4E Dark Sun

The Gith Ritual

The Gith Ritual 3 November 2009

OOC: The DM tried to explain how the world we are in is a stagnant society in a desert that never changes or evolves. So that when Unndua talks about the oceans and seasons, we as a group have absolutely no way to comprehend it. The world is the way it is now, has been, and always will be.

The story continues….

The party travels for a couple more days, arriving at a mountain pass. The weather has been constant, hot and a little wind. Some dust devils show up, worrying the group about whether it is an elemental or just wind. There are a few areas with some cultivated lands. The area itself is looking less desolate as the party arrives at a small fortification.

Arriving at the fortification, it is an Elvin market with a protective wall surrounding it. The group is immediately aware to keep an eye on their goods and money. The party finds that there are healing fruits available for 9 silver. The elf haggler convinces Hadren to purchase a healing fruit for one-gold (10 silver) as Hadren is convinced it is a much better fruit than normal.

The others don’t attempt to haggle with the shyster elves, but all buy some healing fruit. Some of the party notices that Nnn’Ckk has been talking to a vendor for quite some time. As people move up, it looks like obsidian and other carved objects, so the few that move up to look figure he is just trying to purchase some components. Hadren, having seen magical components before, was not certain that was what he was trying to get, but had no idea what else it could be for. The group stops at the inn during high sun for a little bit of a meal and rest up. Unfortunately, after the high quality food from the noble’s, this food just isn’t up to par. Afterwards, the group decides not to stay in the town, but travel while they still have the time, and decide to depart Fort Prosper.

For no apparent reason, the DM asks everyone for initiative. Everyone rolls, but nobody believes his “no apparent reason” description.

Goren see’s some familiar birds off in the distance. He groans, as he sees one swoop in. It hits Damoron, and Igne, but misses Nnn’Ckk. Another bird moves up and hits Destriani, Damoron and Harden. The birds have a wingspan of nearly ten feet as they hit. Destriani and Hadren are both hit again as a third flies in. Two more glide in and smack at the party again hitting Damoron and Nnn’Ckk as they pass. The birds never drop to the ground, just keep circling in the air swooping and clawing at the party.

Nnn’Ckk casts a flaming area of magic at two of the birds. He manages to hit both of them, engulfing them and setting some of their feathers on fire with the attack. Hadren swings his sword and catches a bird in the chest, swinging it’s body around and into flanking position with the hit.

Destriani moves up and gets into flanking position with Igne and attacks, striking her target. Damoron moves way out and away from the group attacking with a lance of faith, shooting out a mist of water that slms into his target. Goren rushes up, challenging two birds. They swoop and dodge, avoiding being hit by the half-giant, although he was able to mark them. They attack in response to his swinging, but only barely hit as they glide around him.

The one attacking Hadren swoops by, ripping him with it’s wings. Damoron is also attacked by the one he attacked, cutting a large gouge across his chest. Nnn’Ckk attacks with another magical spell, bloodying two of the birds with the grasping of magical energy that slows them as well. The area is still dangerous for any other member to walk through, so he warns the party to avoid it or risk injury.

Hadren moves next to the magical field, hopeful a bird attacking him will fall into it. He pulls out the stone with the rune on it, using it as a holy symbol, and attacks with lightning, bloodying a bird. Damoron again attacks, water lashing out and striking one of the birds flying away from him. Goren again swings at the birds around him. He is able to mark all three, but unable to strike them. Igne and Destriani kill the bird between them.

The birds then attack. The ones slowed can’t hurt Goren. The one attacking Hadren dives in and attacks, but when it hits the magical area created by Nnn’Ckk, it misses Hadren and takes magical damage.

Nnn’Ckk moves away from the bird that has closed the distance on him, and casts another scorching burst at two of the birds. He misses both but does manage to slow one with the magical attack.

Hadren moves up to the bird he has been attacking and takes a leading strike at it. The attack is solid and drops the bird from the sky, dead. Destriani rushes the bird that was going to attack Nnn’Ckk, hitting it. Damoron heals up Hadren, who was looking pretty bad. Goren attacks, critically hitting one of the birds and causing some lightning damage to one of the bloodied birds. Igne and Destriani gang up on a common bird, pounding on it and easily finish it off. The three circling Goren attack, but only one hits him. Nnn’Ckk casts an illusionary attack on one of the birds doing damage and disrupting its attacks while affected. Hadren rushes up to the confused bird and kills it.

Damoron puts some water into his hand and casts a gaze of defiance at one of the birds, but the spell disperses in the wind. Goren again marks the two birds around him and clubs one solidly in the head. More fire erupts from the ground as Nnn’Ckk casts magical energy at the last two birds around Goren. One of them falls to the ground in a flaming heap, while the other is singed Hadren moves up to the last bird, and again does a leading strike to help Goren hit the bird, but the blade cuts deeper than he could have hoped, and the bird drops.

The party takes a minor break and then head back out. They finally emerge from the cultivated lands into a much rockier and barren terrain. Eventually the party must take a break for the evening. It is determined that the party will reach the pass sometime during the next day. Watches are set up, with Nnn’Ckk taking a large portion of them.

While setting up camp, the party notices two cats like creatures passing by. They are some sort of Psionic cat. They sniff at the area but do not come any closer. It looks as though they are out hunting, but decide the party is too large to attack, especially with Nnn’Ckk showing signs that he can see them.

The party starts out the next day, heading towards the pass. Hadren is able to see off in the distance the sand cacti that had caused them problems before. It was almost a thousand yard detour to get around them. Supplies are going well at this point as the party enters some hilly area towards the end of the day. These are not small hills, as they are a couple hundred foot bluffs grouped together at the base of the mountains. As the party gets closer to the mountains, they can tell that there is an existing trail cutting through the mountains. The party gets to a point where they have to set up camp again for the evening as the day passes uneventful.

Before long, everyone in the party but Hadren hear some movement off in the distance. There is no light since there is no wood for a fire, and with the moons gone, it is totally dark out. But Igne and Nnn’Ckk did heat some of the ground around for the riding beasts and for the party to stay somewhat warm in the cool desert night.

The movement sounded like wood brushing against wood, but there are no trees in the area. Nnn’Ckk thinks the sound could have been a spear hitting a shield, but he wasn’t certain.

