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Recap 42 Supplemental: On the Way to Altar, We Encountered...

July 31, 2011

A Battle in the Ravine

As the group recovers and assesses injuries incurred during the fight with the perytons, Lieralyn feels someone trying to contact them through the magic mirror. When Brecaryn opens the dimension to the mirror world, Leento appears. He explains that he's discovered a dire situation involving the a Kopru Doomsday Device. He needs help to deal with it. Lieralyn and Klute volunteer to accompany him, and the three quickly leave through the mirror, Klute taking his new pet peryton with him.

Amid much grumbling from some party members about Leento leaving without distributing any goodberries, they continue walking along the ravine. Not long after, Flerm stops Malouf. His keen elf vision has allowed Flerm to spot 2 women in the distance directly on the path. One is dressed like a ranger and the other is in light armor, carrying a mace - likely a cleric. On the eastern cliff are 2 men, both in heavy armor, one carrying a mace and the other a spear. All 4 are dark skinned like the people from Al-Laquant.

Flerm informs the group that his sentient sword, Keagon, has told him these southerners are going to attack. Malouf, having climbed up one of the cliff walls for a better view, calls down that he detects an illusion on the cliff wall to the left of the 2 women. He can't see past the illusion, but believes it is hiding something.

Snow climbs the cliff opposite Malouf and addresses the southerners.

Snow: Who are you and what do you want?

The only reply they receive is a burst of light surrounding Flerm, Brecaryn, and Oliver. Luckily, they're able to shield their eyes before it blinds them.

Flerm teleports to attack the females. Malouf runs across the cliff to the men. Their opponents are very skilled and Flerm and Malouf don't do very well against them.

Brecaryn: There's someone else here! Watch your backs!

But Brecaryn's warning comes too late as Alana is attacked from behind and falls to the ground. A female in dark leather armor who nobody noticed before is standing over Alana with a bloody knife in her hand. Josy runs up to Alana's attacker, raising her mace. A fissure opens up in the ground and a column of flame engulfs the leather-clad woman. Josy checks on Alana as the woman writhes in the flames.

Male Mace Wielder (to Malouf): You must strike me down.

Malouf realizes at least some of their opponents are being controlled. He yells this to the group as he attempts to subdue the mace wielder. Unfortunately, he misses.

Male Mace Wielder: You're not doing a very good job.

The spearman drops down from the cliff and walks over to the flaming thief. He waves his hand, causing the flames to go out. Brecaryn hits them both with lightning before they can do more.

Flerm dips Keagon in medusa blood and heads towards the thief and spearman.

Keagon: What's this? This is dishonorable! I reject this!

Keagon forces Flerm's hand to twist at the last second and ends up striking the thief with the butt of his sword.

Flerm (looking angrily at Keagon): I'm gonna melt you!

On his second try with his non-sentient sword, Flerm decapitates the thief.

Up on the cliff, Snow feels a hot, stenchy breath on her back. Turning, she sees a large, stone monster. It swipes at her, but she manages to dodge it. Running, Snow jumps off the cliff, using her momentum to knock the female cleric unconscious with a kick. Grabbing her prone body, Snow tosses the cleric at the cliff where Malouf detected an illusion. The cleric's body disappears through the wall, breaking the illusion for Snow, Brecaryn, and Oliver. Hidden in a crevice along the mountain wall are 2 spellcasters.

Running forward, Oliver uses his ring to cast a Ray of Enfeeblement on the male mage.

Male Spellcaster (speaks to Oliver in a placating tone, waving his hands): You don't want to fight me. Attack the monk.

Assuming Oliver is under his control, the mage turns to view the fighting. Oliver quickly stabs him in the back. The mage cries out, drawing the attention of everyone on the field, breaking the illusion completely. The spellcaster turns back to Oliver, shooting scorpion-shaped magick missiles at him, knocking Oliver out.

Brecaryn and Josy try stopping the stone monster with lightning and fire, to no avail. The stone monster jumps down from the cliff and swings at Brecaryn, knocking her down. Luckily, though she sustains some injuries from the blow, she remains conscious.

Seeing Brecaryn is alright, Josy uses the Rod of Yondalla to heal Alana. Awake now, Alana shoots a medusa blood-tipped arrow killing the spearman. She hits the female spellcaster next, but the woman is able to shake off the effects of the poison.

The female mage surrounds Snow with a rainbow of lights, mesmerizing her.

Female Mage: Bayhas, you must take care of the monk while while she is fascinated!

Following her orders, Bayhas, the mace-wielder, abandons his fight with Malouf, sliding down the cliff towards Snow.

Brecaryn hits the mages with lightning, taking the male down. Flerm teleports to a point above the remaining mage, swinging his sword as he drops down, taking her head off. The stone monster disappears.

Keagon: You are upsetting me greatly.

Flerm ignores him

Brecaryn: Don't we want to leave some alive so we can find out who they are?

