This session was played on February 29th 2016.
DM - Josh
Arbach - Half Elf Ranger - Aaron
Farrow - Human Paladin - Nate
Peter - Tiefling Rogue - Jared
Farrow woke up confused and dazed. He was laying down and was lightly restrained. He flexed and easily broke loose. Looking around he realized he was laying on a litter with all of his gear. He sat up and saw peter laying on another litter next to him. He rolled over and slapped Peter awake.
Peter’s mouth was full of sand. He saw a worm crawl out of the sand and into his mouth. He could feel it burrowing into his brain; driving him mad. He felt a slap on the face. He opened his eyes and saw Farrow standing over him.
Peter was confused. He had been gone for a long time. Farrow looked so young and yet he had led his temple for years, but he stood there, face unlined with age and without care. Peter didn’t know how they had gotten to the desert. He didn’t remember anything that had happened for the last long time. Something about the whole situation seemed very funny and Peter burst out into laughter.
Peter asked Farrow about the temple he ran. Farrow just looked confused. “Peter, I don’t have a temple. I might have one when this is over but I’ve got nothing now”. Peter looked at his friend with concern, wondering if he’d suffered a head wound.
Farrow looked around him. He could hear yells and screams coming from the other side of some dunes. There were two more litters, one had Lord Ralin on it. The other had the mage, Asarkor on it. The lord looked like he was gravely wounded but there was no sign of damage on the mage.
Farrow tended to the lord first and cast a healing spell on him. The lord woke up, gasped, and then fell back into unconsciousness. Farrow could tell that there was some deeper infection at work in the wound.
Arbach couldn’t find any more targets. He decided that the survivors of the Onyx could handle themselves now that the goblins were dead, and headed back to where he’d left his companions. He arrived to find Farrow up and about and Peter sitting on the ground laughing.
Peter greeted him “Arbach! It’s great to see you”. “How’s your wife”? Arbach looked at Farrow with raised eyebrows, questioning. “He’s been talking like this since he woke up. I have no idea what he’s going on about”. “I’m right here, I can hear you talking.” complained Peter. “What are you talking about? I’m not married” said Arbach.
Peter looked at his friends. “Farrow, you’ve been the master of your temple since that little trip to the desert all those years ago”. “And Arbach, you’ve been married for almost as long”. Farrow and Arbach exchanged confused and concerned looks. “We’ve only known each other for a few months Peter” answered Farrow. “We’ve known each other for years” said Peter, equally confused.
Arbach looked at Peter. “Either you’ve seen the future or you damaged something in the crash”. If it’s the first, keep your eyes open and let us know if anything seems familiar”. “In the meantime, let’s get everyone together at the wreck”.
“Have you seen Kizmet? Did she survive”? Asked Farrow, as he moved over to the litter holding the gnome. “She’s alive. I left her at the wreck of the Onyx” replied the ranger. Farrow lifted the gnome over his shoulders and hefted the litter. Arbach ranged ahead and Peter positioned himself directly in front of Farrow. They headed directly towards the wreck of the Onyx. As he threw the mage over his shoulder a piece of paper fell out of one of the many pockets on the robe. Peter snatched it up without Farrow noticing.
You’re correct in your calculations; the auxiliary concurs that the sphere can be located in the Vault of the Fallen. What a Wonder! If given the chance, we would be most interested in examining said item alongside you.
The hachi was still blowing strong. Visibility was limited to a couple of dozen meters. Arbach had drawn his scimitar and a tomahawk. Peter had his sword and the special dagger he had taken off of the hooded men on the lift in Edge. Out of the corner of his eye Peter saw three forms approaching through the storm. He couldn’t tell if they were friendly or if they were even coming from the direction of the Onyx.
He saw Arbach break into a run and charge towards the figures. As Arbach disappeared into the storm a headless goblin came stumbling out of the dust and dropped by his feet. With all questions as to identity answered, Peter attacked, slicing his dagger across one of the goblins.
Farrow saw his friends race to attack. He dropped the litter, and the gnome and drew his sword. A scimitar wielding goblin came out of the hachi. “Yield” bellowed Farrow. The goblin attacked, its blade being deflected by Farrow. It swung around again, missed and was cut in half by Farrow’s longsword.
Arbach raced ahead. The goblins had come from the direction of the ship, and they looked terrified. As he crested the last line of dunes Arbach saw a monster, all teeth and tentacles, attack the ship. The bubble of calm air which had allowed archery during the fight with the goblins was gone. His bow would be useless. Arbach raced forwards but as he got close to the ship the monster burrowed into the sand and disappeared.
Arbach stood staring at the ship as Peter and Farrow came up. There was movement visible but he couldn’t make out who it was. The three of them moved down to the wreck, where Farrow put down his burdens.