The maker of the sound moves close, coming up to the party “travelers… why do you travel up here?” Goren recognizes him as a Gith. They are intelligent but don’t interact with humans often. They are considered fairly hostile as they will attack fairly easily. We can tell that behind it are about three or four more creatures.

“We are traveling through the mountains, is there something we could help you with?” answers Hadren. “Yes, can any of you read? WE have ritual, need to perform. Very important. It is a call to ancestors. Displaced ancestors. Or we displaced and we call them.” “I may be able to help you. But I am not certain what you are saying. Do you have the ritual with you for me to look at?” questions Nnn’Ckk. “Yes?!? You can read! Khattik, I am called Khattik.”

“Ah, I am Nnn’Ckk.” The creature echoes his name back Nnn’Ckk and pronounces his name very well. “If you have the ritual here, I can look at it and see if I can help.”

Khattik turns and calls behind him to the creatures hidden in the darkness. The language is guttural and harsh, like German, but nobody can understand what he says. Another creature moves up and hands him something that he promptly turns and hands to Nnn’Ckk. The item is an actual scroll, covered in symbols and runes. Nnn’Ckk takes the scroll and examines it.

“Yes? You can do?” inquires Khattik. “Maybe, allow me the time to study it. IT could be beyond my abilities,” answers Nnn’Ckk.

Hadren can tell that Khattik is making hand signals to the people behind and can tell some of them are moving into flanking positions. Suddenly standing tall and summoning fire in one of his hands, Nnn’Ckk says “Move your people back or I will burn your ritual….” The people stop moving but do not go back. “We have the ingredients; it would take a couple of days. But we need someone to read the ritual.” Goren moves up between Khattik and his people when the Gith says “No, it cannot be you, cannot be same ones. Saw other half-giants, but not you.” “If you cannot read, then how do you know what ingredients to get?” inquires Nnn’Ckk, ingoring his statement to Goren. “Our dream catcher told us what we needed, he had vision, and he told us.” Says Khattik. “Have you seen some elves?” asks Hadren.

“Yes, but on other side of mountains. They not part of ritual. What care has I for elves or half giants? They long ways away…not important.” Then he stops and looks at the party, “you are not with the other person? He look like that one on fire,” he says pointing to Igne, “going by himself into mountains. Much happening on north side, we stay here, away from there. We did not talk to him, we sense the power he had, but too much, we stay away and not work with him…..you help now yes?” “Where is your dream catcher?” inquires Goren. “Back where the ritual must be held, you go now?” Answers Khattik.

Goren and Hadren can tell that half the group surrounding the party has resumed their flanking. Hadren calls out “Kattik, why are your people surrounding us, what is your plan?” “We need someone to perform the ritual. We hope to persuade you.” “Then many would die. Do not try to force us to help.” Hadren can tell that there are probably two dozen shadows out in the darkness. He turns to Goren”What do you think?” “Well, if there truly are ancestors involved…” begins Goren. “Oh, ancestors, of course. Why did I ask you? Nnn’Ckk, what do you think?” “What they have is an incomplete copy of the actual ritual. If they have the entire thing, it is back where the ingredients are.” “How far is it to where the ritual must be performed?” “Not far, three hills.”

“And you are seeking to reconnect with your ancestors? Well, my ancestors are with me, with us, I would advise you to not try to do anything against us…” as Goren goes into full form, with lightning and noise filling the area. He continues, “But we are willing to see this ritual more closely, and speak with your dream catcher.” The party packs up the small camp and prepares to travel. It takes about twenty to twenty five minutes, but there are even more people out there surrounding the party than before. Apparently they were nervous the party would leave.

Nnn’Ckk creates some light for the party to see. The first hill was close, the second a quarter mile, but the third hill was about a mile away. As the party gets close, a large light can be seen emanating from behind the hill. Coming around, the scene is such as to make the party think twice. The camp is huge, and it is obviously a war camp. There are several hundred creatures standing in the area. But, there are also women and children there too, taking care of the children and tending cooking fires. As the party looks, everything is Psionic, there is no actual fire being used, it is all mental energy directing the light and heat. The area is at least twenty degrees warmer, indicating that at least half the Gith there must be Psionic. “Um…mounts stay here?” asks Kattik. The party agrees and dismounts. Nnn’Ckk acts like he is creating a spell to protect the mounts, with lights and sounds as he clicks and moves around the horses, and draws patterns in the sand. The Giths watch in amazement, wondering what he is doing, not realizing it is all an act.

There is obviously a lot of commotion as the party enters. Goren and Hadren notice what looks like a human woman at one of the tents. She looks like she has been beaten. She has a black eye and is bloody. She sees the party and starts to say something, as a hand comes up and grabs her, pulling her back inside the tent she was at, pulling it shut. “Who was that?” asks Goren to Kattik. “Uh…” says a surprised Kattik,” that is Ketta!” “No, that was a human female, in the tent.” Kattik opens the tent flap and says “Who? Where?” Goren can see where the other end opened up and she was dragged out but can’t fit inside. Hadren goes right inside and tries to leave out the other side. Kattik rushes up and stops him “Please, she but slave. Slave not for sale. Dream catcher can help.” Then he leans up to Goren and whispers “it will go better for her if you not follow, dream catcher can help.” He sounds sincere, so Goren nods and they continue past the kings tent and go up to a different tent. “Skrisslit, the dream catcher,” says Kattik. Hadren can tell he is waiting for some form of formal acknowledgement.

