Journal Posts

Tag: dusty_jewel

Chapter 9: Drej Raiders
Post up tomorrow.

Session: Session 30 - Sunday, May 19 2013 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 6: Up Silt Creek Without a Battle?
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin in a dirt field...

After a couple weeks at the Dusty Jewel, all supplies and requested gear had arrived and the silt skimmer was ready and waiting. At the party's suggestion, Hargo put Malla in charge of the trip, and they selected a number of slaves to assist in keeping the skimmer moving. Two elves, Elyer and Tolin, would provide their keen eyes and skill as able siltmen. Four dwarves were selected as well; Thortic, Azzic, Gallyk and Dain. With everything in order, the party set out for the Isle of Silver.

Their first day out was met without struggle, though Anamis struggled to find his silt legs. Mid-way through their second day, however, the skimmer was caught in a tangle of ropes as the party was ambushed by ssurran raiders! The ssurrans tried to keep the party off balance while they sent thieves below deck to steal supplies. Unfortunately for them, Crusher and Solaris stayed below during the initial attack. In fact, were it not for the sudden emergence of a massive sandstorm, the party would have easily dispatched the ssurrans. The remaining few made a quick escape once the winds kicked up.

The heroes were quite experienced with sandstorms, though they had never been in charge of a silt skimmer during one. As quick as possible they moved the skimmer behind some rocks for cover and took down the sails while tying down anything that could be blown away. Below deck, the heroes attempted to seal off the hatch from the blowing sand. It was quite the challenge as the winds blew the covers loose many times, pouring silt into the cabin. Eventually Crusher succeeded and the crew were left in the dark, waiting for the ominous sounds of the storm to pass.

When the sandstorm finally died down the party made their way topside though a couple feet of silt, only to find the skimmer completely buried. Anamis struggled to find the surface; nearly suffocating in the dirt, were it not for the party's quick thinging. The rest of the day was spent digging the skimmer out enough to get it back en route. Because they lost some supplies to the ssurrans and were forced to spend an extra day without moving, the party was low on food. They had to push hard to reach Blackroc fort by nightfall.

When they arrived, however, they found the fort in ruins and under attack by none other than the Skull Wearer! The infamous giant and his minotaur pirates had all but captured the fort and razed it to the ground! Sanguine smiled, "I'm sure we'll get a discount on supplies if we go save them..."
Session: Chapter 6: Session 19 - Sunday, Jan 06 2013 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 5: Ambush at the Dusty Jewel
Hargo's visit to Balic was quite fruitful. A team was hired to survey and protect the cistern, and some contracts were in negotiation for supply. With all handled nicely, he returned to the Dusty Jewel with Harbek, Anamis, and Malla in tow.

The trip across the estuary took most of the day, with the old cog pulling in late into the evening. To Harbek's shock, however, their arrival would not be a peaceful one. The watchtower was burning and a raider manned the polybolos, firing at the heroes approach.

Meanwhile, Crusher, Varis, Sanguine and Solaris were returning from a very prosperous hunt. Not only did they successfully kill five gorak, but they managed to capture a live silk wyrm, as well! Their jubilant attitudes were soon sundered, however, by the sight of the burning jewel. Toph ran toward them screaming for aid, but was brought low by a surprise assailant!

I'm scary... Honestly, I really am.

Bursting forth from the ground came a hunting pack of anakore hungry for hero. The party dismounted and moved to strike, while Varis ran to try and rescue Toph.

Back at the Jewel Anamis was cutting a path to the polybolos while Harbek and Malla focused on the vetran raider. Hargo Vole, however sought out their leader. A dwarf by the name of Clubb emerged from Hargo's hut and landed a few good strikes at the party's employer before making an exit on a nearby silt skimmer. Anamis tried to slow them down with the polybolos, but was unsuccessful. Harbek and Malla found success against the veteran, though they were unable to discern any information from his corpse.

While Crusher dealt with a stray anakore, Sanguine fought for her life. One of the hunters caught her by the ankle and drug the vampire deep into the dirt. The remaining anakore were giving a hard fight to Solaris and Varis, and the elf was taking the majority of the punishment. By the time Sanguine had freed herself, she was too late. While Varis struggled to climb free, an anakore struck him from behind, severing his neck. The beast then made off with his kill while Sanguine and Solaris struck down the other creatures.

