Under a Bleeding Sun

Session Five: 11-20
A Rebirth Begins In Athas

Spirit of the land

When we last left the party they had just won an overwhelming battle, and the party was surrounded by a group known as the free, who had Elentha with them. The party, answering questions dumbly, almost causes themselves to be attacked by the group of escaped slaves, but Elentha quickly cools things over between the two groups and the Free decide to allow the party to travel with them to their camp. The party decides to leave their wagon behind, and planned to come get it later.

There are many discussions going on about the great one as the party travels to camp. They try to pry information from the members of the free discussing it, but quickly realize that they are mostly just guessing. Elentha asks the party if Korgunard has made contact with them, and Akus tells her there was a strange dream vision they had received. She tells him he should try to create contact with him again that night.

The party arrives at the camp of the Free and partakes in food and drink. Vyndaeth decides to go back to the camp of the slave tribe that had attacked them earlier and steal their beasts of burdens, as they will no longer be needing them. He takes off, and Akus manages to connect with Korgunard, who sends the entire party another dream vision. Mider goes underneath the sand to sleep, while Akus and Tik-Tak keep guard over Korgunard.

The night goes well until a group of Antloids attack the camp in the middle of the night. Akus and Tik-Tak carry Korgunard to freedom and manage to escape, with minimum of fuss, thanks to a haste scroll. Mider wakes up from the commotion, and transforms into sandy form and escapes, with no knowledge of where the rest of the party is, and goes underground to finish resting and learn his that he is likely to need.
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Vyndaeth returns to camp early with the beasts and the wagon, and sees a few people poking around the remains of the devastated camp. He makes his way towards it, and the remaining free inform him that they were out on patrol when the attack happened, and that they spotted a Templar patrol about half a days journey out. Vyndaeth does a quick looting, and is on his way, following the tracks to find Akus and Tik-Tak. Luckily, they didn’t cover their trails at all, and he easily finds them.

Antloide

Right around the time they are gearing up, Mider sends a sending to Vyndaeth, who fills him in briefly on their status and tells Mider to hurry his ass and catch up. Mider stops at the camp and raises a small army of undead Antloids and rides them to catch the rest of the party. The next day goes well, while the party is hustling to keep ahead of the Templar’s, and the animal life starts guiding them where they need to go. The party decides to follow the animals, and end up with a group of raiders with black paint on their face, in the guise of wraiths, guarding the path into the valley.

The party enters combat almost immediately, and Vyndaeth shoots some crossbow bolts into the big raiders face. The combat goes relatively smoothly, with Tik-Tak getting dropped into a spiked pit, and the wizard getting dropped shortly thereafter.

Mider decides to speak to the wizard, whose name is Hespulto, and quickly learns that he worked for a dark master that way trying to steal Korgunard, but he had plans to take him himself, as he could be used in a dark arcane ritual. The Templar Malestic had hired Lokee, the warlord leading the obsidian wraiths to obtain the party for himself.

The party continues on and sees wildlife everywhere, in a quantity that is unprecedented throughout most of Athas. They are greeted by flowing water, and a Spirit Of The Land who informs tells them that he must have Korgunard to complete the ritual, and that the party must defend the valley against Malestic.

The party sets up an ambush, and notices the size of the attacker, about 25 strong. The party wait for an ambush, but Malestic, having a high wisdom and level, notices the party and combat starts. Some area spells really help the party, and the combat is vicious, but the party takes them most out, and a few stragglers escape.

They go back to the ceremony, and get blasted by the positive energy coming out, as life around them sprouts up, and the already abundant amount of life in the valley grows even more extreme, with life literally springing up in seconds. It is a truly amazing site to behold.

Korgunard transforms into a stage one Avangion, an advanced being that can rival that of the Dragons. He informs the party that he owes each of them a favor, and the party then asked for their favors….

