The Ruins; Tamoguna

DM Log - Session 11

Koschei & Arranis were out of the picture. They had been found as the ‘drivers’ of Crawl by using the False Heart to greatly enlarge the mekillot skeleton, fill it with defiling necromantic energy, and to also direct its route. While they were in such close proximity to it everyone felt that same tug and found themselves sliding towards the False Heart. After a brief analysis of it Crow volunteered to destroy it while everyone retired back to the staircase. After several arrows the green, gaseous ball made a distinct CRINK! noise and imploded. The glass bowl that housed it shattered and the delicious smell (of baking golden syrup, the tang of citrus & the scent of roasting meat) flared in intensity.

More importantly, the tower began to shake. Drumm quickly deduced that without the magic from the False Heart empowering Crawl the mekillot would return to its natural size – and that meant the foundations of the towers were shrinking. In the ensuring confusion Crow’s trained monkey, Egg, escaped from her clutches and ran towards the delicious smell. It found a tiny pill – the compressed form of Crawl’s False Heart. Without so much as a by-your-leave the monkey swallowed the pill. It began to mutate, swelling to inappropriate sizes until Egg was larger than the rest of the party. It still looked like Egg- only as tall as a horse is long. It turned out the broken False Heart still had some remnents of its former power!

The party had no time to dwell on this twist of events. The moment the tower began to shake Kris ran to the window ledge and tied a rope to a secure looking block. While she arranged herself to safely abseil down Drumm & Aster took the slower but safer route by running down the stairs. Crow, now riding bareback on Egg, directed her monkey to clamber out the window and hold onto the wall. By relying on Egg’s native grace with climbing Crow was able to watch Kris, forever ready to catch her should he lose her grip & plummet from the tower {holding a standard to try to catch a falling Kris}. Although the tower shook mightily, throwing the swarthy Drumm & nimble Aster about inside (along with the Freed Mul Slaves), Kris & Egg were able to hold onto the tower long enough to just barely make it to the carapace. The two stair-racers had beat them by mere seconds, and with no time to spare they leapt off of Crawl‘s shrinking carapace and into the briny waters. Aster’s elven heritage kicked in & abandoning the group she raced far out into the swamps while Drum wallowed mere inches from Crawl. It was only by tapping into his deepest reserves of energy that he pulled himself up & moved further away before there was a giant

KRIK!!

The weight of the stone tower had been too much for the shrinking carapace, which was simultaneously impaled through by the tower & broke in half. Large building blocks tumbled about the area, but by a stroke of luck the tower fell away from the group. The insides of Crawl saw daylight for the first time. It had been packed to the brim with the undead Bodach’s People even before the shell started to shrink, but now they were truly packed. Many of them were the dry, unconscious forms that did not stir as the sun beat down on their parched skin, but the few fleshier, more powerful zombies tried unsuccessfully struggle free of the squash.

Across the next half hour the party watched the flames slowly take hold of the undead inside of Crawl.The threat of Bodach’s People, aided by the invaluable transport that Crawl had offered was gone, and once again the people in the lands surrounding the salty marsh were relatively safe. Despite the horrible knowledge of what was making was burning, the delicious scent of cooking meat wafted powerfully over to them, and the hiss of popping fat was loud enough for all to hear. It was partially the senses of food that drew the Freed Mul Slaves back to the party. Drumm & Kris were able to determine that the Mul’s motives were to lie to the party. They wanted independence, they wanted secrecy, but most of all they wanted to ensure they kept their freedom. After a generous gift of gold from Aster, Kris & Drumm (Crow did not) the Muls went on their merry way.

