldiers and other capable bodies in the town are wearing new blue patches with crossed swords & pikes. Apparently these are Rickard’s “Heroes.”

Rymie feels terrible and Mae is a bit uncomfortable. The group decides to go talk to the town council and see if an explanation will help, or if there’s something they can do to ease the tensions. They encounter just Oov and Miron, and Miron is angry that they’ve caused the town financial hardship by arming fighters who demand a higher price for their services. There’s an uncomfortable conversation in which Miron acknowledges that the group has brought weapons and helped the town overall, but accuses them of bankrupting the town at the same time. Rymie, ever anxious to find a solution, offers to attempt to bargain for a better price for the Heroes’ services. Apparently Rickard is charging 10 cp per soldier per month, whereas previously the town was able to house and equip soldiers for 6 cp per month. The group points out the the equipment provided by the town was hardly serviceable, and they’re deep in conversation when there are sounds of disturbance outside.

“They’re in the walls! They’re in the walls!”

Fire Beetles! Rik! Bullete!

The group bursts out of the council chambers to see several fire beetles burrowing up out of the walls and sandy ground. There are loads of townspeople around, and a battle begins. Additional beetles continue to appear, and so do a few large worms called Rik. At least one of them confuses Rymie & Mae, causing them to attack each other.

FINALLY, after several rounds of Mae shouting for him, Jeren appears with his shotgun, and the battle begins to turn. They group is aided by soldiers and “Heroes” alike, and Jeseleh takes a bad injury.

Just as things look like they’re going the adventurers’ way, the ground rumbles even more violently, and a bullete erupts in the center of the square. It basically looks like a giant mouth, or a shark with legs. Rymie is nearly beside himself with concern for the innocent civilians, but with Jeren’s help the group manages to put down the strange and brutal attack.

GAME DETAILS

July 18, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house

Characters & Players
Rymie: Katie
Mae: Stacey
Thrice: Mike
Issan: Jake

View
Tharaa: Hadrian's Well (Session 5)
Tracking a Strange Coyote | Gifts & Revelations

AN EVENTFUL TRIP

Two Lectures

As the group gathers up the supplies, Rymie and Issan both have private talks with the terribly ashamed Mae. Rymie chastises her to think more logically, and to avoid hasty behavior that puts herself and her companions in danger. Issan, on the other hand, slaps the girl on the back and congratulates her. “I didn’t know you had it in you!”" he laughs. Both interventions have the same effect: Mae is determined to behave less rashly in the future. To Rymie’s great suprise and discomfort, Mae bursts into tears and wraps her arms around the Pterran, promising not to let her temper get the best of her again.

A Strange Coyote

The group loads up the wagon with the weapons and supplies from the willow tree, hitches it to Thrice’s kank, and sets out back to Hadrian’s Well. Issan and Rymie ride their kanks, and Thrice stays in the wagon with the prisoner. Mae roams ahead, behind, and to the sides of the group on her crodlu, keeping watch for raiding elves.

After a few hours, Mae notices that a coyote is keeping pace with them off to the right. The creature seems unusually intelligent, and appears and disappears a few times in the landscape. Finally it comes fairly close to Mae, and barks and yips, clearly inviting her to follow it. Mae, anxious lest she do something rash, rides back to the group and alerts Rymie. Together, the two decide to trail the coyote, despite some concerns that it may be leading them into a trap or trying to separate their group. They leave Mae’s battle horn with the wagon in case of trouble.

It’s a Trap!

Rymie and Mae follow the coyote for some distance when it suddenly disappears behind a rock. When they arrive at the rock, the coyote is nowhere to be seen and the two adventurers start to investigate. Suddenly Rymie hears voices and Mae catches the sound of some footsteps. While Mae tries too late to signal Rymie for silence and rides around the rock to try to hide, Rymie continues talking loudly and unconvincingly to himself.

Arrows and chakra fly and and a battle begins: Four or five Shidow raiders have either found or trapped them. Rymie and Mae (who is trying hard to be thoughtful as she rushes into the fray) engage the enemy and kill a couple of them but two manage to escape. Mae starts to give chase, but realizes she’ll never be able to catch up to them, and so lets them go. From the dead raiders, they gather the following:

  • hokori (1)
  • arrows with insect baskets (3)
  • elven leather armor (1)
  • chakra (10)
  • kukiri (1)
  • small gems (3)
  • longbows (1)
  • quiver (1)
  • arrows with obsidian heads (40)
  • studded leather armor elven (1)
  • silver (15)

Rymie and Mae then ride back to catch up with the others, and head on toward town.

GIFTS & REVELATIONS

Jeren’s Gift

The group makes it back to town without further incident, and Mae rides in to fetch Jeren. She wants to make sure he pulls out whatever he needs from the cache before the rest is presented to Jeselah.

Unsurprisingly, Jeren recovers the shotgun, bullets, and some gunpowder for himself. He grumbles about how long he’s left these things uncared for. Then, in a touching scene, he presents Mae with the iron dagger. He tells her it was a gift from someone special, but that she’s special to him, and he wants her to have it. He apologizes for its rusted state, but thinks that if she can find a skilled blacksmith she should be able to have it restored to its former masterwork quality.

Rymie Lets Something Slip

Mae is all set to head to Jeselah to present the rest of the weapons, when Rymie stops her. The Pterran mentions that Thrice has been speaking to a faction of fighters in town. Unlike the town guard, these fighters are willing to pay for weapons. Mae is annoyed that the dwarf has been wheeling & dealing, and feels that they should keep their promise to Jeselah, but she’s not averse to making a profit. Rymie intelligently points out that the weapons should probably go to the most skilled fighters, while Mae irritably mutters that any able fighters should be prepared to work together to defend the town.

Healing Remedies & Aethora Advice

Mae and Rymie decide they need to speak with Thrice before they can decide how to proceed, but the dwarf seems to have wandered off on an errand. Instead, they decide to stop in to see how Gnnet is doing with his healing remedies, and to pick his brain about the Aethora.

The healer greets them cheerfully and presents them with a supply of healing remedies. For each adventurer, Gnnet has prepared two light healing remedies and two regular-strength remedies. In addition, he gives them two salves that will, according to him, cure any disease or neutralize any poison.

Rymie then asks about the Aethora, which Gnnet examines carefully. He’s impressed with its power, and can feel it curiously touching his mind as the others have. He regrets that he knows nothing that might help them unlock its secrets. He suggests that perhaps one of the academies might be able to, if they didn’t steal it in the name of learning or from sheer greed. Thinking, he then mentions that, while he doesn’t know anyone trustworthy in Tyr, there is a man there named Bhen in a small town on the way there. Gnnet encourages Rymie to seek him out and speak to him – he’s a psychometabolist with no love for the academies.

A QUIET NIGHT

Strange!

The group rests the night through, and awake in the morning to a surprise: There was no raid during the night. Everyone is remarking on how unusual the situation is; the elves have raided every night since the first attack in the area. The adventurers discuss this turn of events quietly with Jeren, wondering if it’s possible that the elves at the aprig farm and the coyote rock were the only ones in the band.

Jeren says when they raided the farm it seemed like dozens, but it might have only been a handful. And the guards haven’t ever been able to get any kind of count during the night raids. On the other hand, it seems likely that there must be more to attack a city so large, and so everyone is a little on edge, suspecting a trap or more forceful attack. It’s possible that the Shidow Mae and Rymie encountered were the ones tasked with that evening’s raid, but that doesn’t mean that the village is safe. Once Thrice wakes up he can interrogate his prisoner for more information.

Jeren also mentions his surprise when Mae relates the story of the intelligent coyote. Coyotes are very rare around Hadrian’s well. Usually they keep to the badlands.

TRACKING THE COYOTE

Finding a Tracker

Rhymie and Mae are now more curious than ever about the mysterious animal, and decide to return to the area and attempt to track it. However, neither of them has any skill in that area, so they seek out Oov. After discussing the lack of a raid and sharing the news that they killed several raiders the day before, they ask how the trackers are coming along with their cilops. It turns out the training is going well, but the psions are resting at the moment. Oov recommends that they try hiring a woman named Marion. She’s a skilled tracker who works at Rikard’s. Rymie, Mae, and Issan go there to find her.

After an amusing escapade involving Rymie’s first attempt to drink alcohol, the group asks Rikard if Marion is available. A tough woman shows up in response to his summons wearing leather armor, a short sword, and a small buckler. After some haggling, Rikard offers to loan Marion to the group for free as a gesture of good will – he’s the one who has been dealing with Thrice and is hoping to buy weapons for the fighting faction in town.

Shapeshifter!

Marion, Rymie, and Mae set out and eventually make their way back to the rocks where the coyote disappeared. Although Marion has a difficult time picking up the trail, she eventually finds the coyote’s tracks.

They really do disappear at the rock. The threesome search the area, and Marion finally finds some feathers on the side of the rock. She identifies them conclusively as falcon feathers, or at least definitely a small raptor, not a vulture. Marion is more puzzled than ever, having never seen a falcon in the region. They begin to discuss the possibility of a shapeshifter, and sure enough, Rymie finds faint traces of divine magic in the area. It seems to the Pterran to have been spirit magic, which is typically used by druids or rangers.