Hadren moves up and bows to him “You must be the dream catcher; it is a pleasure to meet you.” “Yessss…” answers Skrisslit. He then talks to Kattik and then turns to Nnn’Ckk. “You can do rituals?” “Yes.” Answers Nnn’Ckk. “Good. Wait here; it would be rude to ask you inside when the giant cannot go in. I will bring things to you.” He comes back with a large tablet, a silver piece the size of a human fist, and some obsidian spheres. “You think you can do this?” “Is this the original ritual?” asks Nnn’Ckk. “Not the original, but it is there, in its entirety.” “Fine, I must study it first.” “Of course, you may use my tent. Your friends can wait outside or inside as they desire.” “The night air will help me concentrate better, if you would not mind be waiting here.” He motions to Kattik who rushes and brings out a stool “Is there anything else you desire?” “This will do for now, thank you.” And Nnn’Ckk sits on the stool and starts studying the ritual. The area is still alive. There are children running around, foods being prepared close by that smell wonderful. There are guards there, but they are not being overly angry or rude. Skrisslit turns to the party and says “I hope that Kattik was not overzealous in his request to get you here.” “No, we were wondering, but we came anyway.” Says Damoron. “We do have a question. We saw a human female…” says Goren. The dream catcher laughs. “You want an introduction? She will probably go for your eyes, try to scratch them right out. She has done that before.” Most of the party figures out that there is only one human slave or that there is something going on that he was able to pick up on who we were talking about. “You are looking for a private meeting?” asks Skrisslit. “Yes, as soon as it can be arranged.” Says Goren. Hadren rolls his eyes at the half giant. Eventually Nnn’Ckk can determine the ritual will only take about an hour to do and that it would be easy for him to cast. “May I ask, the ritual is less than clear; what is it’s ultimate purpose?” asks Nnn’Ckk. Skrisslit pauses, and then says “We seek our ancestors, for hints of our past.” “What do you expect will happen when I cast it?”

“I have no idea. We have been looking for this for many years. Many generations ago, we heard we could do these ourselves. This ability has since been lost to us. I can translate the words and figure out how to say it, but I cannot get it to work. Nothing happens. I will say that I am surprised that a thri-kreen could perform this. Wait, I have been rude, I have some arcane objects that I could offer to you in payment for this service.” Without hesitation, Nnn’Ckk says “That would be most acceptable.” Skrisslit brings out an obsidian orb with blue flakes. It is big, heavy, and solid, being nearly 16 inches in diameter weighing nearly sixteen pounds. After setting it down, he comes out with a spear and belt. The belt is made out of some sort of lizard hide. “Hopefully these items will do,” he says, setting the other two items next to the ball.

Goren can tell the spirits are not happy with the ball; it has to do with defiling, or can be used with defiling. The other two items are appreciated by the spirits since they like good hunting weapons. (Level 7 belt or maybe higher if it has to be – not defined yet.) With that, Skrisslit says “We have an area prepared if you are ready?” The party is taken around to the other side of the hill. The party is shocked at what they see. There is an area cut into the hill, revealing a clean rock surface. On this clean area is a perfect circle of silver maybe ten feet around. The area is better than anything Nnn’Ckk would have made and he is impressed with the detail put into it. There are also various runes and such cut into the ground surrounding the circle.

“The tent is ready for you…” says a Gith to Goren, who takes him to the tent. The tent is new, and inside it’s full of dishes and cups that are giant size. The woman lying on the bread is naked but covering herself. Her eyes looked glazed over, as if she has taken some drugs, and she slurs at Goren “hey big boy, what are you waiting for?”

Goren senses that something is amiss. He moves closer and sits on the edge of the bed. “What is your name?” he asks her. “That isn’t really important is it?” Goren decides to make a sceene. He takes her and throws her outside the tent, yelling for his cleric. Kattik is there, and says “Which one is that?” “The human.” Kattik motions to a Gith who runs and gets Damoron. Hadren and Damoron can tell that Nnn’Ckk isn’t delaying so much as he is not intrigued by the ritual area. Suddenly, a Gith runs up to Damoron and says “Are you the cleric? Your big friend is asking for you.” As they get close, Damoron can hear the giant bellowing for the cleric. The woman is trying to pull Goren back into the tent. He tries to pull him back inside, and when he pushes her he realizes she has him in a sensitive spot. “Ok, we can wait in the meantime, there is lots we can do…” Inside, she tries to offer him food and drink, but he doesn’t take any. So then she then tries to grab him again, but he doesn’t allow her to move him. She continues to try and seduce him, but he avoids it.

As Damoron enters the tent, Goren says “She is drugged, can you do something to help her?” Damoron does a healing check, and for a second the blond haired blue eyed woman had black hair. It was as if he was seeing something else. She has no wounds like she had before, but as Damoron examines more, he hears a buzzing, as if Psionic are being used. Again the hair shift seems to happen again, but the two have no idea what to do.

Back at the ritual, Nnn’Ckk has nothing left to stall. When he talks to Skrisslit about the area and how they knew what to do, he says “Ah, yes, we had another clay tablet that told us how to prepare for the ritual. I did not think you needed to see it since we had completed the work.” “It looks wonderful, but I need the others back. Hadren, could you fetch them?”

Back at the tent, the two boys still don’t know what to do with the naked woman. She is still gyrating and moving against Goren, asking when they are going to get started. (it’s creepy when Jon talks like a sexy woman). Finally they are about to leave when Hadren shows up. Damoron explains the hair thing and the Psionic thing about the woman.

Hadren, having seen tricks like this before, gazes at the woman. When he does, he sees not a human but a gith licking his finger. Hadren laughs and says “I should just leave you two, but try not to hurt him Goren.” Goren says “She’s a Gith, isn’t she?” and tries to grab her, as she vanishes with an audible pop. Spears and guards show up keeping the party in the tent as Skrisslit says “your friends will be along in a moment, you should get started.” Goren slams the ground, causing a loud “boom” as he slams the ground with an earth shattering attack.

Nnn’Ckk looks towards the sound, recognizing the sound as one made by Goren. He questions Skrisslit, who brushes it off.

Hadren tries to get out of the tent, and when one of the Giths push him, he teleports fifteen feet beyond them, and takes off at a dead run towards Nnn’Ckk.

Skrisslit realizes the jig is up, and all of them just quietly stare at each other waiting for what is going to happen next. Hadren arrives at the area, and sees Destriani and Igne just standing there. Nnn’Ckk has started the ritual. Skrisslit says “What are you doing? He has started the ritual. Please allow him to finish the ritual. He agreed to do it.”

“You are holding two of our friend’s hostage. You were holding me hostage until I escaped. You have lied and deceived us. Why would I believe you?” “They just tried to keep you from disrupting the ritual; they were not trying to hold you hostage. I am not here to make enemies, “as he holds up the magical items again. Unndua suddenly says “they have done nothing to harm us.”

“It could be dangerous to stop him once he has started. The bug seems to know what he is doing, I guess we let him finish,” says Hadren when Nnn’Ckk makes no attemp to stop casting even though he could easily have heard what Hadren had said.