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Session Four: 11-14
Overwhelming Victory-Damn

Dl02 session 802
Uh-Oh – A Caravan Ambush!! Wish I didn’t fire most the guards

Today started off with Mider being arrested by Templar’s for not having his papers during the changing of the guards. He got thrown in a cell with Taliesin and the body of the now deceased Kavarius. A little while later a young lady was thrown in the cell, and oddly the lead Templar moved most the guards off of the prsioners. The lady tells Mider they need to escape and Mider tells her his undead beetle is currently on his way into the cell. The beetle busts through and the lady casts a knock spell on the door and they take off. She summons a creature to take some heat off them, and they escape into a secret door, and go down a ladder going down into a secret assembly chamber.

When they first enter, Mider is accosted by the host, being accused of being a preserver slayer. Jaggo appears shortly after and confronts Mider. Mider decides to come clean and does not lie about his intentions, and Jaggo decides that mercy is the correct action here, and lets Mider live, with the promise he will personally slay him if he should ever slay a preserver without cause again.

Shortly later, Korgunard appears and informs the gathering that he has prepared and is ready to perform the ritual to transform into the first stage on Avangion. The crowd goes silent, and Korgunard begins. It is a very sacred ceremony, and unfortunately three hours into the ceremony a Templar comes out of the curtain behind Korgunard and deals a vicious stroke with his magic sword. Templar’s storm out ready to blast the room with silence, but a readied action by Akus puts two of them to sleep, only allowing about half the room to be dropped in silence. A vicious battle starts, with Templar’s piling out from behind the curtain, and Half-giant Templar’s moving down the ladder into the room. Mider drops a deeper darkness on a pebble and throws it to the ladder, epically (and luckily, and barely) getting it right where he wants, slowing down the half-giants advance. They finish off the Templar’s in their way and escape to the sewer with Elentha and Jaggo.

Korgunard says his last words “To tyr the roads..” and goes unconscious. Jaggo asks the party and the new PC’s Veiled Alliance member Akus and his bodyguard Vyndaeth if they would transport him to Tyr. The party agrees, and learns of an ally of the alliance Gregen the half-giant who might be able to aide them on escaping the city. Thanks to a stealthy bounty hunter they make it to Gregen without incidence. Gregen is a guard in charge of the slaves going to the obsidian mines. He says he can put Korgunard and their equipment in the last wagon of the line up, and ensure that their manacles will not be secured, but the escape needs to be up to them. The party agrees, and within a few hours is headed out of the city in a slave caravan. They easily secure their equipment and steal the wagon, taking it south and to the road to Tyr.

Tyrian Conspiracy Part 2

As the party approaches the road, they see a burning caravan on the road. As they approach, Mider realizes that it is Nadar’s caravan. After exploring, they find Daimon now dead, and a barely alive dwarf. With his dying words he informs the party that Nadar was kidnapped by the elves who slaughtered the caravan. Vyndaeth can tell that the elves were many in number, and that they have probably invoked elf run, making them nearly impossible to catch up with. The party decides to stick to the road.

Arcane Shadows Part 2

Early on in their day they get stuck in a Tyr storm, and Vyndaeth gets the caravan lost into the desert. While lost the party gets attacked by a trine of Cha’thrang. While the undead beetle and the kanks drop, the party dispatches the other foes with relative ease, and the next morning the add three undead cha’thrang to their arsenal, along with two undead kanks. The next day they become assaulted by a group of savage muls. The muls stand little chance against the party, and drop quickly.

Later that day the party runs into an assaulted caravan, and as their investigating the scene, they become surrounded by a dozen kreen. The Kreen say they are awaiting the great one, that a soft skin informed them of his coming. After some banter Vyndaeth shows them Korgunard, and after an odd ritual involving touching their antennae to Korgunard, the leader of the Kreen offers to accompany the party to deliver the “Great One” to the spirit of the land. Akus begins to put the whole thing together, and gathers as much information as he can on Kreen culture. The next two days pass without incidence. On the third day, in the afternoon, they pass an oasis, and they try to stay out of sight, but the party gets seen. The group hails to the party, but they continue on their way.