No wiser as to whether the coyote led them into the raiders’ trap, or whether they were being led elsewhere when the raiders happened upon them, the group heads back to Hadrian’s Well.

GAME DETAILS

June 30, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house

Characters & Players
Rhymie: Katie
Mae: Stacey
Issan: Jake

View
Tharaa: Hadrian's Well (Session 4)
Finding the Water Shaman & Raiders at Jeren's Farm

A BUSY MORNING

The Second Attack

The adventurers make an encampment near Gnnet’s, but are awoken early by the sounds of another raid. Mae immediately tries to get into the healer’s to check on Jeren, but Gnnet’s gate is locked. The attack ends as suddenly as it began.

Mae and Rymie dash toward the main gate, where they talk to the guards. It happened quickly: Arrows out of nowhere, and the guards couldn’t tell how many raiders there were. “Could have been four, could have been 400,” says one of them. Mae talks her way into a climb up the gate, but even with her synethsete powers, she can’t see or hear anything in the pre-dawn darkness.

Thrice heads to the noble gate, where he finds a soldier who’s been shot through the neck. Like the others, he’s unable to gather any useful information on the raiders’ numbers.

An Amiable Trade

Thrice & Mae, in a remarkably civil interaction, trade mounts, so Mae ends up with a crodlu and Thrice a kank. Mae purchased two water casks the evening before, and she gives them to Rymie to carry on the green kank.

FINDING POROS

A Visit to the Alms House

Rymie and Mae head to the alms house. It’s completely overrun with refugees and nobody seems to be in charge. While questioning a few of the crowd, the two adventurers hear the name Barak surface; apparently he’s a young human with unusual sandy hair who helps out there regularly.

Mae jumps up on a table to see over the crowd, but can’t spot anyone by that description. She’s about to climb down and head toward the closed back room when Rymie jumps up as well and starts shouting for Barak quite . . . emphatically. A sandy-haired fellow emerges from the back.

Barak is utterly confused by Rymie’s appearance and demeanor, but apparently is just as impressed by Mae’s looks. He invites her into the back room for some fresh water. To Mae’s embarrassment, Rymie is asked to stay outside, and Mae softens the blow by suggesting that the Pterran help those in need of healing in the room.

Despite Barak’s clumsy and transparent flirting, Mae manages to get some information on Poros and a cup of ice-cold water. Barak considered the elf a pretty affable guy, very generous. He was usually talkative, but once the elves showed up he locked himself in his room and wouldn’t come out. Then he was gone. In fact, Barak broke down the door to Poros’s room after the elf was unresponsive for several hours, only to find that he had disappeared.

Barak apparently aspires to be a shaman, and Poros taught him in his spare time, but Mae can see that he’s unlikely to succeed with the distaste the youth has for the “unwashed masses” he serves.

While Mae is in the back with Barak, Thrice and Issan enter the alms house looking for their companions.

The Shaman’s Room

Mae gets permission from Barak to look around Poros’s room, and finally manages to slip away from him and explore on her own.

The room is small and spare with a low bed, thin mattress and a chamber pot. There’s a shelf on one wall with a couple of small books – meditations on nature of water. There’s also a small window that leads toward the cliff. Outside the window is a little storage area with chests and casks. It’s overrun by refugees. Mae conducts a quick but thorough search of the room, then heads out the window in order to avoid the embarrassment of encountering the amorous Barak again. She pops in the front, gathers Rymie and Thrice and Issan, and leads them around back, blushing and brushing off Rymie’s confident assertions about Barak’s mating intentions, and Thrice and Issan’s related commentary.

The Hidden Spring

Mae suspects that Poros may have slipped away down the cliff, and she suggests that the group look around to see if there are any likely spots for a descent nearby. They scout a bit and Thrice eventually finds a set of handholds embedded in the rock, mostly hidden behind some crates. He doesn’t volunteer the information until Mae notices that he’s spent a rather long time behind the crates.

Mae briefly tests the handholds, then heads down. They descend only about 15 feet to a large crevice, where Mae pauses and hears lapping water. She heads back up and tells the others. Rymie psionically detects thoughts, and finds an intelligent creature hidden below in the crevice, but the Pterran can’t figure out what it’s thinking.

Rymie, Thrice and Mae decide to descend, and Issan will stay at the top “to make sure nobody messes with the rope.” This probably has nothing to do with the two embarrassing slips Issan made on his descent into the canyon the previous day. Mae quickly ties rope harnesses as a backup for Thrice and Rymie. Although they’ll only be descending 15’ down a sturdy set of handholds, the drop to the canyon floor is still deadly.

The three make their way down to the crevice and slip through it. It turns out to be a narrow opening that leads a wider, curving passage. The passage is utterly dark, but they’re reluctant to light torches since they don’t know who – or what – they will encounter. About 70 feet in, the passageway opens up into a small room.

Rymie and Mae are totally blind, but Thrice is able to see a figure sitting in a small room next to a pool of water. Rymie begins to try to light a torch, while Thrice moves slowly toward the man, apparently unnoticed by anyone. Eventually the torch is lit and the three adventurers encounter the elf.

POROS

Two Secrets

The elf is very surprised to see the adventurers, and seems genuinely distressed that they’ve jumped to the conclusion that he is assisting the raiders. He seems to feel he is at the visitors’ mercy, and tells them everything, swearing them to secrecy as he does so:

When the elf raiders came, Poros hid out in the cavern where he had been harvesting water unbeknownst to the dowsers (who own rights to all water) for quite some time. He was worried that people would associate him with the Shidow; in fact, he used to be one of them.

He swears that he is no longer associated with the raiders, though, and that he’s not assisting them or in contact with them at all. The shidow worship fire, and Poros left them a few years ago because they were too vicious for his nature. He thought that working with the alms house while following the path of the water shaman might help redeem him.

About the Shidow

When pressed for details about the raiders, Poros shares his dated knowledge.

“The shidow tend to change leaders rapidly, but it’s a little unusual for them to attack a village like Hadrian’s Well. Usually they go for softer targets. This sounds like the work of Erendahl. Man, if he’s taken over . . . he has something of a temper. If he thought there was something or someone of value – like a military commander he could hostage, he might do something as foolhardy as this.”

According to Poros, the Shidow usually travel in small groups, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of them. It’s impossible to know how many have joined together. Their favorite times to attack are evening and just before dawn. They tend to make camps within ravines like those located south of Hadrian’s Well where the land breaks up.

Poros warns the adventurers to be careful; the raiders put out watches and often will lay traps in the form of snares and nets.

The Blessing of the Water Shaman

Once Poros has shared all he knows about the Shidow, the adventurers explain why they’ve sought him out. The elf is wiling to help his friend Gnnet, but not willing to give up his location.

Mae runs back up to Gnnet’s to find out how much water is needed, and the healer responds that he requires about 3 gallons. Mae grabs one of their new water casks and brings it to Poros. The elf takes a few hours to bless the water, and the group delivers it to a grateful if perplexed Gnnet.

RAIDERS AT THE FARM

Setting Out

The adventurers decide it’s time to set out for the weapons & supplies cached at Jeren’s farm. They start with a conversation with Jeren, who says that Mae need only ask the tree for the cache and it will reveal its secrets. He also asks that the group bring the cache to him before handing it over to the town marshall so he can sort out items of personal significance. He estimates there are probably three kanks’ worth of materials, but if the wagon is still intact or can be repaired, it would probably be easiest.

The group heads out on their mounts, keeping careful watch for traps and raiders. Rymie thinks he spies a group keeping pace, but they aren’t spotted again. After a quick conference as evening approaches, the group decides to continue on to the farm where they can set traps and prepare for an attack.

Surprise Encampment

As they approach the farm, Thrice hears voices ahead. Rather than share this knowledge, though, the dwarf tells Rymie he’s going to peel off and go around the farm. The rest of them crest the rise, and are surprised to see an elf encampment set up in the yard.

Mae is furious about the takeover of the remains of her home. She kicks her crodlu to dash directly into their midst. She tries to overrun an elf, but fails; he slashes at the crodlu with one of his two large kukiri.

Rymie casts doom on the kukiri-wielder, but then Mae falls prey to both doom and fear – it seems the elves have a caster among them, as well. She runs for a round and winds up behind the barn, but her mad dash clears her head; she dismounts and begins climbing the barn. She’s hit by a chotchka and is in dire shape, then falls when she tries to finish her climb. She’s knocked unconscious.

Meanwhile, Issan and Rymie fight, and Thrice sneaks through the burned out house and casts some sort of suggestion on one of the elves, convincing it to defend the dwarf. The adventurers, minus Mae, finally gain the upper hand and vanquish the encamped raiders, keeping the one who is in thrall to Thrice as a prisoner. Rymie restores a severely ashamed Mae to consciousness and heals everyone up somewhat. Exhausted, the group makes camp.

