Saturday, 16 July 2016

CSR Dark Sun Play Report # 1 - Mekillots and Marauders (P2)


I'm Clay's other half. 
I'm the one who takes notes on his campaigns, puts his books back on the shelf so they don't get damaged, and prompts (occasionally nags) him to get his ideas down on paper.

I noticed he hasn't posted in a while, so I asked him to add me as an author. Perhaps I can inspire him to write again with a few play reports.

Continuing where he left off...

     Goron pulls a small runestone out of his belt pack. He holds it up for the elves to see.

     "You shouldn't have attacked him. Now I'm angry. I'm going to call my friend from the elemental plane to teach you a lesson." He hold the rune up in the air. "Come forth, fire elemental! Heed my words and burn my enemies!"

Mental Imager
Level 4 (handheld)
When activated, the user can project a single moving image into the cypher. The scene can be up to one minute long, but it has no sound. It lasts forever if put in a globe, and it goes into memory if phased into an eye.

      (Note: Upon review, we think we used this cypher incorrectly. The scene should have been inside the globe, not projected into the air.)

     The runestone glows and a swirl of flame emerges from it. The flame rises into the sky and grows into a large mass, with twists and writhes. It forms into a huge fire elemental, suspended above Goron's head. It glares at the elves before it as it materializes.

     The two elves closest to the illusion panic and run.

     The two elves closest to Nameless are too distracted to notice the noiseless image behind them. They attack Nameless, rushing at him with swords. The wizard manages to use his whip to disarm the first attacker. As the second is attacking, he catches a glimpse of the fire elemental out of his eye, and stumbles a little, resulting in a sloppy attack that is easily defended.

     The elf that just spotted the fire elemental considers fleeing. Before it decides, Gator attacks. He swings his axe and severs its head cleanly from its body.

     The last elf turns to flee.

     Nameless faces the elf in front of him - the one he recently disarmed. He crackles with energy as he strikes the elf with his whip. The elf convulses and flails in a cartoony manner and smoke begins to poor out of its ears. There is a prolonged electric "Buzzt!" noise.

     (Side note: Chris rolls a 20).

     The battle is over. Three elf marauders escape into the distance. Two lay dead.

     Goron walks around to the other side of the wagon and nudges the merchant's prone form.

     "Hey. You alive?"

     (Chris: "If you're not, can we have your stuff?")

     The man groans and then slowly, and with great difficulty, sits up. He stares at the javelin that is still sticking out of his shoulder. After a moment, he tries to pull the javelin out with no success.

     Gator walks over and asks, "You need some help with that?"

     The man nods. Gator gets a good grip on the javelin and the merchant braces himself. With a sharp pull, the javelin is removed.

     There is an awkward moment as no one really knows to do next. The merchant goes about treating his own wound.

     (Matt: "No one has any healing? Great.")

     Once bandaged, the merchant introduces himself as Tarez. He explains that he was on his way back to Balic, delivering a cargo of spice to the city. He figures that all his cargo is still salvageable, but he is distressed by the logistics of getting it back to the city without his pack animal.

     Gator inquires "What is the retrieval of your pack animal worth to you?"

     Tarez stares at Gator suspiciously for a few seconds and then he answers, "I don't know ...perhaps double the reward for saving my caravan."

     Gator asks Goron if he'd kindly go retrieve the mekillot. The half giant lumbers away, humming off-key.

     (Ngaire: "He hasn't told us what the reward is yet. Double of what?")

     (Clay: "Does he seem the sort to try to cheat you?")

     Tarez begins to gather his scattered goods up from the ground and reload them into the wagon. He stops occasionally to assess the condition of an item or container.

     At one point, when Tarez is inside the wagon securing a carton or jars, Nameless spots something laying on the ground near him. On closer inspection, it is a black wooden box about the size of a book. He glances at the wagon to confirm that the merchant is out of sight, and then picks up the box and stashes it in the pocket of his coat.

     In the meantime, Gator checks bodies of the dead elf marauders. They carry the spears and daggers they fought with, which aren't worth much. But one of the elves has a cypher in its pouch. It is an old, worn contraction that appears to be designed to be worn on the wrist. The device is covered in runic inscription and contains one oddly shaped dart.

     Gator passes the device to Nameless for him to look at. He spends a moment reading the runes and inspects the dart. He hands it back to Gator and declares that it is an enchanted projectile meant to penetrate metal objects (Level 2 magnetic attack drill).

      Gator huffs, "Not very useful, then." But he stows it in his bag anyway.

     A few minutes pass, and Goron returns with the mekillot. He ties the creature off to the wagon and turns to Tarez with a wide-toothed smile. The merchant reaches into the wagon and pulls out two large sacks and hands them to Goron.