The others agree, and the ritual continues. More and more Giths show up, changing and doing as Nnn’Ckk commands. The Giths added their voices and their energy adding to the ritual as it progresses. Hadren and Damoron can tell that Nnn’Ckk is really getting into this ritual. It looks as if he is enjoying himself. As the ritual continues, the lump of silver melts into a pool of silver, and eventually into a sword. As it cools, the sword keeps its shape. Then, a portal appears above the sword. Watching, it is as if someone grabbed either side of the tear and ripped reality. The sword that was on the ground comes up and hovers in front of the portal.

To Goren, all the spirits that were in the area left when the rift appeared. Not that they were pushed away, they ran away from the danger. Suddenly, creatures appear at the portal and step out. The first one walks out and caresses the sword as if it is familiar. It grasps the hilt, and walks out. “My brothers, we have found you. We have prepared a place…come home!” He steps out and waves to the Gith present while the other two stay to great the people entering.

Skrisslit says “Yes! Go through with them! Quickly!” And without warning, all the Gith begin rushing into the portal. Two Gith bring the unconscious form of a human woman and hand her to Goren before rushing into the portal themselves The leader turns back to the party, sword in hand, and nods to the group as he goes into the portal. There is a snapping sound and the portal is gone. The party is standing there in a former enclave of three hundred Gith, as they left everything behind when they all rushed into the portal.

The woman stirs, “Oh…you opened the portal for them? It is only a matter of time until the invasion then….”

DM Notes: The ritual was a level 24 ritual, but he read it properly. Anyone can do a ritual if they can read and do it correctly. The sword was what they needed to open the portal. XP: 175

GM Notes
  • I am not sure if I should correct things or not this time around. Usually when I correct things, it’s to make something clear that the players or characters should know or have seen correctly. But, some of the mistakes here are humorous and could have happened that way! For example, Hadren couldn’t tell that it was a gith female that was with Goren in the tent. I thought I said it properly but did correct it later when asked, as the GM, that it was a female gith. The player thought it was a male gith. It’s almost more funny if it was a male gith! So, why correct it?
  • It’s the same with the fort name. The map has it as Fort Melidor but the example map for an idea of what it looks like that I showed to the players is named Fort Prosper. It wasn’t specifically mentioned in play but I would go with Melidor. However, it doesn’t really matter as long as we know the correct location for it.
  • A player did wonder if this tangent with the gith was connected to the main story or a complete tangent. I have enough “wiggle room” that I could connect it to the main story as a diversion. * My original intent was to set up some things for later levels and adventures. I think I will leave it at that.
  • I actually meant to set up more but forgot about several things to do for that. Hopefully I can still work them into it.
  • When I was running FR recently, I wouldn’t have random encounters just to have an encounter. In fact, I got away from random encounters thinking everything that happens should be connected to the story. I am not doing that here and am rethinking that policy in general. I am having random encounters to show how dangerous Dark Sun is for travelers. Those razorwings are tough! * It would not be fun to die to a random encounter but it sure would fit the setting! The same goes for the psionic cats that Nnn’Ckk noticed. If he hadn’t noticed them, they would have attacked. But they didn’t want to do so after they were noticed. I didn’t mention that, though, to help show the difference between (my version of) FR and Dark Sun.
  • I have started pointing out little details like the psionic cats not attacking to show the differences. It’s not pride, I hope, but me showing the players how I am doing this world differently than I do other things, so they can see the differences.
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Vurusenus Crypt

Vurusenus Crypt

12 November 2009

As the party looks around, Hadren says “Well, we might as well search the camp.” The woman looks up and says “Wait! You have to stop the invasion.”

Nobody listens.

Nnn’Ckk goes to look at the silver circles in the ground when the woman runs up to it. She starts muttering, nobody seems to care. Eventually she runs to a tent nobody had gotten to and runs back with some items that she seems to be hers.

Destriani rushes up to stop her, when she the human struggles, Destriani pulls out a rope to tie the human up. Goren rushes up to try and make her stop tying the human up, telling her not to tie her up.

“Fine, you don’t want her restrained and gagged, you make sure she doesn’t do anything arcane.” says Destriani, “Are you going to do that?” “Listen, I’m just trying to perform a ritual to keep this area from others coming through.” “Why should we believe you?” “I guess you have no reason to…my name is Sylestra. I’m trying ot make sure no more damage is done.” “What damage?” “Oh I don’t know, maybe a defiler casting a ritual?” “Who says he is a defiler? What is it to you? You were a prisoner, how did that happen?” asks Hadren.

“I am just trying to make certain that the portal cannot be opened again.” says Sylestra. The group has a huge argument over what needs to be done. Suddenly, Kalinday reveals to Igne that something is coming through the veil. Igne, seeing that Destriani still has her sword out towards the human, says “if you are going to keep that drawn, then face that way,” he says pointing towards where the portal was,” attack what comes through.” The human starts performing the ritual. Even as she starts, creatures start to shimmer and appear in existence. around the party. The one group is short and blue, the other creatures look like little whirlwinds.

Destriani hits one with an arrow, as another one appears next to Hadren. It attacks him, causing some minor damage, and then teleports him into a flanking position with another blue creature.

Anothre blue creature rushes Nnn’Ckk. As it rushes at the bug, he can tell that the creature is phasing in and out of phase between this world and some other world.

Goren uses his new spear and attacks one of the blue creatures, knocking it prone. He then rushes up to Hadren and surrounds 3 of the creatures there. The winds buffet at Goren, hitting him. The force pushes Goren towards Hadren, who is able to dodge Goren as he tumbles next to him.

A wind creature moves up towards the human caster and creates a windstorm around them, covering a fifteen foot area where the caster is at.

Nnn’Ckk takes a step back from the little tornado and attacks it and a blue creature with fire. Flame leaps out and hits both of them.

Igne leaps into the windstorm and strikes at the closest blue creature hitting it. Destriani, pulling out her handaxe to try and cut the head off the prone creature but misses.

A blue creature moves up to Nnn’Ckk, hits him and teleports him into flanking position next to a wind creature. Hadren moves up and attacks the wind creature, hitting it so hard he pulls it out of flanking position with Nnn’Ckk.