The Loot & the Cache

The next morning, the group finds the wagon, which has managed to escape the initial raid unscathed. They loot the dead elves, recovering the following:

  • chakra (2)
  • kukiri (4)
  • chakra (3)
  • elf hokori (1)
  • small snare traps (4)
  • elf-sized leather armor suits (2)
  • elf-sized studded leather armor (4)
  • kukiri (7)
  • elf chiton shirt (1)
  • heavy spiked wooden shield (1)
  • wooden holy symbols for fire (2)
  • healing remedies (2)
  • small pouches of choria (6)
  • small gems (5 banded agate, 3 turquoise, 4 jasper, 2 rose quartz, thrice knows their worth)
  • distillation kits (2)

They then recover the cache from the willow, which Rymie reaches out to psionically, and which seems to reach right back with a curious probing. It has been hiding:

  • 16 athgari longswords
  • 8 stone hammers
  • 8 bone daggers
  • 12 longbows
  • 250 obsidian tipped arrows
  • 6 suits of leather armor for humans
  • 4 suits of hide armor for humans
  • dagger wrapped in a soft cloth. it’s an iron dagger!! it’s beautifully crafted, but it has some rust spotting. it was at one time a masterwork item, but it is no longer.
  • rifle. it’s old and in poor repair.
  • 50 lead bullets
  • 3 sealed casks of gunpowder (2 lbs each)
  • several parchments & papers (inventories, bills of sale, etc., a parchment with a recipe for naptha – greek fire, requires crude oil, wood resin, and sulfer, and creates a highly flammable sticky material that burns at very high temps and can only be extinguished by sand or vinegar – water has no effect)
  • joray attached to the end of an athgariwood stick. rymie finds it has 9 charges of daze.
  • 8 changes of clothing
  • 4 pairs of boots
  • 3 crates of dried aprig meat & flour – rations for 20 soldier for 2 weeks
  • 6 sealed amphora (ceramic jugs) labeled water

GAME DETAILS


June 21, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house

Characters & Players
Rymie: Katie
Mae: Stacey
Issan: Jake
Thrice: Mike

View
Tharaa: Hadrian's Well (Session 3)
Fetching the Cilops

THE DESCENT

Preparing for the Trip

With the prospect of a 280’ descent and 15’ meat-eating insects ahead of them, Mae, Rymie, and Issan decide some preparation is in order. The threesome brainstorm ideas for trapping the cilops, and manage to purchase a couple of strong hunting nets. Thrice must have other business to attend to, and decides not to participate in this particular escapade.

Mae and Rymie go through the town to borrow additional rope. Oov and his guild are particularly helpful, and the group ends up with more than enough rope to provide a main line for the entire descent, plus extra rope for harnesses, zerka coils, etc. Mae’s time practicing knot-tying with Jeren pays off when she fashions exceptionally sturdy rope harnesses for Issan and herself. Rymie will rely on the harness they found in the city of the Bhreen.

While Mae prepares the harnesses, Rymie fills in the group on cilops. They’re large, centipede-like creatures that generally live alone or in small groups. They’re about as thick around as a human with many, many legs, and can reach 10-15’ in length. The creatures are insects and will eat meat; in fact, they’ll likely see the adventurers as prey. They attack with strong mandibles and also have antennae which can paralyze prey on contact.

The Trip Down

“The trip starts out smoothly, with Mae proceeding ahead of the others down a single main line and hammering in pitons to serve as back-up supports for the rope. Rymie proceeds next, but doesn’t get far before the elven harness breaks and the Pterran loses its grip. Mae catches Rymie by the hand, but isn’t able to hold onto the Pterran’s slick claws, and Rymie plummets. Issan shouts to Mae to use her zerka, and she manages to snag Rymie through the leg in a painful but life-saving shot. Rymie reaches out and takes hold of the main line, and Mae clambers down to advise Rymie to wrap the line around a wrist.

After that scary episode, Mae sets up spare safety lines and sends the other two ahead, clinging to the wall and a piton to brace against further falls. Issan slips twice, but Mae is able to catch and stabilize him on the safety line both times…with a bit of ribbing about his weight.

Partway down the cliff face, the group is able to rest in a large crevice and harvest two full bags of the ascar berries Gnnet needed for his healing remedies.

CENTIPEDES & CILOPS

Simplifying the Plan

“Once on the ground, the group takes a look around at the base of the cliff. The ravine is fairly wide, and time and wind have carved out long, low caves along the walls. There are no signs of life, but there are also no good spots to create a rockslide or a trap. The adventurers agree that despite all their planning, it’s probably best to just hunt the cilops with nets and zerkas.

Mae cuts up her last 70’ of silk rope to make coils for each of her three zerkas, and Issan readies the hunting nets they have borrowed from the Harvester Guild. Rymie, Mae, and Issan scout around, Mae using her synethsete psionic power, until the group finds a large flat rock that seems like a likely hiding place for cilops.

Centipedes & Cilops!

“Mae and Issan clamber up to the top of the rock, which is only a few feet high, and Rymie throws a torch under the rock to flush out any creatures and jumps up to join the others.

Immediately, three monstrously large but non-psionic centipedes are flushed out. Mae attacks instinctively, and the centipedes turn to engage the adventurers. The threesome meet the challenge, and partway through the battle two cilops appear from under the rock. Battle battle non-lethal damage victory!

Oov’s Thanks

“The adventurers tie up the unconscious cilops and float the joray up the side of the cliff so Mae can recover the borrowed rope and her pitons.

Oov is more than impressed when the group returns the joray along with the two captive cilops, which Rymie assists in healing up. He will put the psions to work immediately with getting to know and control the cilops so that they can be used to assist patrols outside of town and help raise the alarm in advance of future attacks.

Oov rewards Rymie, Mae, and Issan with their pick of kank mounts from the Harvester Guild’s supply. He also gives them each tack, saddle bags, and a grooming kit. Rymie is thrilled to find a green kank, while Mae and Issan are simply grateful for the reward. Issan immediately goes to celebrate at Rikard’s gambling den.

Gnnet’s Missing Friend

“From there, Rymie & Mae go to deliver the ascar berries to Gnnet. He’s thrilled with the two large sacks full of berries, but won’t be able to complete the remedies without the blessing of Poros, an elven water shaman who has been missing since around the time of the attacks.

The shaman’s disappearance sounds suspicious to the adventurers, but Gnnet assures them that Poros was a kind elf who ran the alms house. Gnnet considered him to be a good friend, although he did arrive a few years ago under rather suspicious circumstances. The healer asks Rymie and Mae to try to track him down, and they agree.

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QUEST SUMMARY
Myron, the town arbiter Find out how many Shidow raiders there are and what their motivation is without confronting them directly.
Jeselah, the town marshal Find weapons, supplies, clothing, etc.
Oov, the harvester delegate Go down into the canyon and procure two cilops
Gnnet, the healer Harvest a sack full of ascar berries
Gnnet, the healer Find the water shaman Poros

GAME DETAILS
June 17, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie Katie
Mae Stacey
Issan Jake

View
Tharaa: Hadrian's Well (Session 2)
The Town Beseeches the Adventurers

MAE’S ESCAPE

In and Out of the Dungeon

“Upon being caught outside one of Sheyk Bandar’s sitting room windows, Mae is taken by a guard to a small nearby building. They descend into a dungeon, where Mae is stripped of clothing & equipment, dressed in a simple sack, and put into a 5×7’ cell.

The cell is dark and terribly unclean. Only a bit of light spills through a small, barred window in the door. There is no handle or lock on the inside of the door. After rooting around in the dirt and finding nothing useful, Mae spends some time breaking bone bars out of the tiny window in the door. It seems like a futile exercise. Partway through her bar destruction spree, Mae hears shouts and sounds of confusion—it seems as though the raiders are attacking.

Suddenly, to her surprise, the door clicks and swings open. Mae braces for an attack or a rescue, but nobody is immediately outside. She steps cautiously into the hall, and sees a cloaked figure at the end of the passage, near the stairs that lead up to the surface. The figure disappears, and Mae follows.

At the base of the stairs is a bundle of her clothing and equipment, with a bit of parchment on top. Mae reads it while getting dressed:

Whoever you are, help the city
We will do what we can from here

Upstairs, the guard room is empty. Peeking through an open door, Mae sees chaos. Soldiers and servants are running around, and it seems nobody is likely to stop to recapture her in the confusion. Mae contemplates escaping back down to the city, but then decides she should use the opportunity to see if she can confirm her fear that Rhavin is visiting the noble.

Rhavin!

“Mae explores the main building, peering into dark and empty private rooms and sneaking in and out of the now-empty sitting room in which she originally saw the nobles. Back outside the building, she hears signs of life from a large, rounded room at the back of the house. She’s able to jump up and grasp a windowsill, then wedge herself into a dark outside corner to spy on the scene.

In the room are seated two older nobles, whom Mae assumes to be Sheyk Bandar and his wife. They’re accompanied by some middle-aged people whom Mae takes for their children, and lots of activity. Soldiers are coming and going to give reports, and servants are scurrying about. Mae barely manages to keep her grip on the windowsill when Rhavin comes striding through the doors. Although she can’t hear much through the window, Mae observes Rhavin walk up to the lord and poke him in the chest. Rhavin says something angry to Sheyk Bandar, and the noble looks ashamed. Rhavin grabs his cloak, sweeps the room with his eyes (Mae ducks below the sill), and leaves the room.

BACK IN TOWN

Jeren’s Suspicions

“As Mae crosses wall to get to back to the town, the sounds of battle stop. The attack seems to have lasted only half an hour, but the town is a mess. Mae heads directly to Gnnet’s to talk to Jeren.

Jeren seems stronger, and he’s not surprised by Mae’s news. He explains, ””There were rumors that the king had a bard working for him, but even though the king is bad, I’m surprised he would associate with someone like that. It seems pretty clear that Rhavin is this bard.