By the time the party had reunited at the Jewel, the remaining raiders had been rounded up and the fire was nearly out. Hargo was quick to notice that nothing of value had been taken and it looked more like they were prepared for a fight than looting. Dashing into his hut the old trader found his secret stash had been opened and ransacked. Only one thing was missing: Hargo's Falcata.


With as quick an explanation as possible, Hargo told the heroes why the sword was so important. Firstly, being an iron sword, it has serious value, but more importantly, it was his athame; for Hargo Vole was once Praetor Hargo Vole. Not only that, but he was one of the select few Praetors that the Sorcerer-King Androponis trusted with access to his secret Ivory Dungeon. If the mercenaries stole the sword, it is very likely they plan on using it to free one of Androponis' most hated enemies.

The party quickly packed and shipped off across the estuary en route to Balic. As it turned out, they were ill-prepared to sail a silt skiff and barely arrived with their lives. Once there, the party set to a little business before locating the dwarf mercenary. Firstly, Sanguine and Solaris sought out a buyer for their silk wyrm, while Harbek, Crusher and Anamis purchased a dozen slave-sailors to handle the skiff. They were somewhat successful in their purchases, even getting their hands on a former thri-kreen gladiator.

Sanguine and Solaris also found much success, entering into negotiations with house Thestis' patriarch, Oulestes, an aging, but brutish man. He purchased the silk wyrm and much of the silk the party had harvested, which may have had as much to do with Sanguine's charms as it did her gaze. He invited the pair, and their entourage, to a gathering later that evening at his estate. Thankfully, they had enough money to afford some clean clothes and bathing...
Session: Session 15 - Sunday, Nov 25 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 5: Home Alone
Arriving at the Dusty Jewel, Solaris got to work, quickly going over the schedule of shipments along with the costs and expected taxes. Varis, in his usual paranoid manner, grabbed a few slaves and set up a 24 hour watch post. Whether or not it was necessary, it seemed to calm the twitchy elf. Meanwhile, Sanguine and Crusher were preparing for a quick gorak hunting trip.

Before they headed out, however, Solaris had come upon a map detailing the location of a silk wyrm nest. If they could successfully harvest some silk, that could lead to some further trades. And, if possible, maybe they could even capture the wyrm!

The gorak hunting was very successful, and the heroes quickly set out to the silk wyrm nest. Crusher and Sanguine began harvesting the silk while Solaris and Varis kept an eye out for any wyrms. While the elf spotted some of the younger wyrms, the mother was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, before they could get out of the nest, the silk wyrm adult attacked! She swooped in and scattered the party, focusing much of her strikes on Varis, keeping his arrows from harming her young. When she had Solaris and Varis subdued, she turned her attention to the vampire and gladiator. Both struggled to take advantage, as the wyrm was more than a challenge, but the tide changed when Varis rejoined the fight. Solaris got the elf on his feet before putting his psionics up against the wyrm's impressive psychic talents.