A few hours later Tik-Tak informs Vyndaeth that they are about to ambushed. After he informs the rest of the party they are under assault by thirty bounty hunter. The bounty hunters easily dispatch of the turtles, but the party somehow perseveres against the battle they were totally meant to loose. A few stinking clouds and a sand blast really levied the battle into their favor, and they win, with Mider getting dropped, but the bounty hunters were performing non-lethal damage. so he was a-ok.

As we were rapping up this night of FOUR combats, the Free show up, and Elentha shows herself to the party, and we basically ended right there.

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Session Two -
Prison, Near Death, and Storm Lords

Venezuela storm
Summoning A Tyr Storm

Most of Trogdor found themselves in a precarious position of being trapped and equipment less, while Taliesin had just alerted the guards to their presence there. Luckily he had tricked one of the guards into leaving his post. During this slight distraction Karvius slipped his acid out and ate away at the bars to their cell, and he ran and very gracelessly jumped into the room holding their equipment, hitting his head on the way in and skinning his knee upon landing. Zivenja ran up and held the front door shut while Taliesin hit the templar in the face with a vile of poison. The templar, angry but unaffected, swung her Macahuitl delivering a minor flesh wound.

Karvius started putting their gear in one chest while throwing his own equipment over his shoulder. Mider made the templar drop to the ground, aiding Taliesin in his escape through the window. An invisible attacker hit Mider’s pet, severally wounding it. Zivenja hears from inside the building “Don’t let the reptile escape” and confuses this to mean they don’t want Mider’s pet to escape, when in reality they are hunting for Mider.

Then Mider’s pet falls, and there is shaking on the door Zivenja is securing. Karvius gets ready to take the chest and run. Taliesin escapes from the battlefield and starts turning into his normal self, remaining the only party member not to be hunted by the templar’s. All hell breaks loose when some guards run into the room Karvius is looting, being alerted by the loud banging inside. One guard charges him and deftly trips over his own feet. Namhotec charges into the room and attempts to immobilize Karvius, who luckily for him just laughs as the colors splash him in the face. The stealthy mul becomes invisible again and disappears while Wacahuitl surrounds Mider with a swarm of bats.

Karvius picks up the chest and jumps out the window, trying to distance himself from the Templars. Zivenja runs to catch up with him, and readies herself to take the chest with her. The Mul appears and viciously stabs Mider in the stomach, damaging him severely, as the bat swarm attacks him as well, bringing him within an inch of his life. Mider runs and jumps onto Zivenja’s back, ready to let her do the hard work. Namhotec attempts to blast Mider with magic missiles, but can’t seem to pull it off around the bend. Wacahuitl jumps out through the window and puts a flaming sphere in the path closest to the remaining party, While guards start running out the building at Trogdor.

Zivenja runs to the farther path while Mider moves to the front so he can better motorboat those large half giant breasts. The mul bursts out of nowhere, easily covering the distance between them. The flaming sphere rolls out and attacks Karvius, who jumps through it and only has one guard pursuing him, when a fireball explodes against his back, doing deadly damage to him. He bursts out of there and loses all signs of pursuit. Zivenja continues running taking an attack from the mul who then disappears. Unfortunately, where she comes out there are already a group of Templar’s, who quickly join the pursuit. She runs tirelessly as the guard continue to pursue, and for every guard that drops off, two guards appear in his place. Mider decides to start healing them, and is able to recover all their health. By the time they reach the gate, guards have assembled and are guarding the front gate. Zivenja charges at them, and they intelligently move out of the large giants way as she runs through. They head into the corn field to the south and easily lose their pursuer’s.

Unfortunately, a pack of Jhokar’s has stalked them and attacks. In her large form, Zivenja has no problem swatting them down while Mider heal bots her from atop her back. The battle is quickly over.