Mae recalls the distaste her parents had on the few occasions she overheard them discussing bards. They’re reviled as arcane magic users, smugglers, poison experts, and denizens of the black market. They’re masters of information, but don’t share it freely.

Meanwhile . . .

“The rest of the group has not yet missed Mae, and they’ve been busy during the brief attack.

After it ends, they notice that the arrows that have come over the walls are unusual. Thrice pulls one out of the only dead man in the area, who was a guard posted on the town wall. The arrow has a strange basket head, and Thrice shares the knowledge that these arrows are used by raiding elves. The elves trap sithik beetles in the chambers. The beetles are released when the arrow hits its mark, and they proceed to burrow into their victims, who die very quick and painful deaths. The other arrows embedded in nearby buildings and on the ground seem normal.

The group notices a lot of movement up on the noble’s hill. Thrice wants to head up there, but they’re put off by the activity and their thwarted earlier attempts. At that moment, Thrice notices Gnnet heading toward the gate. He suggests Rhymie go help, but before they can split up, two soldiers come and tell them that the council wishes to see them.

A SERIES OF QUESTS

Myron’s Request

“Mae meets up with Rhymie and Thrice on their way to the town council. Inside the council chambers, they find the arbiter (Myron), the dowser captain (Vess, a fairly attractive female dwarf), and the Harvester Delegate (Oov, a male dwarf). Issan shows up, too, pulling on some clothes.

Myron begins, ””As you can tell, it appears the elves have stepped up their infringement on our land. They didn’t directly attack us, but they did threaten us and we lost two of our soldiers in the raid. I’ll be frank. We don’t have any information on these elves. We don’t know how many there are, what they want, or anything else about them. Sheyk Bandar remains sequestered, and although he must have his reasons, I need information. I will reward you handsomely if you can find out who these elves are, and how many we are dealing with. Don’t confront them directly until we know their numbers and motivations.”“

Mae points out that the elves are Shidow raiders, and asks whether it’s likely there is any more reason than that. Myron isn’t sure, but he suspects there may be. He is reluctant to plan without more information. He also asks the group to speak with Jeselah before they leave town. She may have other needs.

Jeselah’s Request

“The group heads to the bazaar, even though it’s in the middle of the night. Thrice needs supplies, and he wants to scope out the selection.

The bazaar has been taken over as a refugee camp, with the exception of one large tent. It’s guarded by a few burly humans with spiked clubs. Thrice stays and the rest of the group heads on to the main gate, where they help Gnnet with the healing through the night. Thrice rejoins them and they decide to try to scope out the raiders by observation first, then figure out if there are small patrols or individuals that they can capture and interrogate.

In the morning, the group all gather together at the large tent in the bazaar. It turns out to belong to a fellow named Walth, who’s very happy to see potential customers. Rymie and Mae sell 75 ceramic of things from the temple of the Bhreen and Thrice picks up a few things. At that point a soldier finds the group and leads them to Jeselah.

She begs the group to help by finding weapons, supplies, clothing, etc. After Ella confiscated so much of the town’s supplies for the Tyrian army, Hadrian’s Well is in no shape to defend itself. Mae says she may be able to help, but she can’t promise anything. Another soldier comes by and mentions that Oov would like to speak with them.

Oov’s request

“On their way to see the Harvest Guild master, the group tries to scope things out. Mae looks over the precipice, but doesn’t see any signs of life in the ravine. They talk to the guards at the gates and climb the towers, but can’t see anything in the darkness.

Stymied, Rymie and Mae head on to speak to Oov.

Oov, it turns out, has had an idea: The harvesters do a lot of caravaning of goods, and often the caravans are led by mekillots (40’ long lizard strapped to mammoth wagons) controlled by psions. The psions might be able to control something a bit more useful.

There are creatures called cilops (like bloodhounds in the form of 500-600 pound, 15’ long centipedes), which are trackers that are useful for scouting, finding things, etc. If some of these creatures could be captured, the psions could control them and use them for patrols. It’s rumored that there are cilops nests at the bottom of the canyon.

If the group is willing to go down there, Oov could lend them something from the harvester vault. It’s called a joray, a psionically controlled gem mounted in a bone disk. This particular joray generates a 15’ diameter platform that can hover and lift loads. The harvesters use it to carry their wares, but the adventurers should be able to use it as an elevator to get out of the canyon with their bounty.

The joray has a fairly limited elevation time, so Oov suggests they use it only the way out. He asks the group to try to procure at least two cilops, and it’s no good trying to bring the psions, they will need some time to get used to the cilops.

It’s 280’ down into the ravine.

Gnnet’s request

“While Mae goes back to the bazaar to try to find some additional materials for a descent into the canyon, Rymie talks to Gnnet.

Gnnet is excited to hear that they’re preparing to descend into the canyon, because he needs a sack full of ascar berries. These reddish yellow berries with dark leaves grow along the face of the cliff. He’ll use them to make a large batch of healing remedies. Rymie negotiates with the healer, who agrees to make some extra remedies for the adventurers if they find excess berries.

Mae procures half a climbing kit and returns to the group.

QUEST SUMMARY Myron, the town arbiter Find out how many Shidow raiders there are and what their motivation is without confronting them directly.
* Jeselah, the town marshal: Find weapons, supplies, clothing, etc. * Oov, the harvester delegate: Go down into the canyon and procure two cilops * Gnnet, the healer: Harvest a sack full of ascar berries


GAME DETAILS
June 3, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie Katie
Mae Stacey
Issan Jake
Thrice Mike

View
Tharaa: Hadrian's Well
A New Companion, A Town in Crisis

FAREWELL TO THE TRUE BHREEN

Mae, Rymie, and Issan pack up their greatly expanded belongings and bid farewell to Nathan and the Bhreen. They’re invited to come back again someday in the future, and share wishes that the True Bhreen will triumph. With help from Myra and Kryn, the adventurers set out.

Myra quietly mentions to Rymie and Mae that she has some talent in wayfinding. Since psionic talents are not tolerated among slaves, she takes quite a risk in confiding this, but Mae is very grateful to have some guidance on the path back to Jeren’s aprig farm. The farm is about a day’s ride from a small outpost known as Hadrian’s Well, and the group heads south seeking the outpost and the farm.

BATTLE IN THE RAVINE

Strange Weather

They start out just before dawn and travel through the morning and evening, seeking shelter during the heat of day and pitching an uneventful camp at night. On the second day, as they proceed through a low ravine to take advantage of the shade, they hear a low roaring noise. It sounds like a sandstorm in a canyon ahead. The skies above are clear, though, so Mae clambers up to a plateau where she can see a bit further ahead. It appears that a large dust cloud is moving quickly toward the group, but it’s no sandstorm. She spots two dwarf riders on crodluback ahead of the cloud, and calls out a greeting to them in dwarven. They respond by visibly nocking arrows, and Mae jumps down to warn her companions to prepare for attack.

Myra and Kryn run back and hide, while Mae, Issan, and Rymie dash forward to take cover behind some large rock columns.

Battle with Mercenary Herders

The dust cloud turns out to be a heard of carru. In addition to the two outriders, the carru are flanked by three dwarves on crodluback. Behind the herd is an ilix with a howda mounted on its back. It appears another dwarf is herding from the howda. Mae calls out to the outriders again, but instead of replying, the dwarves attack.

The two outriders levitate up from their crodlu to a small column jutting up from the ravine, then set their crodlu on the threesome while raining arrows down from above. Meanwhile, the other riders circle in to attack, as well. After a rocky start, the adventurers manage to gain the upper hand. Their time in the temple of the Bhreen has created a strong bond between them, and they fight smoothly, calling for aid when necessary, each playing to his or her strengths, and even bantering as they respond to the attack.

As the battle starts to turn, a strangely complacent dwarf wanders forward from the back of the carru herd with a mug of ale in one hand. He picks his way over a pile of rubble and casually mentions to Issan that he’s no friend of the mercenaries. They proceed to grapple, with the dwarf surprising Issan by gaining the upper hand. Mae overhears their conversation and challenges the dwarf to prove himself by joining the fight on their side, but instead the dwarf renders Issan unconscious. Mae flies at him in a rage but is caught in a grapple, used as a shield against a remaining crodlu, and dropped senseless as well.

A New Companion

Rhymie and the dwarf finish off the last crodlu, and Rhymie revives Issan and Mae. Issan, impressed by the dwarf’s grappling strength and fair fighting technique, accepts him nearly immediately, but Mae is furious and insists that they tie him up and gag him. The dwarf protests, but weaves an unconvincing background, at least in Mae’s eyes. She’s all in favor of leaving him to rot in the desert, but Rhymie intervenes and the group reaches a compromise. They will allow the dwarf to come along with them, but his hands will remain bound. The dwarf, whose name is Thrice, accepts the binding without much argument, noting that he has no supplies and wouldn’t be able to survive on his own in the desert anyway.