The Onyx was laying canted to one side. The fore end was buried in the sand. There were bodies, human and goblin all over. Four crewmen were wandering aimlessly, attempting to go about their normal duties, even though those duties were pointless in the current situation. Tak was at the bow, again trying to chop the lines of the gasbag, though he wasn’t holding anything that would cut them. There was no sign of Terry or Kizmet.
Arbach began to chop the lines, since the gasbag was getting thrown around in the wind now that the bubble of protection was gone. Peter and Farrow got the lord and his mage settled in the best shelter they could find. As they came out into the open the bag let go with a bang and sailed off into the storm.
Arbach climbed up to the top deck of the ship. Ansolm was there, clutching the mast and crying. There were a couple of crewmen wandering about trying to perform repairs and maintenance on parts of the ship that were scattered over hundreds of yards of desert. The three headed below. They found bandoliers full of bottles of red liquid. Almost all were broken but Farrow found three that were intact and gave one each to Peter and Arbach, keeping the last for himself.
As they got below decks, and out of the hachi, they noticed that something was vibrating the ship. It felt like it was coming from the lower decks but did not seem urgent. Arbach led, followed by Peter and Farrow. They came to a large room near the aft end. It was lavishly furnished with glow lights along the walls. On the rear bulkhead was a set of double doors in the center, flanked by two single doors along the hull on each side.
Arbach moved along the edge of the room but found nothing. Farrow attempted to remove the glow lights but they went out as he touched them, plunging the room into complete darkness. Peter and Arbach were fine but Farrow couldn’t see anything. He dug a torch our and lit it while the other two mocked him.
Arbach approached the double doors and listened. He could hear steady banging from the other side but nothing that sounded like movement. He tried the door but it was locked. Motioning Peter over, Arbach took position beside the door. The rogue pulled out his small pack of tools and went to work on the lock. After a few seconds there was a click.
Peter quickly moved out of the way and Arbach donkey kicked the door open from his position to the side. The door bounced open and they could hear the wind howling through an opening. Peeking into the room Arbach saw that it was the captain’s cabin. The windows at the rear were broken and there were papers blowing all over the room. There was a table in the center of the room with two beds, one larger than the other, on the rear wall. There was a closed wardrobe on one bulkhead and a desk on the other.
The party began to search. Arbach started at the desk while Peter and Farrow searched the beds. Arbach found a letter to Anselm from someone named Kathy, which he kept.
My Dearest Ansolm –
Why has it been so long since you have visited me? Days at least! All my passion, the air I breathe, the food I eat… it is all you. It tastes of you. It keeps my blood moving… and how that blood sings for you! Your touch, your kiss, your embrace and all the great pleasure those things bring.
I falter: As a man, I need you. Your protection, your blessing. But as a woman I also desire you. I want you inside of me, your tongue moving over my hard nipples, feeling you thrust in and out, my wet pleasure gushing over you.
Ansolm, you deserve so much better. Like you’ve said, you are so much better… stronger, wiser… than your father. House Alaire should be yours! And I, standing beside you. We would be unstoppable. If something should happen to your father on this trip…
All my love, Ansolm. Come back to me. Victorious.
Arbach also found bills of lading that showed that both the Onyx and the Bright had been loaded with bales of Tensar. This seemed a very strange cargo to be carrying on a trip into the Wastes.
They next found a locked chest. Farrow and Arbach dragged it over to Peter and then went back to searching. Farrow looked in the wardrobe. He pulled out a suit of scale mail which was too small for him but looked like it would fit Arbach. The armor was lighter than normal with dragon heads on the shoulders. Arbach pulled it on and noticed that it seemed to fit better than he had thought it would. It was also lighter than expected and didn’t restrict his movement.
Peter go the chest open and searched for traps. He found a needle trap and disabled it. Inside he found a pouch sitting on top of a long sword, which he handed to Farrow. The pouch held several sapphires. Farrow tested the balance on the sword. It was the finest sword he had ever held; light and perfectly balanced. Peter also pulled a fine dagger out of the chest. He pried the House Alaire sigil out of it and put it in his belt.
Peter then searched for any hidden compartments in the chest. He quickly found the compartment in the bottom which contained a pouch of gold and silver coins. A further search of the room revealed nothing else of interest. The three then moved back into the large room and to the port side door. This door was also locked. Peter stepped forward and unlocked it with ease. Arbach gave the door kick. It opened and then bounced back with a bang.
Arbach moved into the room while Farrow and Peter started to work on the other door. Arbach’s search found a slip of paper and a bag of coins. He took both and joined Peter and Farrow at the starboard door. While they worked he read the note.
You have your mission. Seek out “X” and assist him.