That left the party to wonder what they wanted to do.
*Go to Meril of House Ianto to collect their reward & lower their slave-debt
*Examine the Mul Pictograph Diary to learn the secrets of those last few intriguing pages
*Examine the Eladrin Journal to find where the mystical ‘World Within The Winds’ might be (The party also belated remembered the knocked out Eladrin guard they left in the tower; now expired)
*Help Erathis build his perfect city- ‘New Erathis’
* Track down Koschei, who they felt was not truly dead
*Follow the Freed Mul Slaves to keep them safe.
*Examine the pirate town of Salt View

After much debate Drumm opted to try to wipe their debt. He hated the idea of being considered a slave again, and wanted to be truly free. Crow, whose ego had grown along with Egg to massive proportions, challenged his authority. It was a Thri-Kreen thing to do. Whenever an individual felt they could help their clutch (group) more as the leader, there would be a challenge. When things got awkward though, Crow temporarily backed down. Who knew how long until Crow might more seriously try to lead the group and make the decisions for what they should do? After a little thought about how they had travelled they opted to travel first to Erathis to tell him the good news, and then move back to Arakur to talk to Meril.

Their meeting with Erathis was brief. He cheerily & blithely expected them to get to work & help build the towers, and the party was at a loss on how to best decline him politely. It was Crow who came up with the solution. “We will tell others of your town – and they will come & help you. Civilisation will spread here once again.” The words warmed Erathis’ heart, and he wished them good speed. After that they travelled without a hitch through the swamps. They followed their previous trail, which was still obvious for all to see, until they thought they were near Saltborn, which they avoided by taking a short-cut.

While they were on the stretch of pebbly desert near the Mekillot Mountains they saw a man lying face down in the sands. They were wary at first, but finding no proof of an ambush they crept closer. They determined that he was a human, past middle age, male & very badly burned. He was groaning & croaking. Finally they could take it no more & went to help him. After giving him some water & time they discovered he was a trader. He claimed to have once been a successful merchant & had kept his stache of goods hidden in a vault under a well. In thanks for saving his life with the healing & water, he gave them his personal map there – his Trader Well Cache Map. They loaded him onto Egg’s broad back (where Ahren also lay unconscious) and he slowly explained his tale. He had found the fabled city of Eldariich, where he claimed a mad & paranoid Sorcerer King had tortured him to learn of the outside world. One day, about 10 years after he had been imprisoned, he somehow managed to escape & steal an Erdlu. He had ridden the beast until it died in a sandstorm and had been walking ever since. He was a little crazed, and had a terrible cough. His name was Tranned. He professed to know a lot about the history of merchant houses, and bragged he knew more than most! His heavy cough & propensity for long stories quickly got on the nerve of the party. When they arrived in Arakur they paid for him to stay at an inn. He claimed when he was feeling better he would return to the city of Tyr to try to find his merchant house ties again, and still felt in the party’s debt.

Without wasting time the group went to House Ianto. Just like the previous time it was a wonder to step inside the house. A heavy, cool mist cloaked everything & make the area cool, pleasant & refreshing. Meril happily bragged about the shaman whose captured primal spirits kept the water suspended, before getting down to business. As per their agreement with Drumm, Aster, Crow & Ahren he decreased their slavery fee down to 5g. Not wanting this debt over their heads each member paid 5g extra, and Meril signed legal documents to show that they are no longer slaves.

(Quests Complete! 125 EXP gained for saving the world from Bodach! 25 EXP gained for no longer being slaves!)

During the social chats afterwards Aster scored herself a free beanbag to lounge on from Meril, and Drum was given the suggestion to talk to the local shaman. “HhhI hwouldn’t hhhhhave mentioned hhhhhit,” He began in his curious accent, “hhbut hyou see hhhI thought hyou could talk shaman-ha-shamano to hhhhim. Hyou see, hhhe normally keeps haa perfectly hhhhealthy hh-tree hhhat hhhis hhhouse. But for the hh-first time hhanyone can hhemember hhit’s leaves hhare going hhyellow”

It sounded like there could be Shaman trouble afoot!

Soon after they retired back to the inn with Tranned, who thankfully was asleep. Outside though someone had just finished nailing a sign outside. In the local pictogram style it requested ‘guards – caravan – new route – dangerous – pays good (if you live) – caravan leaves – dawn – 3 days’

The New Caravan Route Guards sounded like an interesting occupation, but tiredness won over & before they inquired about more details they fell asleep.

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