Rhymie leads the looting of the dead mercenaries, and they recover the following:

  • 4 suits of leather armor
  • 4 bows
  • 50 arrows
  • 2 short swords
  • 2 small shields
  • 10 ceramic

There’s also a crodlu that wasn’t quite killed off. It’s not the least bit friendly, but Rhymie heals it up and they manage to calm it enough for use as a pack animal. The group rests overnight, and Issan takes pity on Thrice and relieves him of his gag during his watch. Thrice spins a tale of heroics and history that keeps Issan spellbound and cements his respect. In the morning Mae seethes over the missing gag, and dismisses the dwarf’s suggestion that they head southeast, choosing instead to continue south after a quiet consultation with Myra. The others follow.

As they travel, Thrice wins over Rhymie further by sharing a story in the Pterran language, and confessing his wish to learn all languages. Mae is disgusted at how easily her companions have fallen prey to the dwarf’s charms and darkly suspects a spell of some kind, while Rhymie tries without success to broker a peace between Thrice and Mae.

AT JEREN’S FARM

What They Found There

After another day’s travel, Mae recognizes a bluff and then a scrubby tree. She bypasses Hadrian’s Well and heads straight to the farm. However, as the party approaches, they see smoke. It appears from a distance as though the farm has been raided.

Mae pales and sprints to the farm, with Issan on her heels. The two of them are hit with a psychic plea for help when they reach the edge of the property, although it’s not clear from whom or where it originates. The entire farm has been sacked and burned, with the exception of a 30’ radius around an ancient and beautiful desert willow in the center of the buildings. A loud crash sounds from the house, which is still burning.

Without hesitation, Mae runs through the ruin of the doorway into the mud house, shouting for Jeren. She spots his motionless figure tied to a statue in the central courtyard. Although nearly overcome with smoke, heat, and ash, she manages to wrap her scarf around her face, crawl to her mentor and friend, and cut through his bonds. She then struggles to drag him out of the building. She calls to Issan and Rhymie to help her. Issan’s sense of self-preservation or possibly respect for his owner’s property keeps him from entering the burning building, but Rhymie meets Mae just inside the entrance and helps to drag out Jeren’s limp form.

Seeking Safety

Rhymie manages to stabilize Jeren, but further attempts at healing prove ineffectual. Mae gives him the remaining ceramic jar of strength- and constitution-restoring water from the Bhreen temple, but it has no effect. Once conscious, Jeren entreats them to flee from the area. Shidoh elf raiders are terrorizing the entire area, and it’s possible they’ll be back. Mae won’t think of leaving without Jeren, though. While she helps him mount the crodlu and ties him to the saddle, Rhymie briefly explores the untouched desert willow. The pterran senses a psionic intelligence in the tree itself, which is unusual though not unheard of in Tharaan plant life.

The party sets out slowly for Hadrian’s Well, passing more burned out farms and homes along the way. There are no signs of life, and Mae begins to worry that Hadrian’s Well may have fallen to the raiders, too. She unties Jeren and mounts the crodlu for a quick ride ahead to check on the outpost. While she’s away, Issan takes pity on Thrice and unties his bonds. With the threat of raiding elves in the area, Thrice elects to remain with the group.

Mae finds Hadrian’s Well is still intact, though heavily guarded. One of the young gate guards recognizes her, and she quickly confirms that the village healer, Gnnet, is present. She then then rides back to the group, where she is disgusted that Thrice has been freed, but too worried about Jeren to argue for long about it. They slowly make their way to the outpost.

HADRIAN’S WELL

Meeting with the Council

When the entire group arrives at the gate, the guards are perplexed by the strange assortment of characters. There’s a long wait while they consult their commander, and finally word comes back that Mae and one companion must present themselves to Jeselah. Mae chooses Rhymie, but quickly changes her mind and asks Issan to accompany her. The adventurers are escorted to the Harvesters’ guild hall through a small town that is overflowing with refugees. Mae and Issan disappear inside to meet the council and the others remain outside, surrounded by guards.

While waiting for Mae and Issan to return, Rhymie and Thrice try to convince the guards to let Rhymie heal some of the injured refugees who are huddled nearby. They are soundly ignored.

Meanwhile, in the guild hall, Mae and Issan find themselves in front of the arbiter Miron, the captain of the dowsers, the harvester, the town marshal Jeselah, and the healer Gnnet. Jeselah demands to hear Mae’s story, but Mae begs them to send to Gnnet out to help Jeren first. The council agrees and Gnnet departs. Relieved, Mae relates that she was on an errand during which she met her companions. She convinces the council of her trust in the others with the exception of the dwarf. She offers Rhymie’s healing and the cache of weapons they’ve brought from the temple in return for Gnnet’s help and in hopes of securing a safe place for Jeren to recover.

A Poorly Defended Town and a Reclusive Noble

The council is grateful for the weapons and offer of aid, and they grant the newcomers access to the town. Mae and Rhymie gather up the cache of weapons (sans the valuable bronze carrikal) and share them with the guards to distribute. Everyone concludes that the town is overcrowded and poorly defended. Hadrian’s Well is perched on the edge of a precipice, and alongside it on a higher plateau is the walled home of the nobleman Sheyk Bandar Malhotra, who apparently has not been seen nor heard from since the raids began. Even Jeselah has not been granted an audience.

Thrice, after surveying the town, decides things are hopeless and tries to convince the others to leave. Without supplies and with the lurking raiders, he’s reluctant to go on his own. The group comes up with a few suggestions about how the Shidow might attack (by sending a climber up the precipice to infiltrate the city & open the gate to a stronger force of raiders), and suggestions for where watches might be posted to maximum effect. Mae, after delivering their suggestions to the council, visits Jeren at Gnnet’s home.

Jeren’s Two Surprises

Jeren seems to be recovering, although he’s still weak from the attack. Mae conveys the long story of her lost memories and the adventure in the temple of the Bhreen. Although she had hoped Jeren would be able to tell her what errand to Tyr he had sent her on, it turns out that he was only fulfilling a request that Kinth had sent via messenger. Furthermore, that’s an unusual way for Kinth to communicate. Both Jeren and Mae are now anxious to get to the bottom of the puzzle, but it seems as though protecting Hadrian’s Well must come first. Jeren then shares two surprising bits of information with Mae:

The desert willow back at the aprig farm hides a secret stash of weapons that could aid the town if Mae and her companions are able to recover them. Mae, who spent many hours climbing the tree, is only a little surprised by this information; she has always known the tree is special, but she didn’t suspect Jeren of having such a secret.

And . . . before the Shidow raiders appeared, a group of King Tyrenthus’s soldiers came through town. A young woman named Ella-a captain of some sort-spoke to the town council, then confiscated supplies, food, clothing, etc. from the town. She and several envoys also paid a visit to the noble on the hill. Although none of the townspeople saw him, Jeren heard rumors from some of his contacts that there was a strange man traveling with the army whose description sounds like Rhavin’s.

Interestingly, the envoys did not leave Sheyk Bandar’s palace when the army did. Some soldiers & the woman named Ella seem to have stayed behind.

Splitting Up

Rymie and Mae are anxious to find out if Rhavin is indeed up at the noble’s home, and if his presence has something to do with the noble’s reclusive behavior. Mae decides to sneak up to the grounds and see if she can find out what’s going on without being caught. Meanwhile, Rymie and the others will look around the town and see what can be done to better avoid or head off an attack by the raiders.

AT SHEYK BANDAR’S HOUSE

Mae scales the steep wall up to Sheyk Bandar’s grounds easily, then pauses in the shadows to observe the patrolling guards. There are several, and they’re much better equipped than the town guards. She manages to sneak through the gardens to a spot just outside a sitting room window.

Peeking in, she observes several well-dressed nobles, along with a young woman who she thinks might be the Ella Jeren described. She scans the room for Rhavin but doesn’t see him. Before she can move on, however, she hears a guard approaching. She dives into a bush and hides, but it’s too late. The guard approaches the bush and jabs the butt end of a spear into it, and she can’t quite muffle her voice. He drags her out and demands to know what she’s doing outside the house.

Mae truthfully says that she’s worried about the noble and has come to check on him, but that story doesn’t fly with the guard. He tells her that Sheyk Bandar will want to speak with her in the morning, then takes her to a side building. There she is stripped of clothing and weapons, dressed in a rough shift, and locked in a basement cell.



GAME DETAILS
May 16, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie Katie
Mae Stacey
Issan Jake
Thrice Mike

View
Tharaa: The Aethora (Session 5)
THE KING & THE AETHORA

The Fight, Part I

Mae, Issan, and Rymie avoid the battlements opposite the blind accountant’s room, and instead proceed up a wide flight of stairs and enter a monumental room, more than two stories high. On the right is a painted fresco of an intricate palace, complete with a structural balcony on the second story and a doorway under its supporting columns on the ground floor. On the left, the wide room leads to shallow steps, which in tun lead up to a large round stone dais that houses a stone sarcophagus. Atop the sarcophagus is a tall staff topped with a sickle: the Aethora. Huge, rotting vines hang from the walls and cover the stairs. They’re half-dead, and covered in mold and mushrooms. A damp smell pervades the entire room, and despite blazing torches, the vaulted ceiling is out of sight.

As soon as Mae steps into the room, a voice booms out, ””So it is you who find my tomb. It is you who find your doom!”” Four large stone statues of men embedded in the walls shudder to life and attack. After a tough fight, the threesome defeats the stone constucts and Mae heads tentatively up the steps. As expected, the vines spring to life and attack. As well, the king appears in the balcony and an even fiercer fight ensues, with the king throwing arcane magic at the threesome, who battle him and and the vines. Rymie is particularly successful with psionic abilities that force concentration checks.