Meanwhile, Karvius retreats to an inn to rest, and sends Taliesin a notice through an orphan to meet him there. Karvius rests his broken body, while Taliesin goes shopping for him and brews a poison netting himself a tidy profit, and picks himself up a wand of cure light wounds. Meanwhile Mider and Zivenja rest up outside of town, finding a very secure hillock, where they have good visibility for over a mile away, but no one can see them. No one seems to find them.
The next morning Karvius and Taliesin join the cultist as they gather supplies and leave town for a yet unknown destination. Mider and Zivenja join the cultist, and join their party members, reuniting Trogdor. They travel the morning through, and rest through the heat of the day and all night, giving Mider time to raise an undead Jhokar to aid them. They try to figure out what is going on, but the cultist themselves seem to know less than the party. They take off the next morning, and travel to Fort Ebon, where two dozen guards and over 100 slaves join the group, and Rugar enters the fort to rest, readying for the nights journey. The party attempts to gather more information, with yet the same result, but they do manage to get some valuable trade in.

Rugar and his guards come out as the sun is setting and they travel about half of the night until they get to the base of the Mastyrial Mountains. Karvius wanders away and climbs the mountain, until he gets to the location where he thinks the ritual will. He rests in a small alcove. Early the next morning the group starts to travel up the mountain, while the House Tsalaxa guards break off from the rest of the party. The group is attacked by a giant scorpion looking thing on the ascent, and the heroes see it slaughter quite a few of the group members while they watch on. The caravan eventually defeats the thing, and the group moves on. After several long hours going through a mountain pass the reach a large plateau, where Kavarius readies a Molotov cocktail. while the group marches, and the slaves are formed into a circle by the guards, while the lower followers make two semi circles around them, and many guards are behind Rugar and Bakara. Rugar steps forward and begins a powerful incantation that causes lightning to come down from the sky and hit the first couple of slaves, frying them. After the bolt returns into the sky it comes down and hits Rugar, infusing itself with him. This causes the party to act before its to late. Everyone move to action, Mider silences his new pet, who charges forward and effects most the characters in a sphere of silence. Kavarius throws the Molotov at the closest cultists, causing a panic while Zivenja charges forward and gives Rugar a powerful whack. His guards move in, and one outside the silence zone blesses his allies. Rugar moves away and heals himself while Bakara steps in, and manages to trip over his own two feet falling prone directly in front of Zivenja. Zivenja promptly picks him up and throws him over the edge of the plateau. Mider attempts to control a templar, while Taliesin unleashes an arrow at a templar. Kavarius moves in trying to stay hidden in the crowd, but is the only one moving with any intention so Rugar notices him, and hits him with an enervation, almost killing him outright. Taliesin shoots an arrow at Rugar and Kavarius moves in striking Rugar hard. While Rugar tries to move away to heal, Kavarius get in one final blow, dropping him. The crowds start to disperse and flee.

The heroes quickly loot, and decide to go back to the temple and loot before the followers get back. They travel tirelessly all day and night to get to the Temple of storms first, and they do. We left off with them looting the temple, that while it had some loot, was much poorer than they had thought…

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Session One -
From Slavery to Freedom to Prison

Arena1
The Arena

Slavery:

The party Trogdor found themselves in the grip of the slavery. They had travelled to six of the city-states of Tyr to be shown off as gladiators. Their prowess was noteworthy, and although many in group of Trogdor had been slain, there were still six going forward. Master Arin, a renowned war hero who had retired many years back to head up Arawn’s guard service, know in the arena as Loyalty. Silenja, a noble who had been well known for her deadly scimitar, known as Lion’s Bane. Mider, a silt cleric who was known as the Sandman. Kavarius, a gladiator known as Demos. Taliesin, an as of yet unclassified character- who is known as the Screeching Arrow. And lastly, a powerful half-giant barbarian known as Zivenja, the Big Foot.

The party found themselves going to the one city-state they had not battled in the arena at- Draj during the Flowery Wars. The Flowery Wars are a time of showing of warriors prowess in the city of Draj, where visitors come from all over the Tyr Region, some even from beyond that. As the party approached after their ten day caravan, they saw a great show going on at the front gate- two mighty warriors(at least if the headbands were to be believed) were fighting at the edge of town. The crowd around them was begging for blood as the two mighty warriors traded blows. One man lost his footing on a back pedal, and was caught off balance for a split second, and that second was all that was needed for the other mighty warrior to cleave his skull in two with his Macahuitl. The crowd, sprayed in blood went crazy, and the victorious warrior stomped on the fallens body, and added a feather from the fallens headdress to his own.

