Journal Posts

Tag: primal_spirit

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 - Friday, Jun 28 2013 from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Chapter 8: Backtracking
Harbek quickly discovered that their previous path was now blocked. A cave-in, likely caused by Whelm, forced the heroes to find a new path. Thankfully, there were many others to choose from. Unfortunately, one of which was full of dead bodies.

The party chose the path less necromantic, and they made their trek back toward the upper tiers. There were only a few minor delays, and the poisonous air, being expected, was not nearly as dangerous this time around. Eventually, they found themselves back in the room full of strange, stuffed felines, and chose a new doorway. This led them through to a partially crumbled chamber with yet another hostile surprise. An amphisbaena had made its home in the rubble and struck out against the party. Despite having (two) nasty heads, it was quickly dispatched and the party found stairs that took them up.

Their elation was short-lived. Only one door at the end of a passageway was found. What they saw inside brought forth a terrible scream from Sanguine. The chamber was rife with the necromantic aura of the Gray. Harbek reluctantly closed the door, and the party made their way back downstairs. Since that way was blocked, they chose the another doorway. This time, they discovered another primal spirit. An ancient tree rooted in brackish water barred their path. It lashed out and attacked when they came near, but recoiled when it realized Harbek was a primal warrior. Calling itself Xilonen, it explained that it was a tree of life, long since corrupted by Zotzilaha's evil magic. It apologized for the attack, and begged to be destroyed, but not before pleading with Harbek to locate and protect its seed.

They held up in that room for a long rest. Each was too exhausted to continue. They had been traveling in circles with no end in sight. Crusher did his best to calm Malla's nerves. After far too long in the darkness, Harbek struck up a torch and got everyone moving again. They had one final door to check; hopefully it was a way out.

As they entered the small hallway, Pak'Cha grew impatient and moved to open the door, hoping for an exit. His rash behavior once again set off a trap, awakening a number of ancient constructs. The guardians struck hard, but were brittle and easily destroyed. Finally, after all their trials, they had found...

...Another dead end. In this hallway was some sort of shrine; a huge statue of a giant-like creature lay at one end, and a small well of reddish liquid lay opposite. In the moth of the giant statue rested a large feline. Tacked along the walls were the flayed skins of humans, left out to dry... Harbek shook his head, "We should've gone through the gray."
Session: Session 27 - Sunday, Mar 24 2013 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Chapter 7: Oooh That Smell, Can't You Smell That Smell?
The world has stopped tumbling. The air roils with dust kicked up from the collapse of the earth; it is humid and smells putrid, choking the heroes; save Harbek, who was used to the poisons of the deep; and Sanguine, who was, well, too dead to notice...

The heroes survived the fall only to find themselves trapped in some ancient underground building. Writing on the walls, and strange sculptures marked this as some ancient shrine or temple to long-forgotten deities. That was of little interest, however, as the air was literally killing the party, forcing them to act quickly and find an exit.

In their Search for an exit, the party encountered a strange primal spirit in the form of a giant hermit crab. It called itself Kalka-Kylla, and was once a god to the primitive peoples above ground. Kalka-Kylla attempted to defend its prison against the intruders, but was severely outmatched. In fact, it would have been killed were it not for Harbek wishing to spare its life. Solaris (or was it Kalinth) talked the beast down, and the heroes attempted to communicate and discern a way out.

There's a sex joke here somewhere...

Kalka-Kylla advised they go through the eastern door, though it was unaware that a cave-in had blocked the exit completely. While determining their next course of action, Theoak noticed a stone that was out of place and Malla forced it aside. Their hopes of another exit was crushed when Pak'Cha triggered a gas trap that left most of the heroes unconscious and awoke a vampire from her repose.

Anyone got any silver? I heard vampires are vulnerable to silver...

The creature called herself Tloques-Popolocas, and was eager to enjoy a meal after centuries of sleep. She was surprised to see another vampire with the party, and offered to share in the food if Sanguine aided her. Unfortunately for Tloques-Popolocas, Sanguine wasn't hungry, and the still-conscious heroes made short work of the vampire. Sanguine begged the party spare its life, as she had never encountered another of her kind. Malla and Solaris would hear none of that, however, and ordered Crusher to sever its head.

Solaris then used an unguent on Theoak to revive him, hoping the Halfling knew of a way to wake the others. Unfortunately, the Halfling was planning on duplicating the very same unguent for that very purpose. They were running out of time. Pak'Cha appeared to be seeping whatever thri-kreen had as blood from all over his chitinous body.

Crusher and Solaris hauled their unconscious comrades back to the chamber containing Kalka-Kylla and implored it to help them. The creature knew of one way to aid the heroes and performed a ritual at their behest. After a few minutes, Harbek and Pak'Cha were back on their feet, only to witness Kalka-Kylla expend the last of its primal essence and begin to fade and die.

Theoak took little notice of this turn of events as he was busy scribbling strange symbols in the mud while asking some bones for the way out. Once he was finished the Halfling pointed to a mud-filled doorway and the heroes started digging. As the heroes entered the next chamber they heard a strange alluring sound. Much to their dismay, some creature was attempting to wrest control of their thoughts!
Session: Session 24 - Sunday, Feb 24 2013 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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An infection of the spirit
Harbek made one last effort to plant the seeds of renewal. He kneeled on one knee, another foot planted firmly, and hands rooted into the corrupted land. He expended his power of wellspring, to root the primal spirit. It took all his concentration, will and even a personal sacrifice of his own primal connection.

Straining to make a lasting mark, he failed to notice what was happening. Harbek had given of himself, and in doing so, had exchanged his own primal spirit with the spirit of this defiled terrain. He jolted out of his meditation, unaware of his blunder. When he closed his eyes to sense how deep he had reached, it dawned on him what he had done.

The subtle black streaks under his skin were the first sign. Harbek felt a distance between himself and his kindred spirit of nature. All the while feeling something familiar. He knew it, but not in this form. It was the sensation of defiling, this time from within.

Harbek struggled to remain upright. He gazed out of the crater, blinded by the light. Stumbling over himself and dragging his axe through the sands, he managed to reach his riding mount. With the last strength he had, he hoisted himself onto the beast. Breathing heavy, he rested before propping his head on the neck of his animal companion. Harbek then made his way out of the crater in hopes of finding the group.
Session: Session 22 - Sunday, Feb 03 2013 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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