Mae manages to get up to the dais and grabs the Aethora, and is suffused with a feeling of well-being and health. She feels a presence probe her mind briefly, but not unpleasantly. Still, the group are badly outmatched, and end up retreated into the eyeless accountant’s rooms. All three are on the verge of collapse.

The Fight, Part II

After closing all three doors leading to the eyeless accountant’s rooms, Rymie concentrates on the Aethora while the others position themselves for an attack. After a couple of desperate attempts, Rymie somehow activates the Aethora, and a wave of healing washes over all three adventurers. A moment later, the vine creatures that they haven’t defeated break through the doors and the group defeats them.

After some tense waiting, they decide the king isn’t about to burst in on them, and they take watches through a nervous night of rest. Rymie regains enough healing to bring them back from the brink. Although Mae’s in favor of leaving from there, Rymie can’t bear to leave a job half done, and so the next morning they head back to the tomb to find and defeat the undead king.

The Fight, Part III

The threesome head back into the heart of the tomb, but everything is strangely quiet. They’re approaching the sarcophagus when the king reappears, triggering another fight with him and his minions: This time he summons two skeletal archers and two skeletal nights. They manage at last to defeat them.

FAREWELL TO THE BHREEN

Back upstairs, they find Nathan and the True Bhreen about to break through the barrier and head down into the battle underground. Farewells are made and the adventurers meet up with the porters and prepare to head to Tyr.



GAME DETAILS
April 29, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie Katie
Mae Stacey
Issan Jake

View
Tharaa: The Aethora (Session 4)
The Tomb

ABOUT THE KEY TO THE TOMB

The group is fully rested, and Issan has gone upstairs to drop off some items for safekeeping and check on Kryn and Myra. While they wait for him to return, Mae asks about the key to the king’s tomb.

Nathan believes, based on the ancient scrolls, that the key is a key in name only. In form, it’s probably more like a disk, broken in two pieces. Mae remembers that there’s a raised dais inscribed with incomprehensible symbols, diagrams, etc., in the central chamber. They head back there to examine it. Sure enough, in the center there is a 12”” round, circular depression, 1-2”” deep. Rymie examines it but can’t find any signs of a mechanism, but Mae is convinced this must be the keyhole. It has been several generations since the king was buried, after all.

THE REST OF THE THIRD TIER

The First Half of the Key

Issan rejoins the party, looking tired. The group heads back into the scribes’ room and open a door there to find a narrow passage leading into a long, dark room. With a torch from Rymie, they discover that it’s another sacrificial room. It looks like a large, private prayer space. There are high quality tapestries on the walls, and four small, clean, unused altars in the front part of the room. A decorative wooden screen with a door separates this area from the back of the room, which is dimly lit by two candles. With the torch, the group can make out a fresco of the monster on the far wall, in front of which is a giant, disgusting statue. The area is dominated by a single great altar covered with stains and bones.

When Mae opens the door in the wooden screen, the giant stone statue of Zargon shambles to life. Battle battle, victory. In the pedestal on which the statue was standing there is a small depression with a locked wooden box. Mae is able to open it with the High Priest’s key, and it is holding half of what she presumes to be the key to the king’s tomb. The half disk has little even holes scattered randomly over it and is ragged and cracked along the broken edge. Mae nestles it back in the box and puts the box in her pack.

The Library

The group heads back to the dining room and prepares to enter the door opposite the archway. Mae hears footsteps on the far side, so she readies a zerka and dagger and heads through with the others on her heels.

The group finds themselves in the library. It’s very large room with arched ceilings. Three hanging oil lamps illuminate the space, and long tapestries designed as illuminated documents adorn the walls. There are 12’ high wooden bookshelves running crosswise through the room, creating narrow passages between them.

Mae’s entry startles a monk who is shelving books near the door and she shrieks. Mae moves into the room, threatening but not attacking the librarian monk with her dagger. She asks where the Archivist is in Common, but the monk seems confused. The three adventurers enter the room and engage with three monks and the Archivist in the center of the library. Mae and one monk jump on top of a set of bookshelves to fight there, and from that vantage, Mae finally gets in a heavy damage attack with her zerka on the Archivist, but is hit with a spell in return. It becomes clear that the Archivist is using arcane magic. The battle rages, and the group suffers heavy damage before defeating the monks.

Aside from thousands of books in Bhreen, though, the Library and its Archivist hold no treasures or keys. Rymie greedily grabs several tomes.

Time with the Bhreen

Mae, Rymie, and Issan are near collapse, and so they retreat beyond the sealed door to the second tier and rest for a day and a night to heal up. During this time, Rymie tries to get Nathan to teach him some Bhreen, but despite Nathan’s best efforts, he is not a great teacher. Mae, on the other hand, learns several dice games from the soldiers. Nathan brings to group up to date on what his men have accomplished: They’ve cleared the barracks of monks, and found 14 imprisoned Bhreen. The key Mae took from the Priest Commander turns out to be the cell key, and so she gives it to Nathan to keep in case they discover more. The Bhreen have also found the entrance to the underground city in the main worship chamber (south of the central chamber), but it is sealed with a grate that’s partially made of rare iron.

The Archivist’s Rooms

Well rested, Rymie, Mae, and Issan head back to the library and through an archway into the Archivist’s office. There they find:
  • The other half of the tomb key in his desk: Mae
  • Quills & ink: Rymie
  • Quills & ink: Mae
  • Blank rough parchment, probably made of mushrooms: Mae
  • Scroll document case: short & small & made of athgari with bone caps, probably waterproof: Mae

On the other side of the archivist’s office, there appears to be a lab with some sort of distilling alchemy materials. As the group enters the room, Mae spots a brown cat on the table amongst the materials! Cats are very rare and Mae befriends this one, although Rymie is freaked out by it and Issan wants to eat it. The group spends some time looking around, when suddenly a bottle whizzes off the shelf on the far wall and hurl itself at Mae. Surprised, she drops the cat and uses synesthete to see sound, trying to locate the source of the bottle. She sees a bottle shaking on the shelf, apparently on its own, and suddenly it whizzes over and hits Issan.

Mae tries to convince the others that the bottles are enchanted to move on their own, and ends up getting under the table while the others try to locate a hidden enemy—Rymie by rushing past the shelves whirling his arms ridiculously, and Issan by clambering up the table and reaching out into the air.

Under the table, Mae reaches out to pet the cat again, but it elongates and changes, shifting into a demonic little imp. Another materializes on the shelves, holding a bottle and grinning wickedly. Issan, Rymie, and Mae battle the wily creatures. Issan manages to destroy most of what’s on the table while striding across it and kicking things off.

The group dispatches the imps, and Mae examines one while Rymie marvels at the shelves. It’s not like anything Mae has ever seen before, in fact it seems like something out of a story from her childhood.

Rymie takes:
  • 2 imp barbed tails with venom
  • 1 sealed jar of cauldron liquid

The notes in the lab are all in Bhreen, but Rymie thinks the Archivist may have been trying to do something specific. They call Nathan in, and ask him to read the documents and notes. It looks to him like the Archivist was trying to figure out how to get into King Bre’sun’s tomb. The notes indicate that he needed the following items:

  • blood of an inex
  • claws of harpy
  • dust or flakes of gold
  • root of esper (Mae knows that esper is an herb that’s used to temporarily improve one’s pool of psionic power, but it’s addictive and frowned upon)

There’s also a note that black powder activates the ritual, but Nathan can’t figure out more than that.

The adventurers look around the lab for these items. They manage to find a small flask of what might be dust of gold, along with vials of blood that all appear to be the same. They find some plant material, but nothing that seems to be rootlike. They find several claws, although it isn’t clear that they’re harpy claws.

THE TOMB OF KING BRE’SUN

The Descent and What They Found

Mae, Rymie, and Issan head back to the central chamber and place the pieces of the key in the round depression. Slowly the key sinks down, then spins until there is an audible click. Stone fingers rise up through the holes in the key, and a door in the wall on the east side of the chamber swings open.

Mae invites Nathan to join them, but he declines. The place is too sacred to him and his people for him to profane it with his presence. Rymie grandly excuses his superstitions, and Mae tries to set things right before they pass through the door. It leads to a stairway that descends in a tight spiral.

The stair descends an impossible depth-probably hundreds of feet-and finally stops in a small square chamber with four statues of groveling Bhreen. The stonework is magnificent; the perfectly square and smooth walls with intricately carved columns appear to be carved from a single stone. There’s a low archway that opens into a broad chamber, and the groups sees two faint glowing points in the distance.

The glowing points look eerily like eyes, and the group proceeds with caution through the chamber, lighting the way with a torch. Along its sides in niches are beautiful statues of proud kings. The chamber has high vaulted ceilings covered in breathtaking frescoes. At the end of the hall is a an altar and a fresco of a king. There’s a charred patch on the otherwise pristine surface of the altar, and the glowing points turn out to be two candles burning on either side of the altar. Strangely, the candles appear to have been lit moments before: They are tall and thin, but there is no sign of melted wax on the candles or at their bases from previous candles. Two pristine bowls flank the altar on each side.

Short flights of stairs lead down to beautifully carved wooden doors on either side of the altar, one of which is slightly ajar.

