Journal Posts

Tag: exit_of_a_hero

Chapter 10: Beneath the Dust
After the narrow escape from Balic's 2nd legion, the party was dropped off at a small trading post on the southern edge of the Estuary. Believing that an ancient seed of life lay somewhere between there and the Southern Wastes, the party gathered what gear and information they could before heading out. Hargo and Malla elected to stay behind and work on getting supplies for their journey to Tyr.

The elf, Vulgar Rex, offered to be a guide for the party, as his knowledge of the wastes were extensive. Meanwhile, Crusher confirmed his thoughts that there were others looking for the seed. A Praetor from Balic was also scouring the region. With Rex's help, however, they were able to easily pass the Praetor and make their way to the location Nettle had discovered during a finding ritual.

Before they could find it, however, the party was ambushed by two haggard looking tembo; a rare occurrence to see more than one tembo in a region, save for their equally rare mating habits. However, these two were being attacked by the very air itself. A sizeable primal storm was keeping the beasts at bay, easily allowing the party to make short work of them. While the heroes fought on, Harbek communed with the primal spirits and discovered the location of the cave. Pulling up a capstone, the party found themselves in a cool and refreshing cavern covered in soft moss.

Inside the cavern was less refreshing. The original protectors of the seed had made pacts to guard the seed long after their death. All that remained were their angered spirits, ready to do battle against anything that entered. The party was more than a match for some old dead ghosts, however, and even the spectral kirre wanted nothing to do with Crusher after only a few moments. And so, the heroes continued on down into the ancient primal site.

As they descended, even more wondrous life was to be found. More and more plant life covered the walls and columns, while water freely dripped from the stalactites into impossibly fresh pools. It was there that the party encountered another group seeking the seed. Chao-ka, a thri-kreen desert talker was leading a band of thri-kreen zealots in search of the seed. They intended to protect if from those of the deep-death (defilers). Reluctantly, they did agree to work with the party, despite Pak'Cha's insistence that they should be torn apart and left to bake in the sun. Pak'Cha was clearly under some stress..

Finally, after further descent into another cavern, the Tree was found. Ancient and dying, it had enough life to produce one seed which hung from the tree, pulsing with primal energy. Before the seed could be reached, however, its caretaker, Avor Firesworn appeared. A defiled undead warrior of considerable skill, he was now a burning effigy of hatred. Summoning the last remains of his followers, Avor attacked. Weapons shattered against bone and flesh alike, and the battle appeared evenly pitched until Sanguine and Solaris unleashed their own powers. Avor was completely dominated, being forced into a flank with the entire party who made short work of the fiery fiend. With his death, the remaining undead fell, and the seed was theirs for the taking. Solaris found Avor's old circlet and claimed it for himself, while Pak'Cha discovered ancient elvish leg wrappings that would help increase his speed.

Following a short and revitalizing rest, Anamis sent forth one of his demon slaves to scout out their exit, confirming what he feared; the Praetor had arrived.

The decision was made to send Nettle and Rex with the Thri-Kreen away with the seed while the party held off the Praetor. It was a simple enough plan and it did ultimately work.

With the seed being spirited away, the heroes set to an insulting display of parlay only to discover that Praetor Durok was in no mood for shenanigans. The party was (expectedly) ambushed by Durok's goliath slaves and a fellow defiler. But it was the salt golem they feared the most.

Harbek, sensing that fear stepped forward and claimed the construct as his victory. It was less than amused (because golems are historically immune to amuse) and began hammering away at the dwarf. Meanwhile, Pak'Cha and Anamis set to killing the rank and file Goliath slaves, leaving Crusher and Sanguine to deal with the defiler and the heavier goliath enforcers. Solaris took stock of the area and tried to gain tactical control of the room, but the goliath slaves were too many. And behind the battle, Durok let loose a torrent of spells to hamper and damage the party. All was looking quite bleak.

Then Crusher took command of the goliaths while Sanguine feasted on those near her. Anamis summoned forth the tentacles of biblios, freeing Pak'Cha to aid Harbek against the golem. Unfortunately, Pak'Cha was blindsided by a goliath enforcer and blow after blow brought the mighty warrior to his knees. Pak'Cha spit in the face of the enforcer--one last act of defiance--before the heavy stone axe was embedded in his still-soft carapace. The "fist" was no more.

Harbek let out a howl of anger, lifting himself up despite repeated slams, and rallied the heroes together. The anger wasn't just his, though -- Solaris was channeling through the dwarf and shutting down his nerves to deaden the pain. He launched into a furious assault at the golem, breaking and cracking the giant's body with the awesome might of whelm. From behind him, however, the other defiler rose to strike, narrowly missing Harbek, but catching Sanguine square in the chest with a lightning flurry. Crusher was quick to answer, and called upon his eternal flame and burned the defiler to a crisp.

Durok could feel the winds change against him and made for the exit; a move that caused the remaining goliath's to surrender. The Golem had no concept of mercy or surrender, and it kept attacking. Harbek sacrificed his body to ensure the creature's attack stayed focused solely on himself. And finally, after what seemed like an age, whelm struck true, causing the golem to shatter across the ground.

Sanguine rushed out of the cave to find Durok making a hasty exit with his Kank. She could also see inix calmly striding toward her. Back in the cave, Crusher and Harbek were standing over their fallen comrade. The fool gave more than he had to keep his clutch safe... Or so they thought. Anamis was certain he could heal the wound. After all, Pak'Cha was only "mostly dead". It was going to take some time, though, and time was something the party was lacking in.

And so it was decided. Harbek would set out ahead and help guide the seed to Ka-la-tak where it would be safe from the sorcerer-kings. They each said their goodbyes, wondering if they'd ever see the world's tallest and fastest dwarf again.

Both session 34 & 35 are compiled here.

Session: Session 35 - Saturday, Jun 29 2013 from 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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