When all was said and done, the Wyrm lay unconscious with the bloodied heroes victorious. Varis was able to mix a poultice that slavers use to keep their victims subdued. He hoped it would work on the wyrm. Meanwhile, Sanguine used her heavy robes as a sack to cover the wyrm's head. They would have to travel by night, so as to avoid the sun's harmful effects on the vampire...
Session: Session 14 - Sunday, Nov 18 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 2: Tango Papa Kilo
The party watched in fascination as water itself seemed to come to life and mix itself with the dirt of the embankment of the river and form into mud creatures followed by the sudden appearance of two seemingly living water spouts, As they advanced they seemingly muttered one word... Defiler. Sardis quickly realized that despite him being an active preserver, they believed his use of the arcane made him a defiler and that they likely were there to protect the water from any who might corrupt it. Quickly the party set up a defensive stance while the elementals began their advance. It was then that Sardis noticed a beacon near them seemingly set off to the side that he was able to recognize as a source of power made bound with powerful blood magic.... defiling magic. Kalinth and the others quickly began to reason with the elementals trying to convince them of Sardis's preserving nature and that they meant no harm. The elementals however seemed less then completely convinced and mentioned worry of a master coming and that they would be punished for not defending the area. Sardis and Kalinth quickly set upon the same idea, that the power source nearby was likely binding these elementals and that its end might free the elementals and show their true nature, however lashing out with spell and axe did little except cause a backlash of energy that hurt everyone. The energy seemingly cracked and destroyed the shells of the mud men returning them to the river but the elemental spouts preserved. Sardis surmised that more than physical effort and simple spell would be necessary to destroy the power sources and prepared to try to unbind the blood magic itself holding it together. Just as sardis set out to do this however the elementals warned that their master had come, No sooner had the warning been given then a large black serpent reared up from the river and began to assault the party.The beast quickly unleashed its defiling energies and weakened much of the party. Kalinth and Chiba quickly moved to engage the creature while Sardis began to draw the essence of the binding magic on the beacon into himself, gasping as the defiling magic caused his veins to notably blacken with corruption. Sardis however was able to persevere through the pain and with a flash the beacon suddenly was no more. The elementals, having witnessed Sardis's actions, quickly moved to try and offer what aid they could to the rest of the party.

The battle was hard fought on both sides, Chiba using his athletic skills to fight the creature from within the water itself while Kalinth held its attention on the bank of the river via his psionic capabilities. Sardis, Tak and Torrim all used their strengths and brought to bear their most potent abilities and for a time it seemed like the party would be successful in their endeavor until the beast enraged. With its newfound strength born of fury the serpent lashed out and started to quickly tax the parties limits. Torrim and Sardis soon found themselves incapacitated by the poisonous venom of the serpent, Kalinth, roaring with fury of his own, lashed out with a tremendous blow which seemed to stagger the serpent for but a moment before it struck back at him and knocked him to his knees. As Kalinth started to lose consciousness he saw the creature turn towards Chiba and Tak with Tak roaring a challenge and throwing a spear into the creature's neck. The last thing he saw was the tail of the beast rise up and come down upon him with crushing force. As the tail came back Chiba saw Kalinth's broken and lifeless body, the dray's blue eyes suddenly black and devoid of color and knew his comrade had fallen. With a howl he charged the beast seeking to bring it down but the serpents fury was not yet over, wish a sudden flash it grabbed Chiba in its mouth and dashed him to the ground knocking the barbarian out cold. Tak watched as serpent seemingly surveyed its surroundings before setting its eyes on him. It slowly drew itself up out of the river and began its advance upon him. Tak looked briefly at his fallen comrades and then the entrance of the cavern and the idea of escape briefly touched his mind before the notion was completely and utterly destroyed by his conviction to either save his still living comrades or be lying beside them, true brothers in death. With a roar Tak drew his sword and planted his feet as the serpent loomed over him.