An Encounter with the Gith

Mae asks Rymie to tie his bells on the closed door, and the group heads through the open one to the right side of the altar.

The door leads to a large L-shaped room. There are torches lighting the room, but acrid smoke hovers around the ceiling. There are 15’ statues of noble kings in the corners opposite the door, but there’s a crude barricade across the center of the room sheltering three Gith. On the near side of the barricade are three strange bipedal lizard creatures with no necks, triple mandibles and three eyes apiece. The adventurers back onto the stairs and engage the creatures in battle, taking a prisoner in the process.

Eventually the group heads into a narrow corridor that leads to an adjoining room where several more Gith are holed up. Mae attempts to threaten their prisoner as they enter the room, hoping the Gith will surrender or flee, but they do no such thing and she is forced to kill the helpless Gith, which weighs heavily on her conscience. The battle is rough and Rymie gets knocked unconscious before it ends.

Neither Issan nor Mae have much skill at healing, and they are horrified. Mae darts into an adjoining room to look desperately for a healing salve or potion, but all she finds are some esper roots in a filthy Gith encampment. Finally, between Issan and Mae, Rymie is stabilized. The three of them hole up in the esper root room and rest for a full day and a couple of nights to regain health, psionic powers, and spells. At one point Issan thinks he notices light roots in Mae’s hair, but the by the next day they are gone.

The group finds a large, roughly hollowed out tunnel in the room where the final battle took place, and they speculate that it must have been created by the Gith as a means to access the levels above. They decide against exploring that route, preferring instead to continue their quest for the Aethora.

Unlocking the Door & the Confessional

Mae, Rymie, and Issan head back to the altar room, where they place blood, claws, gold dust, and esper roots into the four bowls. Mae then piles gunpowder on the altar and light it with both candles. Flame spark and rush up from the gunpowder, and also from the bowls as the ingredients are consumed. The door to the left swings open, and Mae is surprised to see that there is no visible mechanism on either side of it.

In the next room are two Bhreen statues with huge horns facing inward, their faces carved as though they are each about to sound the horns. Between them is an arched doorway over which is carved:

The living are dead
Be rid of sin
Speak my name
Confess or be ash

Mae speaks the name of King Bra’sun, and confesses her true name and that she has killed many people in the temple. Nothing happens, and so she speaks a few other names, but finally decides that she must have done it correctly. She walks through the doorway unscathed.

Rymie steps up silently, and is blasted with fire from the horns, but he manages to get through. Issan speaks the king’s name, then confesses that has lain with many women . . . in the temple. Mae and Rymie stare in shock as he also walks through unscathed. He assures them that it was surely a dream, but that the confession must have fooled the magic. Although the others are skeptical, he is very convincing. The group ventures into a wide hall, at the end of which is a doorway. To the left some stairs lead downward.

he Desert Guardian

The group decides to head through the door first. It opens into a gorgeous room frescoed with desert scenes. There is even some painted plaster statuary scattered near the walls to lend realism to the scene.

In the center of the room is a war chariot with a plaster statue of a man holding a whip, driving an ilix. As soon as Mae steps into the room, though, the man comes to life, challenging the adventurers as defilers of the tomb of the king. Another battle ensues, in which the ilix makes good use of its barbed tail, and the man in the chariot throws javelins at Mae. When they are finally defeated, the man and beast turn to dusty sand. After the battle, Mae scavenges six javelins-basically wood with sharpened, but beautifully shaped ends-and fashions a crude case of rope that fastens to her pack strap, putting the javelins in easy over-shoulder reach. Rymie gives lots of advice as she works, but Mae manages to get the javelins arranged to her liking on her own and the group moves on.

The King’s Wives

After a bit of healing, the group proceeds down the stairs, around a corner, and into the next room.

There they find four raised, scalloped platforms. Three along the far wall are shrouded by rotting tapestries, although it appears there are large boxes-perhaps coffins-inside. The fourth and nearest platform is partially covered with wooden screens, as well as a rotting tapestry of its own.

A woman steps out of the closest enclosure and shouts, ””Villains and defilers! You cannot enter the domains of the kings wives. Sisters! Help me to destroy these invaders before they profane the tomb of the king.”” The adventurers are shocked when she casts a spell, entangling Rymie and Issan completely in low, sticky webs. Mae’s reflexes help her avoid the worst of it, although she is reduced to half speed.

Harpies emerge from the other three boudoirs and float above the webs to attack. One sings an unearthly song, to which Issan falls prey. He frees himself from the web only to stand adoringly before her as she attacks him. The group takes heavy damage while Issan is mesmerized, and Mae finally blows her battle horn to drown out the siren song, restoring Issan’s wits. The king’s wife, meanwhile, is attacking with a steel rapier!

Soon after, Rymie gets knocked unconscious, but Mae manages to bring him back with a couple of rounds of desperate first aid. Issan goes down as well, and Mae and Rymie barely manage to defeat the final harpy so that Rymie can stabilize and heal Issan. The evil creatures have all dissolved into dust, including the steel rapier.

The battered group retreats to the desert room and rests and heal for a couple of days until back to full strength.

A Dangerous Hall

Fully rested, Mae, Rymie, and Issan head deeper into the tomb. Beyond the harpies’ boudoir they find a long hall running alongside to a tiered room set up with two levels of battlements. Arched doorways lead from the hall to the strange battle setting, and Mae cautiously sets out down the hall. She fully expects animated warriors to attack from the battlements, but it turns out the hall has dangers of its own.

In the opposite wall of the hall are two doors. Mae opens the first and only barely dodges a javelin that is triggered from a tiny trap room behind it. She then proceeds down the hall and steps on a pressure plate, activating a hole in the ceiling from which a jar of acid drops and shatters. Again, she manages to spring back just in time to avoid being doused. She carefully explores the rest of the hall’s floor, locating and disarming one other pressure plate. The group then examines the other door.

Issan offers to open this one, first engaging a psionic shield. Mae encourages him to crouch down in case of another trap, which he does, but it turns out that the door opens onto a space with another door, which does the same. Through the final door, the group finds a strange scene.

The Eyeless Accountant

In front half of the room rest four large scales. Closely set iron(!) bars form a wall across the center of the room, behind which is a desk surrounded by piles of various chests and boxes. At the desk is seated a man with no eyes, who rises as they enter the room and speaks:

””Past the beast
through the den
soldiers fail now & then
like to my master you soon will be
your eyes for mine and I will see”“

As he speaks, the scales animate and attack the adventurers. From behind the bars, the eyeless accountant throws arcane magic spells, laughing and taunting them. The group manages to defeat both the scales and the eyeless man, partially by throwing javelins and psionic attacks through the bars, but mostly through Rymie’s battering the man with his own chair using his psionic powers.

Mae then searches for a way to open the iron gate, and notices a strange part of the frescoed wall: An urn is painted with deep set, dark eye sockets. She examines the walls for some kind of trap or trigger, poking and prodding the eye sockets, and trying to fill them with a couple of bone dice. She eventually tries washing away part of the paint. Strangely, the plaster behind the eyes is black all the way through. Issan steps up with a sledgehammer and cracks away the plaster urn, which finally causes the iron bars to open. They don’t rise or sink; they simply disappear.

Mystified, the three explore the far side of the room. The chests and boxes all turn out to be empty, and the man has disappeared into a pile of dust. The desk is empty as well, but Mae finds a switch underneath it. She cautions the others to stand in the hall, then flips it. It turns out to open a door behind the strange eyeless urn fresco, and the door opens onto a small room.

In the room are a suit of armor, a desk, a couple of chests, and several large urns. The group finds:
  • a suit of splint mail, which is valuable but too heavy to practically carry along.
  • 22 silver among the trash in the chests
  • an exceptionally well crafted bone & athgariwood scimitar with a crodluhide sheath
  • several diagrams on parchment: extremely compact spring mechanism, engineering diagram with gem & handle
  • a sealed urn containing a wonderful smelling exotic spice

The group rests and heals up in this room before heading out again.

” 4/4/2010

GAME DETAILS
April 3, 2010 at Jake & Katie's house
Characters & Players
Rymie Katie
Mae Stacey
Issan Jake
View
Tharaa: The Aethora (Session 3)
PREPARING FOR BATTLE

“Mae and Rymie work out a plan with Nathan before heading through the door. According to Nathan, they’re likely to encounter 20-30 monks, along with the Priest Commander, High Priest and the Archivist.

The Aethora is most likely entombed with the king, and the key to the tomb is in two pieces, probably with the High Priest and Archivist. From the brief, ill-fated first engagement, Nathan knows a little bit about the layout of the area beyond the door: Immediately beyond the door is a central chamber. To the west, two passages lead to a barracks and most likely the Priest Commander. To the east lies the library, and probably the High Priest and the Archivist. South of the central chamber is a stairway that leads up to a curtain, which opens onto a raised dais of a worship space. The floor of the worship hall is accessible down two stairways from the chamber.