Goren swings a huge attack, hitting two of the creatures and causing them to take lightning damage from the attack, hitting the three around him.

The dust devil next to Hadren does a close burst wind attack, after taking a step back to try and hit Goren. The stinging sand misses everyone, so nobody is blinded but the wind screams around the party.

Nnn’Ckk calls upon his arcane magic to cast a scorching burst at the blue creature. Hadren feels the heat as Nnn’Ckk is standing next to him. He notices that the heat is a lot stronger than he is used to.

One of the blue creatures bites at Goren and hits him. Destriani charges up and hits one of the blue creatures. The human mage turns around and scores a critical hit against her blue creature and kills it.

The blue creature moves up to attack Nnn’Ckk, and hits with a large bite. Then the two shimmer and teleport behind Hadren. Hadren charges the dust devil, trying to move him away from Nnn’Ckk, and kills him instead.

Goren slams his weapon into the ground, striking two of them, and then rushes past two of them to take damage as he gets hit by an opportunity attack.

The dust devil shits five squares and attacks the group with gale blast. He then shimmers and disappears, going back to the other side. Igne manages to kill the hidden dust devil, causing a burst of wind to erupt from the former location of the devil.

Damaron calls out “Is anyone hurt? As Goren calls out in reply. Damaron moves closer to him, but can’t get close enough.

Nnn’Ckk casts a fireball out at a couple of the blue creatures, hitting two of them, and they both go up in balls of flame, falling to the ground.

Destriani rushes up and kills the last blue creature.

The human mage pulls out some magical items and starts to perform a ritual next to the big silver ring, to close the portal. Nnn’Ckk goes up to try and help, and she gives him a piece of wood to help telling him to touch the silver. As he does, he can tell the silver is rusting and blowing away in the wind.

She calls out “There is an area above the circles that is still weak, but I think it is sealed.”

She picks up her stuff and then looks back and says “Don’t you have a camp to loot? Tell the king I said hello when you see him.”

“How do you know about the king? Do you know anything about him or his plans?”

“He said others might follow him. That he had told them to destroy the sorcerer king.”

“How do you feel about the destruction of the sorcerer king?”

“I would think it would be a good thing, the world could start to heal itself. But I think you have a spy in your group.”

“The king is a much more pressing threat than the sorcerer. “

At this point Destriani walks up to Goren and starts whispering in his ear. As he talks back their voices get louder and louder until she suddenly calls out “Would you think of the rest of the group before you go telling complete strangers our whole mission!”

The human began laughing, turns and walks away, waving as she went.

Nnn’Ckk does question Goren, saying that it is odd that a woman who has a ritual that powerful memorized got captured? Goren just says he trusted her. Nnn’Ckk gives up and walks away. The group scrounges around the camp but finds only mundane items.

Nnn’Ckk tries to identify the belt while the others rest. He identifies the belt as a +2 belt of Strength. He also decides the orb needs to be destroyed.

Igne says “Give me the orb,” as he takes it. He starts muttering some words of power, and suddenly the orb bursts apart.

With that done, the party starts moving back into the mountains after resupplying any water or food that was used. It is pretty easy travel through the rolling hills. We took a short rest and healed up as needed. It is very hot outside…as usual. The group finds some non-threatening cacti that we could use if needed. We also avoid some spider cacti.

The party rests for the night, except for Nnn’Ckk and Goren, Destriani, and then Igne taking a second position as help at night.

Goren, late at night, notices that something is flying at the party. It is at least humanoid size, but crashes to the ground several miles to the north. Goren asks Nnn’Ckk if he saw it, he says no. He tells him that something flew out of the mountains and crashed to the ground, seemed like it fell from the sky, not that it landed.

As he looks, he can tell it is a kenku. Goren suggests that Nnn’Ckk wake the party while he goes off alone to aid the creature. The party gets up at Nnn’Ckk’s urging and grabbing weapons head off in the direction that Goren went.

Goren catches up to the bird creature, talks calmly to it, and eventually shares some water with it. It drinks the water as he keeps talking.

“I saw you fall, were you fleeing something?”

“I was attacked by snake people. I fled once they wounded me, but several of their arrows took me in the wing and I was unable to fly. I knew the Gith were around, but they would not help.”

“My friends are on their way, we have a healer.”

“It is not me I am worried about. It is more the rest of my clan that I am worried about.”

“Where are your friends?”

“They are only a few hours away to the north, a mile perhaps more?”

The group discusses if they have the time to go a mile out of their way to help these creatures, do we have the time. The group decides that because of our current mission we cannot help. We heal him and allow him to leave. The party, packed up, continues heading off into the mountains.

The party travels for several hours until High sun, and they take a rest. The group is walking on the top of the top canyons. There are sharp falls among the cliffs, and the party is picking their way the best they can.

As the group is resting, the party notices that Nnn’Ckk has been gone for about fifteen minutes before he comes back into view. He seems to be staring at cliffs that are a few hundred yards away.

Hadren runs up to him to ask what is going on, is there a problem? He points to some writing on a cliff wall. It is similar to what was in the kings tomb. Nnn’Ckk thinks this might be what we need to get to where we need to be going. He wasn’t certain if they are .

As Igne is looking at the marker, he thinks it is pointing in the direction they want to go and is pointing at a King Vurusenus. We ask Unndua, who says “Really? That’s his mark? he was a water priest, he might oppose the fire that Mirnos is trying to create.”

The group decides to follow the markers. It takes a few hours and we have to go to the canyon floor, but we find a ramp that must have been used for this purpose. The mounts make it with no trouble. After two hours of traveling, we eventually find a temple built into the cliff wall; complete with pillars and a grand doorway.

The difference is that although Goren can fit through the door, the inside gets smaller. At the bottom of some stairs is a door. The runes on the door confirm it is the resting place of Vurusenus.

Igne moves up to the door and discovers there is a trap. He is able to disable it, and can tell if he hadn’t the area would have filled up with something. He manages to release the door and can tell the trap was lucky. Looking at the area, it can be seen that the area is well traveled, and some noises can be hear from the other side of the door.

Igne opens the door, and the room is full of spiders and insects. The insects immediately attack, immobilizing the entire party in the hallway except Goren.