Hargo Vole looked up from his ledgers as Malla entered his quarters immediately surmising from her body language and scowl that good news was not in the evening's agenda. "Any news?" he asked before returning his attention to his books. Malla looked at the floor for a moment before looking towards Vole and replied "None. The slaves have seen no sign of further Kruthik infestation.... Or of the group sent to dispatch them. The slave that went down the hole on the rope saw no one in the room at the bottom... or any signs that the sand that has blown down it has been recently disturbed." Hargo stopped writing in his ledgers and let out a sigh. "It has been almost a week since they went down that blasted hole. I cannot think of any reason for them to not have returned by now save death. I was reluctant to order a slave down that hole but I had to be sure before it was sealed that they weren't at the bottom of that rope simply hoping we might check for them. That there has been no disturbances in the sand or any incidents up here on the surface means though they likely succeeded in eliminating the threat the kruthik pose, losing their lives in the process." Hargo rose and picked out a ledger relating to personnel from a shelf in his quarters and placed it lightly on his table. "Give the order for the tunnel to be sealed. Ensure that it is sealed both properly and thoroughly. Have their quarters vacated and their supplies, possessions go to our warehouse for trade." Malla nodded and looked for a moment as though she might have something to say before simply turning and leaving the room to see Hargo's orders carried out. Hargo watched as Malla left wondering if perhaps she had considered briefly seeking permission to try and locate those that had saved her life not so long ago, or if perhaps she had just thought better of asking his opinion on a trivial matter. He then sat down and opened the ledger and lined out the names Tak, Sardis, Torrin, Chiba and Kalinth before closing it and sitting back in his chair, waiting for the new challenges to come.
Session: Session 5 - Sunday, Jul 29 2012 from 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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Chapter 2: Infestation
It had been a few weeks since the party had returned with the lost caravan, weeks spent allowing bodies to heal and minds to refocus on more mundane tasks. Time well spent considering the tasks to yet come for our party. Hargo Vole called the party to him after receiving dire news that several slaves in the nearby fields had been attacked by a creature, a young kruthik, that had burrowed up out of the ground. Hargo explained that a kruthik this young in the area meant that there was also a young hive in the area, most likely directly under the trade post itself and that if the hive were not dealt with very soon the trade post and all nearby areas would be lost to the vast hordes of kruthik that would soon be spawned. It was just as the conversation ended that the lookout for the trade post signaled that there was a group approaching the outpost. While the group readied themselves for their excursions into the new kruthik hive the group approaching the hive soon resolved itself from an unknown band to that of a Sorcerer King's legion. It was just as the group finished their preparations that the Legion reached the gates, in an effort to avoid any misunderstandings the party joined the others of the outpost in greeting the legion and its leader; The very praetor they had just met while dealing with Jakkin. Initially suspecting that the praetor was there on business related to their creative procurement of supplies earlier on the group was soon relieved to find out that the praetor had business instead with Hargo Vole. As Hargo left to conduct his business he waved Tak and the others on to set about their 'task' while he talked with the praetor.

It was thus that our group found themselves in the middle of a field looking down into a hole seeming to be without a visible end. After setting up a rope and climbing down they soon found themselves in a small open space with a few tunnels near where they descended. Lighting up some torches they quickly set off down the tunnels descending deeper into the earth. It was soon into their descent that they found themselves beset upon by a juvenile kruthik and some baby kruthiks as well. The party quickly dispatched the beasts quickly realizing that they were going to be up for a major challenge when they found the queen, seeing as how one of the juveniles had managed to spray a corrosive mixture on Cheeba's blade, completely destroying the blade's ability to be used. They continued on though knowing that failure meant the destruction of the outpost. After some time following the tunnels they suddenly happened upon a open area, No longer were they in tunnels dug by kruthik, now they were in what appeared to be ruins, constructed in times long since gone. As they entered this area they noticed a large deposit of kruthik eggs, just as several kruthik made themselves known. As the party moved to engage they heard a loud roar and the queen herself showed and began to defend her nursery. Kalinth moved quickly to intercept the queen while Cheeba and Tak moved to engage the juveniles that had shown themselves while Torrim and Sardis used their magic to immobilize the queen and a few of the juveniles. After an enormous effort the party was successful in killing the queen however and destroying the eggs. As they took stock of themselves and what they'd accomplished Sardis noticed a nearby set of runes on a wall. Examining them closely he was able to determine they had some transmutation effect, After the group took their brief rest they triggered the runes which caused a wall nearby to disappear and reveal a set of stairs going even deeper into the ground.

Knowing that the kruthik threat was eliminated the group resolved to go further down to ensure that there was nothing else down in the area that was a potential threat or value to the trade post. Their diligence was rewarded when they noticed not only a sudden marked drop in temperature but also a loud roaring noise. Pushing on they discovered another large open area, this time a cavern lit with luminescent fungus with something none of them had ever seen, let alone thought of; A roaring river of water. Quickly moving forward the group started to drink from the water. It was then that Torrim saw part of the water itself move against the current and start towards them. The group quickly backed off as part of the water itself came forward and separated itself from the river and mixed with the dirt of the bank suddenly lifting up and transforming into man shaped form.....
Session: Session 4 - Sunday, Jul 22 2012 from 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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