Flerm: Are you crazy? They're trying to kill us!

Flerm attacks Bayhas, shattering his weapon and knocking him out, ending the fight.

Alana and Brecaryn loot a couple of the bodies while Malouf bandages Oliver. Malouf then finds and smashes all of the male spellcaster's belongings before anyone can stop him. The male mage, female ranger, and Bayhas are then separated and tied up.

Josy heals Bayhas just enough so that he regains consciousness. Bayhas' group had tried to overthrow the Oblivion King but ended up enslaved by him instead. He tells them to revive Azhar, the mage, for a better explanation.

Azhar: He cannot see you so he sends many to look for you. But, we will not follow you if you free us.

Bayhas: He's lying!

After a few minutes of questioning, it's clear the Oblivion King's control will not allow them to provide anymore information so Snow knocks them out. Flerm wants to kill them, but the rest of the group can't stomach killing unconscious people who aren't even in control of their actions. Instead, they leave them tied up and stripped of their belongings.

A Bear and Some Talking Rocks

After walking some time, Malouf smells a bear. Scouting ahead, he sees it on the path pacing and looking agitated. Snow, having the ability to speak to animals, approaches it cautiously. It was injured from a fight with what sounds like Bayhas' group. Snow has Josy heal its injuries.

In exchange for the healing and a promise of fish, the bear offers the group shelter in its cave for the night. The rest of the party is wary of the bear's protection despite Snow's assurances that they are safe.

In the morning, the group parts ways with the bear. Snow warns it to stay away from the southerners who move at night. The bear could never survive a fight with vampires.

Galeb DuhrAt the rope bridge, they hear voices chanting in harmony - "Ahhhhhh......" Malouf heads towards the sound. As he nears the source, it stops. All he can see are a few large stones. Looking closely, he actually sees features in the stones that could be faces.

Malouf (a little self-consciously): Hello, friend rock.

Rock: Ah, you speak to the stone. Come my brothers! Awaken! We are the Galeb Duhr. We tend to the stone. What is your purpose here?

Malouf: My friends and I wish to cross to the other side of this chasm.

Galeb Duhr: Bring your friends. We would meet them.

Malouf: friends are very shy...

Galeb Duhr: Ah....we understand. We know your fleshy kind enjoy the precious metals, and we give this to you. (disgorges large chunk of platinum).

Malouf: Have you seen others coming through this way?

Galeb Duhr: We have seen undead pass. And others.

Malouf: Friend rock, these undead are known to dig up the dirt and rocks. They disturb the earth nightly.

Galeb Duhr: We did not know this. We will question them the next time they pass.

Malouf: Beware of them. They are very dangerous.

Galeb Duhr: We are the Galeb Duhr.

Malouf (nodding): Um...ok.

Galeb Duhr: Now, we will help you and your shy friends cross the bridge.

Malouf returns to the party. They can see the narrow rock bridge has somehow become wider to make the crossing much easier. Malouf very briefly explains his encounter much to everyone's dissatisfaction, and presents Snow with the platinum boulder. She promptly has Brecaryn place it in the mirror and fends off any attempts to discuss how it should be divided and used.

Tusken Raider Stalkers

After crossing the rock bridge, it doesn't take long to reach the edge of the desert. Knowing from their previous trip through the desert that it's best for most of the party to stay in the mirror, only Malouf, Flerm, and Snow remain outside. Malouf carries the mirror with Snow and Flerm flanking him. They run through the desert at night towards the Oasis of Sehanine Moonbow.

To the west, they see Tusken Raiders on axebeaks. The Raiders shadow the three, but never come closer.

Looking back, they see giant ants surfacing in response to the vibrations their running is causing. Because they're traveling so quickly, they're able to get past the ants before they even surface.

In the morning, Flerm sees the Raiders again keeping pace. Malouf comes up with a plan to ambush them. Because of Vain's refusal to lay down, everyone except Brecaryn exits the mirror. They use the tents to camouflage themselves as they lay on the sand in two groups.

After a few minutes of waiting, the Tusken Raiders arrive, riding between the two hidden groups. Instead of waiting for all of the Tusken Raiders to ride into their ambush, Flerm immediately jumps out at the first sighting and attacks. The rest have no choice but to follow. Brecaryn exits the mirror with Vain and joins in the skirmish.

axebeakIn the end, after much chaos and failed attempts to ride the birds, they manage to kill all of the Raiders and retain two of the axebeaks.

As they check the bodies, they hear a rumbling. Their fighting has alerted the giant ants to their presence. Quickly getting everyone into the mirror, Malouf and Flerm start running while Alana and Snow ride the axebeaks. They're able to avoid the ants easily. Looking back, they see giant ant heads emerge and devour the Raiders' bodies.

