- At Tosh and the Dune Riders’ slaver camp, the party decides to move on, hoping to double back when they regroup in order to free Tosh’s slaves from his captivity. This feels dubious – but with the Dune Riders numbering about eight riders, eight crossbowmen led by a captain named Bakus, seven footsoldiers led by a man named Levo, all leading about twenty-odd slaves – but the numbers were, frankly, against the group.
- Day 1-2 – The party moves on, with a foreguard from the Dune Riders following. Their trailing behind the group worried the group, but Kahvi reassures the party that the foreguard behavior that they are merely checking to makes sure the party isn’t going to ambush the camp.
- Day 4 – The party begins to hit the desolate Tablelands just north of the Black Sands region. Unprepared for the harsh desert travel, Sam succumbs to minor sun poisoning.
- Day 5 – The following day, Kahvi’s tracking leads the party into the blind end of a v-shaped ravine. As she begins to regroup, and the party ascends the rocky north-western slope of the ravine, some of the party’s more perceptive members track the unmistakable rumbling gait of a Rampager thundering across the sands, straight down the neck of the ravine towards them.
- The party desperately tries to ascend, knowing the Rampager will be on them in moments. Thinking quickly, Pan ties a skirt of clanking pots, pans, and assorted minor salable items from Bremil Pass to Monkeyarty’s waist, while Anansi tosses the box of cigars from the same across the ravine, which sends Monkeyarty scampering across the rim of the ravine.
- This attracts the Rampager’s attention, diverting it to the south-east, allowing the party to ascend to ground level and survey their surroundings.
- Kahvi spots a high butte on the horizon, so the party ascends and makes camp, the better for Kahvi to retrace their route and get them back on track.
- Evening 5 – That evening, in the middle of the night, Kahvi begins to sense a seismic shift in the cosmos, as her access to the Feywild begins to slip away. This gives her a profound sense of hopelessness and ennui.
- The mounts react badly to this same cosmic shift, with Pan’s Stupid Krudlu slipping free of its tethers, falling to its death at the foot of the butte below.
- Anansi senses the same shift, but more pronounced is Pan’s reaction. As this shift builds in intensity, Kahvi, Anansi, and Pan notice the twin moons of Ral and Guthay aligning themselves on a perfect vertical axis in the sky, eclipsing one another. At the moment of this particular cosmic event, Pan’s own sense of his connection to a greater cosmic power grows and, flush with this cresting wave of darkness, he begins to spill forth a manic monologue, detailing such strange sights and exotic features as oceans, fish, kings, princes, and a Raven Queen.
- Sam, having no connection to a magical source whatsoever, sleeps through the entire event. The party tries to convey what just happened, but it barely registers for Sam, who has heard – from his studies and readings – of similar astronomical events, but lacks the context for any significance therein.
- In the morning, they retrieve Pan’s supplies from his dead krudlu, backtrack about half-a-day’s travel, and retake their path to Tyr.
- Day 6/Day 7 – At about a day’s travel from Silver Spring, the group spots the tracks of a pack of about fifteen-to-twenty Gith heading in their same north-easterly direction towards Tyr. Sam miraculously suffers through the worst of his sun-poisoning and begins to feel better.
- Day 8 – At about a half-a-day’s travel from Silver Spring, the group stumbles upon signs of a fierce battle.
- Scattered about them are the bodies of five human teens, humans whose brand-new, high quality clothing and desert gear seems to indicate that these teens were possibly wealthy, and other indicators tell the group that they seem vaguely Tyrian in origin.
- The other side of this battle is indicated as well, with the dead bodies of ten-or-so Gith scattering the landscape, though all of them are young.
- After inspecting the bodies for usable material, the group decides to leave them to the desert and to follow, instead, the trail of five-or-so Gith, which leads them to a small encampment of about eight Gith total sitting around a fire near three tents.
- The group decides to take action, sneaking up on the encampment, hoping for a surprise sneak attack in the dusky air. Anansi and Sam concoct a plan of throwing oil and an alchemical fire on one of the nearest tents, hoping to convert it into a firebomb which will both announce their attack to the Gith, as well as give the party the element of surprise when they finally attack.
- Taking the initiative, Kahvi is immediately pounced on by a trio of Gith, one of whom she dispatches quickly.
- Pan uses a mystical shade on a Gith, surrounding him with bands of ethereal shadow, but when he blows this shade, its mystical potency proves ineffective.
- Anansi attempts to provide Pan some support, attracting the attention of a different Gith.
- Sam takes aim and manages to hit yet another Gith with his first strike.
- With things looking good thus far in the battle – Kahvi quickly dispatching one of her attackers, and Pan using his shroud to attack his foe with a poison strike – things start to turn south for the party, as Pan takes some massive damage for rushing into the front lines, Anansi is hit severely from a javelin-throwing Gith, and
Sam attracts the attention of a magic-wielding Gith, suffering massive damage as well.