A swarm moves up and attack Igne, doing a ton of damage to him. Then another creature moves through the webs like they aren’t there and move up to attack Nnn’Ckk with a great axe, but misses. A second one rushes up and hits Igne, bloodying him.

Igne breaths out a crystal cloud of spikes at the creatures around him. He manages to hit two of them. Hadren draws his bow and shoots one of the axe wielders, but doesn’t get out of the web.

Nnn’Ckk casts a burst fire attack that catches four of the creatures, he hits two of them, and takes one out. Goren grabs Nnn’Ckk and pulls him out and away, trying to make room for Igne to escape.

A bunch of water lashes out from Dameron as he damages the front axe wielder. He then casts healing word on Igne to get him back to health.

A dark sorcerer spider does a shadow attack against Destriani, doing some damage of necrotic damage against her. Igne is hit by the swarm for a critical hit. He pushes it away but still takes damage.

An axe weilder moves forward and attacks the cleric with a critical hit. Igne dodges the next attack.

Hadren moves up and attacks an axe wielder, and then shifts it into his position so Goren can attack it.

Nnn’Ckk casts a scorching burst into the bugs, creating an area of damage that hits the web spinner and an axe wielder, taking two out. The creatures explode in flames.

Goren jumps over the party and lands in the room, marking all three creatures in the room and attacking the creature that Nnn’Ckk had damaged with a critical hit.

Damoron kills the guy next to him and heals himself.

Igne casts a bolt of energy with a chaos bolt at the boss, critically hits it that allows him a secondary attack but it misses.

Hadren moves up and manages to kill the boss with a critical hit.

Nnn’Ckk casts a burst attack at the spider swarm, hitting them and Goren who both take some fire damage.

Destriani moves up and attacks the swarm, but it’s Damoron’s water damage that takes out the swarm for good.

XP: 350

GM Notes
  • I think the group has too much internal strife and it might be coming out with the players as well. I think we need to refocus and look at what we want to do with this group. For example, even though the players haven’t played these characters for long, they have had months together with travel times. How will that have shaped some of their interactions?
  • I am willing to shoulder the blame on this one. I had intended for there to be some strife in the party but to resolve that quickly and then have the party be mostly united but still Unaligned so maybe rude to others but not each other. So, they like each other but are willing to bully others to get what they want. Then, I was hoping to have the group go to Good. A tough thing to be in Dark Sun but I think it’s better to play heroes rather than mercenaries. I will bring this up at the start of the next session and have us talk about it.
  • I have positioned the characters to see the consequences of their actions and a few other things. I am hoping this helps with the above issues and to nudge the group to the Good side.
  • I blantantly told the players that I was not going to give them any external hints about what they should do. The whole point was to present a dilemma of either helping the Kenku or continuing on in the quest for the tribes. There was no divination help to anything. It was up to the player(s) what they did. I didn’t want to influence them either way.
  • The battles were very strange in that the die rolls played a HUGE part in them. Bigger than normal. When rolling for the monsters, it was nearly a critical or a complete miss. A battle that should have been more tough wasn’t because I would miss with the monsters big attacks. Then, a battle that was supposed to be easy was tough because the players were now rolling terrible. This is good and bad. It’s nice to have the “chaos” of battle represented by the die but it makes it hard to judge how a combat will go. I suppose that’s role playing as no tools to judge that have been very accurate.
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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Vurusenus Crypt Part II

Vurusenus Crypt Part II

November 17, 2009

After the swarm is defeated the group looks around and notices there are no more attackers. Igne notes that the Dark Sorcerer spider that inflicted so much damage had scurried away down the Northwest Passage.

The group, including Unndua takes a short rest and are able to regroup and look around. There are carvings on the walls (water motif) and it looks like a story is being told with multiple characters, most look like an elemental theme. The carvings continue into the NW passage.

Goren starts moving towards the NW passage and the group positions themselves around him. As the group looks down the hallway, there are many cobwebs filling the area and a few of the alcoves are completely sealed by the webs. It’s obvious the swarm spends time hear and there are a few little spiders, but nothing big

Unndua looks at the carvings and thinks he recognizes some of the characters. Nnn’Ckk notes (to himself) that some of the carvings indicate a portal or a means of travelling. Unndua continues by saying “It looks like there was another group that King Vurusenus was to be a part of but he turned them down” Nnn’Ckk mentions that the portals are part of the carvings and he asks Unndua if portals have been used for travel on a regular basis. Unndua says it was only something that the sorcerer kings used and maybe the dragon, but it’s not something commonly used. It looks like the group depicted was opposing a (or several) sorcerer king. This is definitely before my own time. There were stories about a group called “The Seven” By the time I was in King Vurusenus court, The Seven weren’t active, but were probably still alive. I do remember one of them showing up and asking if King Wyrnos would join them and he refused. Unndua think s that had The Seven known what King Wyrnos would become, they would have tried to stop him.

As the group moves down the passage, the group notices that the walls have some erosion and have some pieces knocked out and it looks like some battles have taken place here.

Igne notices a spider coming down the hallway and says “oh !!!, it’s on me already”. The spider attacks Igne and wallops him badly. This happens to be the Dark Sorcerer Spider that ran from the first battle. The group notices that the hallway is filling with spiders and Ettercaps. Igne moves forward and throws a chaos bolt and hits the first spider (12 points psychic damage). Igne attacks a second spider and hits the second one for 8 points, but misses the 3rd spider.

Nnn’Ckk moves forward next to Igne and sends his scorching burst and misses the spiders. Destriani moves forward and aims her bow at the spider and hits for 4 points damage.

The dark mind shredder spider scurries up and tries to mind shred Igne, which he does with 14 points damage and becomes invisible to Igne (only)

Goren charges forward and hits the spider with 16 points damage. It is noticed that 2 of the spiders are actually swarms. One of which attacks Goren and hits him with 3 points damage. Damoron asks who needs help: Igne screams out in pain. He gains 11 points back.

The Ettercap spits web and hits Goren who is immobilized. Hadren moves up so he can get into position for next round. The dark sorcerer spider hits Goren with a vitriolic web that hits Goren for more immobilizing and 4 points damage. The spider moves easily through the “impassable looking” web blocking the passage.