The caravan pulled through the city slowly, as there were so many people. It is said that the population of Draj more than doubles during the week of the Flowery Wars, and it certainly seemed that way. Eventually the Mekillot pulling the slave cart made its way to the Palace Of Gladiatorial Combat, a giant ten story high arena, ascending eight stories high and two below ground. The party is led to their cage where they are kept with about another 100 or so sets of gladiator slaves. The party attempts to gather information on what they will be fighting the next morning, marking the opening of the first days of the flowery wars, and after getting many glances like they were crazy for even asking, they called it a night to prepare for the next day.

The party watches as a few groups of gladiators go to the arena before them. One doesn’t return, and another only one man returns from. Trogdor is called out in a while and arming themselves at the edge of the arena, they can smell the blood soaked sand from thousands of battles fought in this arena. As they go out, they ready themselves in formation for their opponent, which turns out to be a Mountain Stalker. He looks kind of like a cyclops, except he has three eyes where the one eye should be, and two giant tentacles where his arms should be. The party makes pretty quick work of him, Big Foot, Loyalty and Demos charge in, flanking the beast on both sides dealing out vicious damage to Stalker, while Sandman forces the stalker to fall to the ground. Lion’s Bane sees an opening, and charges in between the flanking warrior, taking the beast in the throat and skinning him from ear to ear- upsetting at least one member of Trogdor who feels his kill has been stolen. The crowd goes wild and the party is led back to their cell, where Master Argonald comes to them, and tells them congratulations on making it so far, and he hopes they survive the morrow so he can grant them their freedom. He also warns them that the last battle is often treacherous and to keep a look out for foul play. Argonald’s clerics come and restore the wounded, so they can prepare to fight the next day.

The next day Trogdor goes through the same routine, and is ushered into the arena and face off against a Klar, a powerful animal with innate psionic powers. He represents a bear with giant claws. The Klar starts off the battle by moving up cautiously, and after he finds the most experienced combatant, which is loyalty, he unleashes a devastating mind thrust against him. Arin is bleeding from his nose, eyes and ears and is barely hanging onto life. Knowing he has two options, to sacrifice himself and give the others a small chance of survival, or to hold back and let the Klar finish them off, until, maybe one of them can destroy the thing, he throws himself forward. The party follows suite and is attacking the creature mercilessly. The Klar picks up erin in both hands, bites his head off, and tosses the body behind him. The party continues to beat away on the beast and the Klar uses more psionics and gives a flesh wound to Lion’s Bane. Then he truly turns the tide, and commands the barbarian to finish the noble, which Big Foot, now empowered and large herself feels compelled to obey. She smashes down on the unsuspecting noble, destroying her through the mid-torso and hammering the remains of her body into the ground. The klar grapples Demos and locks him into a vicious bear hug, draining the life out of him. Hope is almost loss, but the cleric unleashes a spell commanding Big Foot to command her ally, who is the Klar at the moment. Once again, Big Foot feels compelled to obey, and finishes off the Klar with a bone crushing smash to its back.

The Screeching Arrow takes it upon himself to loot the body of the Noble, who had two magic items upon him. During this time slots pull up on three sides of the arena, and they unleash Razor Wings that Trogdor must now contend with. Big Foot picks up the Klar and hurls it at one, smashing the creatures body yet again against the side of the wall. The party valiantly defeat the relatively easy foes without another casualty.

Argonald greets them on their way out, and officially release them from bondage. He says he is very proud, and gives them each five ceramic pieces. He wishes them luck and tells them they hope they find their calling and fortune as he has. The party exits to the street, and have their first taste of freedom in many months.

Whispers

They decided it is time to rest up, as they are still mortally wounded, and they spend two days in an inn. They also sell their loot, and Kavarius get his Iron Battle axe mounted on his shield, and switches out his weapon for the Keen +1 Scimitar. During this time, the Screeching Arrow brews up some poisons from some regents he picked up and goes and makes a business transaction making the party another 700 ceramic pieces. Feeling like they need to upgrade their rooms, he goes and gets them two Luxury Suites at a local inn, at a very steep cost because of the Flowery Wars population boom. Mider also raises a Razorwing as an undead Zombie ally to help them on their way.