     "As promised, your reward. Blood spice. I doubt I have to tell you, but it's quite rare and valuable in these parts. Worth the dangers of transporting such long distances."

      Goron cracks open one of the bags and sniffs the contents. He sighs contentedly and then carefully places the bags into his larger carrying sack, double-checking that the bags are securely closed.

     The half-giant points at the broken wagon. "Even with the mekillot, you're going to have a hard time pulling a wagon with a broken axle and a missing wheel."

     Tarez grimaces. "I will think of something."

     "Would you like some help?"

     (Clay: "There is very little wood around, but you may be able to find a smallish tree with some time. What kind of repair or handyman skills do you have?")

     (Ngaire: "Oh. I was just intending to lift things, hold things, and hammer things for the guy. I wasn't planning on thinking here.")

     (Goron gets +1 experience).

     As Goron and the merchant are jury-rigging the wheel back onto the axle, Gator points out that some of the elf marauders escaped and they may return with reinforcements.  He offer to escort the wagon back to Balic ...for a small fee - 50 ceramic piece each, paid upon arrival in the city.

     Tarek agrees.

     The journey takes twice as long as it would have without the wagon. The group arrives at Balic just as dusk is falling and just before the gate closes. Goron is carrying one of the wagon's wheel hubs, as wheel fell off some time ago. The wheel was haphazardly thrown on top of the wagon.

     (Clay gives us a summary of Balic: its political system, its exports, the weather, etc.).

From the Dark Sun Wiki (

     As the wagon pulls into the stables, inside the city, Goron sets down the wagon. It groans, a few boards crack and splinter, and the whole things leans to one side. One of its doors falls off and lands on the ground with a thud.

     Gator turns to Tarez and declares that they have fulfilled their half of the contact. Tarez produces a coin purse and counts out the ceramic pieces. He says that he is quite grateful for their service. He would take them out for a drink, but he must fetch his comrades to unload the cargo before night falls.

     After handing Gator the money, Tarez edges in close to the Mul warrior. He presses a wooden coin into Gator's hand. The coin has an eye craved into its surface, which is not the normal design in these parts. "If you present this to my friends in the Merchant District, they will help you when you need it."

     Tarez  takes a step back and says more loudly, "If you are looking for an inn, I suggest heading to the Merchant's District. I have several friends who deal in spice, vegetables, and food in those parts. They speak highly of the King's Pig. But don't try the hummus (an ongoing joke in our campaigns)." He then hurries away to give orders to some of the stable hands.

     Gator hands the coin to Nameless. He takes a quick glance at it and hands it back to Gator. "You might want to keep that out of sight."

     Nameless recognized the coin as a political symbol. It is the sign of the Veiled Alliance, which is a rebel group that plots to overthrow dictators. Considering the political state in Balic, it would be very troublesome if the Templars were to see the coin.

      Although this is Gator's hometown, he has not been free long enough to have secured any residence. With no better plan, the group decides to head toward the King's Pig. They ask directions from one of the stable hands. Apparently, it's easy to find.

     On the way, Goron sniffs at the entrance to many doors they pass. He does not intend to stay at the inn if the cooking is sub-par.

     The city is huge and after a decent walk they finally arrive at the inn. It's made entirely of stone, perhaps granite, and is noticeably nicer and cleaner than the buildings that surround it.

     Upon entering (Goron has to duck through the door, but he makes it), they are quickly greeted by the innkeeper - a chubby woman who introduces herself as Amalia. She takes one look at the half giant and informed them that her inn is one of the few in the city outfitted for folk of his stature. The main room has ceiling that are high enough that he should be able to stand (but watch the joists and the fixtures). There's a table and a bench that'll accommodate him for meals. And there's a room off the stables that may not look like much, but at least the cot is big enough for him to lay proper. She then turns to Gator and Nameless and adds "And, of course, we can accommodate you gentlefolk as well."

     (Clay: "Do you want to negotiate the price?")

     (Matt "I don't really have any skills for that.")

     (Chris: "Me, either")

     (Clay: "Well, you happen to have a half giant on your party who is very good at positive social interactions.")

     (Ngaire: "I look at Amalia and state "I like food.".")

     (Clay: "Roll for it.")

     The half giant beams at the inn keeper and loudly declares "I like food!"

     Amalia stares at Goron for a few seconds and then chuckles. "I imagine you do. Listen, I'd be willing to offer you lot a good discount, if you are planning to stay a week or more and are willing to pay in advance. For the half-giant's quarters and a two bed room, including secure storage locker and two meals a day, I'll charge you 20 ceramic pieces each."

     This is a sizable discount. The party readily agrees and pays the innkeeper. They head to their rooms to settle in. They lock up their valuables in the in the provided storage locker, eat a hearty (if quaint) meal, and turn in for a good night's rest.

    (End of session).


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