Igne moves up and uses mists of disarray and missed everyone and doesn’t move. Nnn’Ckk moves forward and drops an area of effect in the middle of the spiders and hits several of the spiders, killing one of them but missing the Ettercap. Destriani moves forward and fires her bow, but misses all the spiders. Goren swings at the swarm hitting it and gives 8 points damages. The spiders move forward and surround Goren biting and hitting him with 11 points damage. Damoron hits the swarm (natural 20) and takes out one of them

The Ettercap moves up on Goren and attacks with his bone great axe and hits Goren. (18 points damage ) and Goren is bloodied. Unndua sends a healing surge to Goren (+3). The spider attacks Goren again (10 points necrotic damage). Igne sends a chaos bolt at the swarm and misses. Nnn’Ckk sends a grasping shadows at the swarm and the Ettercap and hits both (15 points fire damage). The swarm goes up like popcorn (“anybody got some butter” so Goren hands Destriani a tub of Country Crock)

Destriani moves forward swings at the spider with her Farslayer sword and hits it for 14 points damage. Goren attempts to slam into the earth and raises it to cause 10 points damage to both enemies (he misses both)

The swarm wants to eat Igne but hits Goren for 8 points damage. Damoron moves up and sends a healing water surge to Goren. The Ettercap then swings his bone great ax at Goren (natural 20) and whacks him badly. Unndua sends a minor healing word to Goren. Igne sends a chaos bolt into the swarm and misses. Nnn’Ckk sends a scorching burst and really hot flames engulf the swarm and the Ettercap taking them both out. As the fires recede, there are just a couple small spiders scurrying away.

Everyone stops, stunned and breathing heavily that there are no more attacks. Everyone heals up quickly and re-provisions. They look around the next room and notice more webs and the floor has some heaved rocks. Igne notices that the carving story continues but it doesn’t have anything significant to them. Igne also changes aspects and is now a fire elemental. He uses a chaos bolt and clears out all the webs. The group can now see a set of doors at the South end of the room. Igne checks for traps and notices there is one. He attempts to disarm the trap and as soon as the door opened, a Mountain spider instantly rushes Igne. At the same time, an Ettercap web spinner hisses at Igne “What brings you here” Igne also can feel the alien presence of the front spider in his mind. Igne answers “we are searching for ways to benefit King Vurusenus”. The Ettercap interrupts “Treasure Hunters”. Igne replies “No, a way to overthrow King Wyrnos” . The Ettercap says, “We have claimed this area, it is ours and all the treasures.” Igne turns to walk behind Goren. As he passes, he whispers to Goren “Get ready for a fight”

“Well then Leave” says the Ettercap.

The group gets into position for a long fight with the creatures. At that moment, Igne attacks Damoron (having been dominated by the mountain spider) for 16 points damage. The Mountain spider moves forward and bites Goren badly and he is immobilized. The dark spider tries to hit Goren and misses. The little spider claw attacks Goren and hits him. Another little Spider moves past Goren and he takes a swipe at it as it goes by and kills him.

Destriani swings her Farslayer blade at the Mountain spider and hits it for 16 points. Goren marks both spiders surrounding him and swings at the Mountain spider and hits it (19 damage) and the dark web reaper spider gets hit for 4 points. The Mountain spider gets hit by 5 points of thunder damage.

The Crystal spider takes the light from the torches and focuses it into a light beam and aims it at Goren missing him.

Damoron sprays Igne with a bit of water and shakes him out of his dominated state and frees Igne from the mind control.

Nnn’Ckk drops a shock sphere into the middle of the spiders: (just before the spell is released, one of the spiders shrivels up and dies) He hits all of them and does 42 damage to all. The mountain spider is dead and the other 2 are reeling.

Hadren moves up and swings at the Crystal spider and hits it shattering it to a billions pieces. The Ettercap drops webs on the area surrounding it and now makes the area difficult terrain. Igne stumbles forward and sends a chaos bolt to the spider and misses it. Unndua moves forward and hunkers down behind Igne and Hadren

Destriani moves forward and shoots her bow and hits the Ettercap for 6 points damage. Goren drags through the web field and charges next to the Ettercap and tries to swing at it. He then uses an Earth grab, hitting the Ettercap for 12 points knocking it prone and killing it.

Goren continues down the West passage to find the dark sorcerer spider that keeps running away. He moves past a portcullis and it slams down and separates him from the group. He sees an Ettercap between him and the dark sorcerer spider and 2 other Ettercaps come up.

The dark sorcerer spider sends shadow wisps at Goren and hits him for 6 necrotic points.

Destriani runs forward as fast as she can to get into position to break down the portcullis. Goren puts his shoulder against the portcullis and heaves at it and doesn’t have enough on that push. He tries again and is able to smash through the portcullis and backs up from the spiders

Nnn’Ckk moves forward past the web flooring. Harden asks “are we about to be attacked or did you just smash the portcullis?” Goren responds “3 Ettercaps and the sorcerer spider are coming towards us”. One of the Ettercaps moves forward and says “Intruders” and drops a web area just north of the portcullis.

Igne moves up and sends a chaos bolt with a stretch spell (+3 on range) and towards the closest Ettercap and hits him with psychic damage.

2 of the Ettercaps attack Goren and hit him and damage him badly.

Destriani moves forward and swings at one of the Ettercaps and hits him for 15 points damage. Goren uses his thunder cap swing and hits them (5 thunder and 5 lightening damage given). Damoron tries to hit a spider with a water stream and hits him square in the face with 25 points damage. Nnn’Ckk doesn’t move and drops a scorching burst just behind the 2 Ettercaps surrounding Goren. He hits one but misses the other. He also burns away some of the web. The one that is hit goes down and dies. Hadren runs and charges and declares an oath of enmity and hits the Ettercap. The other Ettercap recharges and throws its web into the hallway and covers the floor. Then it throws a javelin at Goren and hits him.

Nnn’Ckk turns to see swarms of spiders coming out of the East passage. Igne sees the spiders as well so he puts a mist of disarray into the middle of them. He misses all of them.

The Ettercap facing Hadren and Goren tries to bite Goren and gets him (9 points damage )and tries to inject the poison, which doesn’t have any effect on Goren. The Ettercap moves down and away from Goren.