Here Peter seemed to be having a hard time getting the door open. Farrow helpfully held the torch near the lock and Peter was able to get it open, muttering under his breath. Farrow looked pleased that his much maligned torch had turned out to be useful.
The search of this room, likely the Captain’s when he was carrying important passengers, went quickly. Arbach threw the bag of coins he had found to Peter, who secreted it on his person. The only thing of interest was a fine pair of boots, which Arbach put on, since his had holes in the soles.
The three moved back into the main room where Arbach showed them the note he had found in the smaller cabin. Peter examined the rune on it and recognized it as the mark of the evil being XXXX. Farrow concentrated on the note and felt searing evil emanating from the rune. After a short discussion the three surmised that the room must be that of the first mate and resolved to find him as soon as they were done exploring the ship.
They moved down to the second deck. It was filled with barrels, crates and bales. They agreed that Farrow would search this level with his torch and the other two would head to the bottom hold due to their dark vision.
At the bottom of the ladder Peter and Arbach were confronted by a steel wall with a sliding door in it. Behind them was another passage. While Peter guarded the door, Arbach checked out the passage. Inside was a large tank with pipes and valves leading out of it. The pipes seemed to run forward through the steel wall.
Arbach returned to Peter and they checked the door. It wasn’t locked so Peter slid the bolts while Arbach positioned himself beside it. Once the bolts were open Peter got behind Arbach who kicked the door along its slides. There was no reaction so Arbach waved a bit of his cloak in front of the opening. When that didn’t elicit any response he turned and walked into the hold.
Along each bulkhead there were two pillars. In the center of the room was a giant sphere, apparently made of glass. The pipes from the tank led into this sphere. The contents of the sphere resembled the storm outside. Sand swirled and shrieked inside the globe.
Peter and Arbach approached the globe and both sensed a presence inside. Arbach knew it wanted out, somehow, but could not understand the whispers in his mind. Peter stared into the void. “I’m inclined to let it out”. Said Arbach. “I agree”. Said Peter. Arbach moved back to the array of valves while Peter stood by the globe.
The voice in Peter’s mind whispered, “Free me”. “Let me out”. Then a deeper voice, “You are of Grom”. “Free me and Grom will hear of this”. Peter stood still in shock. Arbach had no idea how to free the creature. There were four dials with gages. He went to the right most one and turned it a tiny bit to the left. Immediately the storm in the globe got worse. Arbach turned it back and the storm subsided but the creature became more active, attacking the globe and beginning to crack the glass. Arbach went to the next gage and turned it all the way to the right.
With a shriek the being destroyed the globe, raining sand and glass all over the hold. Peter and Arbach saw the swirling sand take on a man like shape and walk out of the hold. Arbach could feel its relief at being free. Peter heard the words “Grom will hear of this”. “Free! Free!” Peter yelled out “Wait, I have questions”! The shape moved up the ladder and out of sight. “Who are you talking to”? Asked Arbach. “You couldn’t hear it”? Peter replied. “No. I could only hear you”. Answered Arbach.
Farrow came down the stairs. “What was that”? “Did something just come up the stairs”? Peter and Arbach explained as the three returned to the top deck. Farrow had not found anything more than water, grog and supplies on the cargo deck. There was no Tensar, but it could easily have been in the forward part of the ship, buried in sand.
The three reached the top deck and found Anselm having a temper tantrum. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way”. “I’m supposed to be the hero”. While Peter and Arbach looked on in contempt, Farrow wielded his charm. “You are a hero, you’ll show them all”. Anselm perked up at Farrow’s compliments and squared his shoulders. Then he noticed that Arbach and Farrow had some of his gear. “Hey, those are mine”. “Never mind, you keep them. I won’t need them”.
Farrow led Anselm over to his father. As they kneeled down they realized that Lord Rallin was dead. Anselm bent over his father, wailing and crying. Peter saw Anselm glance over at them from the corner of his eye and realized that he was pretending to mourn, since the death of Lord Rallin made him Lord Anselm of House Allair.
When Anselm was done displaying his grief he looked up. Arbach said “The lord is dead, long live the lord” and the three saluted him. The mage was still alive and Arbach was tired of his uselessness. He reached into his backpack and pulled out the whiskey, pouring a slug down the wizard’s throat.
The mage sat up with a gasp and took in his surroundings. He showed grief when he realized that his patron was dead, but immediately began to speak to Anselm as the lord. The party agreed that they would stock up on supplies and rest while Arbach went out to try to find some Grek for them to ride. As he left the wreck he found a drow hand lying on the sand. It was fresh, and looked female, but there were no tracks or any sign of where it had come from.
The survivors spent the night resting and preparing for the journey to the Vault of the Fallen. In the morning Farrow saw Arbach ride up on a giant lizard, leading a string of several more beasts behind him.