The next day the party splits up, with Mider and Zivenja going off one way, and Taliesin and Kavarius going another to look for work. Taliesin and Kavarius see a wizard get arrested by the Templars, and led to a stockade. Also at the stockade is an Aarokora, trapped in a cage and dying of thirst. The wizard, Tec’Tezeran seems to at least know about the heroes gladiator days, and offers them a reward for their aid. Mider says he will see what he can do, and Zivenja give the dehydrated Aarokora some water, saving the bird creatures life.

The party meets back up at the inn later that evening, and Mider tells them about the wizard, cleverly leaving out the part about a reward. They go to see the wizard early the next morning, all in disguises except for Zivenja. The party did not see a chameleon that followed them to their destination. Mider caused the wizards inside to catch a flames, and Taliesin demanded to know how Tec’Tezeran knew about him. The wizard said he would not answer until Mider was stopped from torturing him, but no one seemed to care, and Taliesin reached in with his white dagger and put the blade to the wizards throat threatening him. The wizard, burning in pain and realizing his assumption that Trogdor would aid him in his great quest, slit his own throat on the knife blade. Mider decides to make him speak in death, and the wizard tells them of a great evil coming from the Temple of Storms, that now, in his death only they can stop. Kavarius and Taliesin decide to sell the bird into slavery, but as they discuss this, Zivenja breaks the bars on the side of the cage and allows the bird to go free, who flys off into the night. The party, deciding they have made enough of a scene head back to the inn to plan.

Mider decides to gather information on the Temple of Storms, and epically gathers a ton of information. He learns that the greatest contributor to the temple is an artisan names Juanox, who loves pulque and has a shop in the artisan district. They buy a keg of pulque and go to see Juanox. Juanox, already drunk, has several more drinks, and while very forthcoming with his information, doesn’t seem to know anything of value. Trogdor decides to go see what they can learn at the temple. Taliesn makes his way to the front, and speaks with Rugar, who cryptically tells him to shed blood in the streets, and the party picks a mark from the crowd of a well known member of the Temple of Storms. Rugar gives a sermon telling them to be ready to leave in the morning two days time, and that they are about to make their great voyage. Unfortunately as they tail the man they fail to notice a chameleon that has picked back up on them.

They follow the man for some way, and Taliesin breaks off from the party to confront the man, probably to attempt to take his identity in the Temple, a grand idea. Unfortunately a group of about thirty Templars has the rest of the party surrounded and demands their surrender. The party, seeing no other way at the moment , surrenders to the Templars. Taliesin gives up on his mark to see where the Templars take his allies.

The captured members are interrogated, and Mider is forced to open his mind to a psion by the name of Imhoxata, for the pleasure of Namhotec. After a little torture, Namhotec is satisfied and allows the party to be put in the cells outside to die. Taliesin though has other plans. He goes and kills an on duty Templar who slipped into a whore house, and after paying a heavy bribe, is now perfectly disguised as a Templar. He confidently walks into the compound, and first walks into the room where the party’s equipment is being held. The on duty guard stupidly assumes it is time for his duty to be off, and Taliesin helps convince him that he is there to take over his shift, and the Templar eagerly leaves. Taliesin goes to the window, and signals to the rest of the party that it is him in there, and that he is going to attempt to help them break free. Kavarius, who has recently stored some acid on his body gets ready to make his move. Taliesin moves into the next room with the other guard, who instantly sees through the phony Taliesin, who at this point can’t bluff his way past an invalid. She calls for Imhoxata, which is surely to bring much unwanted attention.

Kavarius, seeing the commotion starts using the acid on the bars, while Mider has his Zombie bird enter the front door of the compound, were he spots at least a half dozen Templar’s heading down the hall. With the acid only half finished, Zivenja smashes the rest of the bars, and Taliesin prepares to smash a vile of poison in the templar’s face. And unfortunately, at this climatic moment we called it a night:(

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