- Kahvi manages to dispatch her grouping of foes, while Pan manages a desperate healing surge to regroup. Having knocked his foe to the ground with the poison strike, the two trade blows. Anansi’s attack proves fruitless, as does Sam’s, though his inspiring words towards Pan allow his desperate heal.
- Kahvi takes the opportunity to attack Pan’s foe, killing him with a charged attack; meanwhile Anansi turns his attention on the magic-wielding Gith, who manages to attack Sam severely with a psychic attack, crippling Sam.
- Seeing his opening, the magic-wielding Gith takes a last pot-shot at Sam, felling him, only to be shot at from range by Kahvi, only to have her miss. The tide having turned on him, this Gith takes flight with Kahvi in pursuit, as Sam clings to death’s door, narrowly escaping a permanent ending with a healthy combination of resilience and luck.
- As the party begins to inspect the Gith encampment and bodies, they turn up a wealth of loot. The Gith are carrying a massive amount of gold – around 650gp total; but inside the tents, in a giant loot pile, and in an obvious commander’s stash, the party discovers the Gith’s take from the Dead Tyrian Teenagers, which includes:
- a mix of about 350-400 gold and platinum coins;
- around 300gp worth of brand new camping equipment;
- some small figurines and a small metal knife, obviously serving as a totem;
- a pair of fifty-foot long giant-hair ropes;
- an assortment of eight alchemical potions;
- and a collection of specialty items. These items are:
- A scroll case containing 1) a map containing landmarks and instructions, but not serving as a cartographer’s map; 2) a parchment with a letter that is 2/3rds written, containing an “adventure so far” sort of narrative; 3) a document in a non-native language which appears to be in a flowing, non-Elvish speech; which seems related to 4) an apparently magical Rod, containing the same writing, and having a series of dials around its hands that have moving parts and magical implications, though the magic is obviously dormant.
- End of Day 8 – The Party reaches Silver Spring by nightfall.
- As they approach, they are beholden to check in with the guards, identifying themselves to Captain Jown-Zi, who permits them access with the usual reassurances that they will not cause trouble in their peaceful settlement.
- The party takes stock in the situation in the township, which consists of a market area and a living area populated by eight large caravans. This sight greets them along with several, more permanent settlements of shantytowns populated by who are undoubtedly ex-slaves living on bedrolls, under tarps, et cetera.
- Near one of the major encampment of slaves,
Sam notices the presence of the Calshey Family from Ur, a group of slave traders known for their production and stock from the north. It is a caravan made up of almost all slaves – almost two-hundred in number – accompanied by a hundred and twenty people, all of whom remain stoic and dead-silent, with the slaves carefully hidden away.
- Opposite the oasis from the encampment is the market area, bustling with an active nightlife. The party settles themselves and heads over in order to get a sense of the political world currently in play.
- In the market area, they encounter Frederick, a blind man, who is playing – and hands-down winning – several hands of poker against transient players. As the party takes the table to play, they are immediately aware that Frederick’s winning streak is undoubtedly due to Monkeyarty, who is proudly perched on Frederick’s shoulder, smoking away and accuses the party of cheating after Pan wins several hands.
- They converse with Frederick over the next few hands of poker, which Pan still manages to win, as Frederick mentions having flown to Silver Spring with Monkeyarty.
- While this continues, Anansi conjures a box of eldritch cigars on the party’s end of the table which, proving too much of a temptation for Monkeyarty, he attempts to grab, at which point Anansi reclaims his monkey, and the old man disappears mysteriously.
- The party begins asking around about the rumors of Tyr and King Kalak’s overthrow, and Tithian’s granting the slaves their freedom. They get this information confirmed.
- They ask about their mysterious poker-opponent, Frederick, and they learn he was boasting of betting the Dead Tyrian Teenagers that he could outrun their mounts. He was seen returning to town with five crodlu in tow, which likely explains their being stranded in the desert and Frederick’s seed money which he just lost to Pan.
- Anansi takes on the female persona of Barbara Gordon, and opens a discussion with two of the slaves at the obvious ex-slave camp.
- She learns their names are Moe and Curley, that they are ex-gladiator slaves out of Tyr.
- She inquires about the idea of a freedom-fighter army, since the presence of the Calshey’s so close could lead to re-enslavement, since it’s only in Tyr that slavery’s been banished.
- She then offers to take on the caravans of ex-slaves in order to go after Tosh and his Dune Riders and the fifty-odd slaves they have in their retinue.
- Moe and Curley advise her that she needs to speak with Anvil, the half-giant leader of the ex-slave army.
- Taking this information back to the party, Anansi advocates a plan which would pit their many enemies against them, opening the opportunity for them to raid the stores of the Calshey Family, which they would undoubtedly leave behind.
- As the party demurs, Anansi points out how callous they seemed when the numbers were against them in the Dune Riders’ camp, and this might help them assuage their guilt for leaving those slaves to their fates, while also lining her purse.
- The party bunkers down for the night, and
Sam finds himself slipping away into the din of the nightlife in the marketplace.
As the Dark Sun Sleeps
Day 1-8/Session 2 -- OOC Highlights -- Detailed