Rymie wants to draw out just a few monks at a time to deal with them, or at least isolate the Priest Commander. Rymie suggests a bluff, but Mae thinks fire might be more effective, and so they concoct the following plan:

1. Break up the thrones and chests and soak them in oil.
2. Mae will sneak into the altar room just beyond the central chamber and set a 2 minute fuse with candle wick leading to a homemade bomb (1/3 gallon of gunpowder packed in a gourd)
3. She will light the fuse and sneak back behind the previously sealed door
4. Monks will (hopefully) run out to investigate. When it seems like they’ve sent as many as they’re likely to . . .
5. The Bhreen soldiers will block all of the passageways but one with wood & set it afire with gunpowder & torches
6. Rymie, Mae, Nathan & Ishan will rush into the west chamber to find & engage the Priest Commander.

Mae will carry the battle horn, and blow it to call the Bhreen soldiers if necessary.

THE PRIEST COMMANDER

The group puts the plan into action. The explosion of gunpowder in a gourd doesn’t create a fiery mess, but it does draw three monks and the Priest Commander to investigate. The adventurers and soldiers rush into the central chamber and a couple more monks appear from the east. The nearby Bhreen engage them, and the others drop & light their loads to block the passages.

Ishan, Mae, Nathan and Rymie head through the curtain and attack the Priest Commander and his monks in the altar room from above. Both Nathan and Mae manage to land damaging jumps directly on some of their foes, and Rymie makes good use of a brazier and his kinetic psionic powers. The fight is over quickly. From the Priest Commander, the group plunders:

  • Suit of scale mail (Rymie)
  • Datchi club (big wooden club with teeth) (Issan)
  • Key! (Mae)

THE HIGH PRIEST

Nathan and his men, minus one soldier who fell to the Zargon monks, stay in the central chamber to guard against any other monks that might appear. Mae and Rymie pull on monk’s robes as disguises (these are only convincing on Mae), and Mae, Rymie, and Issan head east to the library.

The adventurers enter another chamber with a curtained wall, two bowls of what look like blood and two knives which Mae nicks. The next room appears to be a dining room with one fancy chair. There’s a wooden door on the far right and an arched open passageway on the far left. They can hear conversation through the archway, and they rush in and attack three monks who seem to be at work at desks strewn with papers and abacuses.

After a brief but bloody battle, Rymie heals up the group and Mae kicks down the far door to reveal the High Priest in his office, with two additional monks. The room is richly appointed with pastoral paintings, an intricate desk & chair, and a piano inlaid with bone and wood. The battle commences immediately. The adventurers take some heavy damage, and Rymie has to break out the crossbow. Mae in desperation blows the horn, but they manage to take out the high priest before Nathan arrives with two soldiers.

The group spends a bit of time healing with Nathan’s help. They recover thrown weapons and search the High Priest and his bedroom in the next chamber.

  • Suit of scale armor (Issan will take this to Kryn)
  • Stone mace – elaborately carved with a leather handle (Nathan)
  • Golden holy symbol that is really gross looking (Rymie)
  • Key! (Mae)

The High Priest’s bedroom holds a nice bed but no treasure. Rymie finds some wax and a bag of fine sand in the High Priest’s desk and takes it.

GAME DETAILS
March 25, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie – Katie
Mae – Stacey
Issan – Jake

View
Tharaa: The Aethora (Session 2)
A Deal with the True Bhreen

A DEAL WITH THE TRUE BHREEN

“As commander of the True Bhreen, Nathan’s top priority is to finish the original mission of his commander. Killing the priest commander will put the True Bhreen in a much better position to topple the priesthood. In exchange for Mae and Rymie’s help with that, Nathan is willing to tell the adventurers how to get into the tomb of the kings, and to let them have the Aethora. Mae is shocked that he would let them have the symbol of the True Bhreen’s devotion, and such a powerful artifact. However, Nathan explains that he likes and trusts Rymie and Mae. Also, as he says, the Aethora is a relic of time long past.


THE THIRD TIER

Entering the Tier

“Mae and Rymie arrange to leave Myra safely on the second tier with the True Bhreen. They then descend to the third tier with one of the Bhreen soliders and Kryn.

As they descend, the group notices a difference in the walls themselves. The third tier appears to have been brightly painted, although it is now faded. This is in marked contrast to the tan walls of the top two tiers. In the hallway at the base of the stairs, the group encounters a strange apparition. A pair of lips appear on the wall and speak aloud:

””Oh my, wait just a minute there. Hm. Ha. So. You survived the desert then? And killed many of my new friends. Not good indeed. I suppose you would like to know why I killed . . . sorry, tried to kill you. I suppose I could tell you. My poisoncraft is an ongoing art. Tell me now, how many days of memory are you missing?”“

The voice, presumably Rahvin’s, goes on to tell Mae and Rymie things that nobody else knows about their backgrounds, then laughs and laughs. Although unsettled, they determine the lips and voice are a pre-recorded illusion; a dagger thrown by Mae passes right through it.

Mae and Rymie continue on into large hall lined with eight giant but damaged statues of older men with staff & sickle. The room is lit by two torches near the end of their life. Kryn follows them in with another torch, and the group observes several more filthy bedrolls, like those the Gith were using. The walls are partially covered in tapestries, some of which have been torn down and are scattered in the remnants of a camp.

Rymie checks behind the hanging tapestries to see if there are any hidden passages, but doesn’t find anything. There is one door in the hall aside from the one through which the group entered, as well as an open passageway. Mae dislikes leaving an open passage behind them as they explore, and so Rymie ties bells on the handle to the door in the room and the group heads in the other direction.

An Encounter with Rahvin

“The passage turns a corner and leads into a long, dim room. The walls are lined with tapestries depicting happy farmers on one side and victorious human armies driving back elf armies on the other. Six slender columns frame a man standing at the far end of the room. It is Rahvin.

””Halt,”” he commands, and the explorers do so.

Mae and Rymie question Rahvin, and, as long as they keep their distance, he seems willing to chat a bit. When asked why the two of them were included on the mission, Rahvin responds that he supposes Syrian felt he needed a little more help on this endeavor. Rahvin didn’t see the point in having Mae and Rymie along though, so he left them in the desert. To Mae and Rymie’s surprise and chagrin, Rahvin is not the one who hired them, and he doesn’t know why Syrian included them in the group. He points out that they have the tattoos, so he guesses they can find out.

Mae and Rymie also ask whether Rhavin attempted to kill them outright, or whether they just collapsed in the desert. He confesses without remorse that he intended to kill them, but his poisons are not as powerful as he thought. At that point Rahvin decides he has had enough, and causes two blinding explosions on either side of him, then moves back beyond the group’s vision. The light continues to burn brightly, fizzing and sparking from two points at his end of the room.

Mae dashes into the room, but a large gladiator appears from nowhere and engages her. Rymie stays back in the entryway and battles a large disembodied sword for a bit before getting in a lucky hit with with one of the firecracker pots, drenching Rahvin with the fiery substance. Rahvin takes quite a bit of damage before finally disappearing into thin air.

As soon as Rahvin leaves, the gladiator who had been fighting Mae is released from some sort of magical or psionic hold. He apologizes profusely and the group decides he can be trusted. They spend a bit of time patching themselves up, and the gladiator Issan fills in more of the missing memories.

Issan’s Story

“Several days ago, Issan was approached by his master. He related that he’d lost a bet and that Issan was to go to a house where he would meet an individual with a job for him to do. Upon arrival, Issan met Mae and Rymie, Rahvin, two elves, and several others. The man whom he had been sent to meet introduced himself as Syrian. Issan recognized the name as the prince of Tyr’s but expressed disbelief that a prince would directly address a lowly slave like himself.

Syrian said that the elves had discovered a city in the desert, and he thought the city contained something he wanted – the Aethora. He explained that the group had been hired to travel to the temple and receive the Aethora.

Issan believes that both Mae and Rymie received contract tattoos to solidify the deal. The entire group then met up with porters who had gear and equipment for the journey, and headed into the desert. On the first night, Bo the porter killed something and brought it back to camp. The entire group feasted, but in the morning Mae and Rymie appeared to be dead. Issan sheepishly returns Mae’s thieves’ tools and Rymie’s crossbow. Apparently the party split up their valuables when they left them for dead.

Mae and Rymie question Issan about Syrian, asking if he seemed to be controlled by Rahvin in the same way that he himself was, but he doesn’t think that was the case.

The Throne Room

“The now enlarged group heads back to the first room and retrieves Rymie’s bells from the unopened door. That door leads to a room with two thrones facing each other across the expanse. Across from the door is a faded frieze of a city and farmland. There are dark and cold braziers in the corners, and Mae finds a block of incense in one of them.

The explorers re-enter the first room, where Issan finds a fairly well hidden door behind some of the wall hangings. It conceals a golden walled room with two large chests, although the chests turn out to be painted wood, and what appeared to be gems are bits of colored glass. Mae, fearing a trap, bashes the chests open with her zerka to reveal velvet lining and spaces that must have held a crown and scepter in the past.

The Sealed Door

“Confident that there’s nothing more to be found in the hall or throne room, the group heads back to the room in which they encountered Rahvin. At the far end of the room is the door that was sealed by Nathan’s captain, and on the door is a riddle:

Heroes of a certain number
Speak to rend this door asunder

 ENTER
 ENTER
 ENTER

HEROES

After several guesses related to the number of True Bhreen, Rymie does the math necessary to make the formula work and speaks the number aloud. The door swings open.


GAME DETAILS
March 4, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players
Rymie – Katie
Mae – Stacey
Issan – Jake

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