After getting some distance from the giant ants, they stop to set up camp for the day. When night falls, they prepare to break camp and continue towards the oasis. Realizing the axebeaks can actually travel faster than Flerm can, he decides to ride inside the mirror so they can reach their destination sooner. Again, they are trailed by Tusken Raiders but again, they don't come any closer.

At the oasis, they rest. Alana wakes from a dream of an important conversation with a feeling of happiness but cannot remember the details. After a brief discussion, the party decides to head for Altar instead of Al-Laquant. Remembering the last time they were in that city, it's more than likely their reception in Al-Laquant would be less than cordial. The Raiders continue to shadow them.

"Brecaryn's Hidden Talent" OR "That's No Snake!"

On day four in the desert, they finally see the city of Altar on the horizon. Strangely, after an hour of travel, the city looks to be no closer. Malouf suggests they change course and veer to the east, approaching the city at an angle. Surprisingly, it works, and they are able to close the distance to Altar.

As they approach, they see greenery ahead. The desert gives way to stinky, brown, wet muck. This must be the area marked as the Great Spoilage. Although the map shows Altar to be outside of the Great Spoilage, it seems it's actually within it. The axebeaks start resisting. When the group stops to rest, they allow the axebeaks to go free.

Since Malouf is experienced with moving through swamps, he takes the lead. Following carefully, the party wades through a body of water that's full of leeches. Hearing a splash, they turn and see a snake in the water. After a few minutes, it's clear the snake is stalking the group.

Suddenly, a large, black dragon rears up from the muck, waving its long, snake-like tail. Some of the party members freeze in fear. Brecaryn starts shouting at the dragon in a curt, unrecognizable language.

black dragon

The dragon looks shocked, rears back, and starts speaking to Brecaryn in the same strange language.

Using the knowledge she gained when possessed by the Dragonkin Queen, Brecaryn is able to fool the black dragon into believing she is the Queen. The dragon is so honored by the Queen's "visit", she asks Brecaryn to give her a new name.

Brecaryn: Erm....I name you...Puff.

The dragon tells the party that there are the abandoned ruins of a city ahead where a tribe of desert trolls reside. The trolls have taken her eggs and used them to control her. She requests Brecaryn save her eggs from the trolls.

Dragon: I curse the trolls, and I curse my unhatched brood. I will devour them when they are hatched for putting me in this position.

Seeing as they need to clear the ruins of trolls in order to explore it, the group agrees to the request. The party does not know how desert trolls differ from regular trolls, but one weakness the dragon is aware of is that these trolls can be injured with pure water. Conveniently enough, the group has an entire barrel of holy water in the mirror which they use to fill their water flasks.

And a Band of Itchy Tiger Trolls

They reach the city, finding it half sunk below the swamp. In the center of the town stands a tower covered in precious metals. Oliver recognizes it as a 24-hour clock and explains its purpose to the group. According to him, the people of the town must have been quite advanced to have built such an object.

Brecaryn sends Nightshade to survey the area before they enter. He notices a few shaggy figures in the shadows, but they quickly duck out of sight as Nightshade flies by.

Most of the buildings are overgrown with vegetation and falling apart. There is a temple on the west side with statues of Thoth and Baath flanking the entrance. On the east side of town there's a barn. Of all the buildings, the clock tower, barn, and temple appear to be the most stable.

As they cross the walkway into the city, eight trolls appear. They look very much like the trolls the group has fought before, only shaggier. The trolls start posing in strange and comical ways. Snow recognizes it as the Itchy Tiger style and warns the group. Who expected trolls to have studied monk fighting techniques?

These trolls heal from injuries even faster than regular trolls and can catch arrows in midair, but between the fireballs, flamestrikes, holy water, and good ol' fashioned brutality, all but one is killed.

As the party regroups, the eighth troll reappears and bites Alana as she's retrieving arrows. Josy finishes it off before it can do more harm.

Investigating the barn, they find a book on a podium. Alana picks it up, and it immediately starts to fall apart. Brecaryn barks at her to be more careful before delicately thumbing through the pages herself. It appears to be a record of town hall meetings. Several sections are particularly interesting, possibly giving clues to the Oblivion King's true name.

Leaving the barn, Nightshade takes another survey of the area. He detects movement in the southwest corner of the city. Heading in that direction, the group finds themselves surrounded by more trolls, one of them a giant troll - a giant, kung-fu troll.

It doesn't look good for the Motley Crew at first. The giant troll laughs off Brecaryn's fireballs and catches Alana's arrows before they hit. Finally, Flerm and Snow are able to get some hits in and bring it down. Seeing their leader killed, the other trolls lose morale and run away. The party manages to kill two more of the retreating trolls as two others escape.

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Tags: Alana, Azhar, Bayhas, Brecaryn, Flerm, Galeb Duhr, Josy, Keagon, Klute, Leento, Lieralyn, Malouf, Nightshade, Oliver, Puff, Snow

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