Unndua moves up to send Goren a healing word. Destriani charges the 3 spiders that came out of the East passage and hit one of the spiders. She then flies into Tempest Dance swinging her blade and axe as she moves. She misses the first spider, but hits the other 2. Goren tried to hit the Ettercap and missed. Damoron moves forward to try to hit the spiders and misses. Nnn’Ckk attempts a scorching burst in order to protect Destriani and aims at the 3 spiders. He hits one of the spiders but misses the others. Hadren attacks the Ettercap (natural 20) and kills it. Goren mutters “Not so useless after all elf”

The 2nd Ettercap spits a web net at Hadren and immobilizes him and then takes off down the West Passage. The spiders attack Destriani – 2 of them hit her and she takes damage (14 points)

Igne moves forward and uses his death strike damage on one of the spiders and inflicts 16 points damage. Unndua asks if anyone needs help and no one respond, Destriani swings at the spider and misses completely. Goren charges the 3 spiders (leaping over the cowering Unndua) but misses them. Damoron tries to send a misty waters at one of the spiders and hits it causing lots of damage.

Nnn’Ckk sends a scorching burst just behind the spiders, hitting all 3. The spiders catch fire and one of them pops and disappears. Nnn’Ckk takes an action point and repeats his scorching burst and hits both of them. Both spiders are badly burned. Hadren is unable to get out of his web and just shouts encouragement to the rest

The swarm covers Destriani and bloodies her badly. Igne attempts to attack the spiders and misses them both. Unndua sends a healing word and aids Destriani. She then marks both spiders and attacks them. She misses one and hits the other for 14 points. Damoron tries to send a casting and misses. Nnn’Ckk sends a scorching burst and hits both of them killing both of them. Hadren finally breaks free f the web and moves toward the rest of the group, but all the spiders have been defeated or have fled.

Igne peeks into the room to the south and sees a bunch of things stored: cocoons and things and he cuts one open. There are several psychic cats in various forms of decay. He decides there isn’t much in the room. He then suggests we check the sarcophagi and checks for traps. It is locked and has an extremely heavy lid. Igne is able to pick the lock and he asks Goren to move up and get the lid off. Goren does so easily and reveals and 2nd sarcophagus: It is very nice wood with precious gems and metals (reds and yellows). Unndua takes a look at it and recognizes that it might be the actual tomb of King Vurusenus. Hadren keeps watch on the West passage and Destriani watches the east passage. Goren replaces the lid on that one and Igne moves to the 2nd sarcophagus and checks for traps. Goren opens the lid and there is LOTS of treasures: 6 scrolls (rituals: knock, excavation/make hole, thief’s lament, detect object, secure shelter, and pass wall) which the group gives to Nnn’Ckk, 3 +2 weapons with fire effect (distributed between Hadren, Igne and Destriani), 7 healing fruits (one per person), 87 GP and 6 blue gems (sapphires worth 75 to 125 gold apiece) 14.5 GP/character and one gem per.

Destriani notices a spider coming up from the East passage (it is the dark sorcerer spider) and tries to hit her with the Shadow mist and does for 5 points. The spider then disappears. She curses and screams at the bastard. Goren and Igne rush forward along with Destriani down the hallway. Hadren moves closer to the group but is protecting their back. Igne moves up next to Destriani and Goren joins them down the hallway. Damoron, Unndua and Nnn’Ckk all move to have line of sight down the hallway. Destriani makes it into the larger room and Igne comes up behind, Goren close behind. Nnn’Ckk, Unndua and Damoron move into the hallway with the alcoves. Hadren continues to cover the rear. The web spitting Ettercap throws a floor cover. Then acid starts filling up the hallway with the alcoves. Hitting Goren, Nnn’Ckk, Damoron but missing Igne and Unndua.

The dark sorcerer spider sends a vitriolic web at Destriani and misses. Damoron moves forward out of the hallway. Nnn’Ckk moves forward and attempts to jump out of the web flooring into the large room and sends a scorching burst at one of the Ettercaps. He hits it and inflicts lots of damage. Hadren moves to the end of the hallway out of the acid bath and continues to protect the rear.

Destriani attacks the dark sorcerer spider and hits it with her broadsword and inflicts 11 points damage. One of the web spinner Ettercaps sends a web against Nnn’Ckk who is restrained. The other Ettercap tries to bite Damoron and gets him. Goren moves through the acid and comes up next to one of the Ettercaps and tries to hit him. He misses. Igne moves forward into the large room and stands behind Goren and attacks the Ettercap that Goren just attacked. He hits it for 8 points psychic damage. The third Ettercap rushes to Nnn’Ckk and attacks with his bone great axe and is deflected by Nnn’Ckk’s great defenses…

XP: 675

GM Notes
  • (edited for clarity) As before, I have made some small edits in the narrative that I hope clarify things. The group was at the tomb of King Vurusenus, one of the Seven. King Wyrnos was asked to join the Seven but declined. It is Wyrnos that has returned and is threatening the tribes of Goren and Hadren.
  • Wow. This must be how they meant 4E to be played. A LOT more cinematic and scary when you have five combats in a row! That’s two milestones! More than I have done before and quite interesting. I don’t think any one battle was life threatening to the characters but all five of them have been tough! (I think Igne is out of healing surges and is slightly wounded. No healing for him!) So, it was very interesting to see how that worked out!
  • A long dungeon crawl but I think it was fun. Managed to have role playing and some history in there. Ah, the joys of an NPC who can give a bit of an explanation but overall the focus was the action.
  • Really liked how much Masterplan has helped with the fights. And with the save function, it also helped! I don’t think I would have stopped in mid fight as we did if it hadn’t been for that! We start with a fight next time.
  • The Dark Sorcerer spider has becaome a mini nemesis of the group. If they do nothing else, they are determined to kill it! Very fun to watch!
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Sessions

09/07/2009 – The Beginning
09/15/2009 – A New Friend and more missions
09/29/2009 – The Colony
10/06/2009 – Recruited
10/14/2009 – The Mirror Crack’d
10/20/2009 – [[The Lich, the King, and Kalid-ma]]
10/27/2009 – The trip through the desert
11/03/2009 – The Gith Ritual
11/12/2009 – Vurusenus Crypt
11/17/2009 – Vurusenus Crypt II
11/24/2009 – Choices

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