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Page history last edited by Nick 11 years, 5 months ago

Last updated February 17th, 2009.

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Game Summary





Previously, on Rumors of War...





Episode 4

Date: November 29th, 2008

After the tragic death of Ala-din, the party sees fit to dig a pit for his body. Polynices places a copper coin in his mouth, for the ferryman, and the group pays their respects. It is during this time that the group is joined by Aurelia, who they'd met on an earlier adventure, and Qual, a half-orc barbarian hired by the Order or Orion to help; both of them have been just a few hours behind the party until the death of Ala-din gave them the opportunity to catch up.


Between Aurelia and Eithne, the party is able to track the hobgoblin slavers quickly and efficiently. The next day, they run into a little trouble, though; while trekking through the desert, they are confronted by a group of several lionesses, led by a large, male lion. The group doesn't look like a hunting party, but they do seem perturbed by the presence of the adventuring party. Eithne approaches the lions, flanked by Polynices, Anaxagoras, and Qual, and she convinces the creatures that the party is simply passing through.


The party takes a short hike to stay on the edge of the lions' territory, and picks up the tracks again several hundred feet farther on. The days seem to go by quickly, and they rapidly approach their goal. The party is only a day behind the slavers when they're ambushed by a large bug-like creature from underground, which snatches Katri off her horse and pulls her underground. The party dismounts and gathers around the spot where the bug appeared, ready in case another shows itself.


Katri's terrified mount stomps and staggers around, and sinks partway into the sand. Several tenuous moments pass, and Telemachus shoos the frightened mount from the spot, ties a rope around himself, and hops into the sinkhole to see what he can find. He is followed shortly by Eithne and Polynices, who also hop into the sink hole. Ten feet or so below the surface, the sinkhole opens into a cramped, stinking tunnel, which the party sees goes in a couple directions. Eithne tries to track the creature underground, and notifies the others that they're in a high-traffic area, and she identifies at least 3 unique tracks of similar sized bugs.


Eithne, Polynices, and Telemachus all return to the surface to consult the rest of the party. Polynices voices his concern that the tunnels are too cramped to allow for combat, which is guaranteed to occur if they attempt rescue, and Eithne is strongly against the idea of rescue. Telemachus is all for mounting a rescue, but he seems willing to defer to the judgment of the party. Several moments pass, and the party remains at an impasse. Qual has no strong opinion on the matter, and Polynices states that he will go with the party's decision.


Siris is against rescue, though he volunteers to stay with the horses if the party decides to go underground; Krest respectfully abstains from a vote, citing that he considers rescuing his people to be of the highest priority. Finally breaking the stalemate, Anaxagoras decides that a rescue is for the best, and hops into the sinkhole. Telemachus, Polynices, Eithne, and Qual quickly follow the bard, and Anaxagoras casts a spell to cause a couple of rocks to generate light so they can all see.


A minute or so later, the party comes to what seems like a dead end at first. They find five chutes evenly spaced along the North wall of the tunnel they're in, and they inspect each one carefully. Telemachus uses his keen vision to peer down the chutes, but they seem to go much deeper than his darkvision can see. Anaxagoras drops one of his light-rocks down the chute on the far right-hand side, and soon discovers that the chutes 1, 3, and 5 are all connected at the bottom, and the chutes go down approximately eighty feet.


The party, still determined to find their missing party member Katri, goes through all their possessions until they find several pieces of rope long enough to tie together. Qual is the first one to go down a chute, and he meets with enemies at the bottom. Thanks to the rock dropped by Anaxagoras, Qual can see the three ugly, eyeless creatures that attack him in the dark. The creatures seem to have no difficulty carving into him with their axes, despite being without eyes. The others hear the sounds of battle below them, and Qual calls out for reinforcements.


Polynices, in a burst of athleticism, half run-slides down in middle chute to join the battle below. Telemachus is the next one down the chute, following Qual. Anaxagoras does his best to secure the rope, while Eithne prepares to follow Telemachus. One of the eyeless creature's feels the bite of Qual's axe, and drops to the ground, mortally wounded. The other two bear down on Qual in an effort to return the favor. Katri, who has only just regained consciousness, hears the party and screams for help. Polynices and Qual spot a dark shape hanging in the far corner of the room, whose scream they recognize to be Katri's.


Eithne follows after Telemachus, and the two find the chute to be crowded with the both of them in it; Telemachus barely manages to get out from under Eithne. Telemachus maneuvers himself into a better position to aid Qual, and the two of them trade blows with the second monster. Polynices maneuvers himself into a position where he can flank one of the creatures that Qual is fighting. A sure blow from Qual drops the hideous creature. Suddenly, the screaming stops. Eithne moves in from behind Telemachus and helps to fight the last creature. Telemachus drops the last creature, and rushes over to where he last heard Katri scream.


When he reaches her, he finds her dead. Telemachus inspects her body, and discerns that she died from a single, powerful sword thrust to the chest. He bows his head in sorrow for her loss. The party gathers up Katri and the equipment they find on the dead creatures, and they climb back up the chutes. No one speaks when they return to the surface; not a word is uttered as they climb out of the sinkhole and back into the daylight. The party divides Katri's possessions, and they dig a grave for her. Krest and Siris say nothing, but Krest is anxious to continue and is disappointed that the party is delayed a second time; he holds his tongue, however.


The party seems to spare little grief for the passing of this second companion; they're still numb from the loss of Ala-din only days earlier, and the manner of Katri's sudden disappearance followed by her death in the dark tunnels below the earth leave the companions feeling cold and hollow. With Krest's gentle urging, the party continues, and manages to catch up with the slavers the next day.


The first sight the party has of the slavers is startling; they catch sight of one of the large purple worm-creatures that they fought days earlier with a hobgoblin riding it like a mount. Apparently a scout or a guard, they manage to move out of the slaver's sight and approach the camp stealthily. The party creeps up within sight of the goblins -- tied up in a large group to the side of several tents -- and they're being watched over, albeit poorly, by a half-dozen hobgoblins. The group spreads out to either side of the camp, so as to take the hobgoblins by surprise and flank them. Anaxagoras and Telemachus move in towards the center of the group and catch their attention. Eithne, Polynices, and Qual all come in on the sides and attack the hobgoblins, who are very surprised indeed.


The slavers seem to be no contest -- the party cuts them down with ease. Two make to escape, and Qual spits furiously on the fleeing cowards with disgust. Eithne throws one of her scimitars and drops one hobgoblin in his tracks. The party pursues the hobgoblins and cuts the last one down before they can clear the edge of the camp, and they are confronted by a strange-looking humanoid creature dressed in armor and shrouded in flames. The creature appears vaguely reptilian and challenges the party to battle. It makes use of a strange fighting technique and manages to fend off the assault from Polynices and Qual for a moment, but quickly falls to the warriors' combined attacks.


The party frees the enslaved goblins and ransacks the slavers' tents. The armor and weapon worn and wielded by the reptilian creature proved to be valuable, though the other equipment the party finds is dirty or worn and poorly suited to salvage -- many of the more valuable pieces of equipment are too large and too heavy to haul back through the desert to Varna and are thus abandoned. A decent find, however, proves to be a statue found in one of the slavers' tents -- a large golden phallus, easily valued at a couple thousand gold pieces.


The party escorts the goblins back to their grateful tribe and makes their way back to Varna with no incident. The goblin shaman Krest forges a formal alliance between his tribe and the party's employer, the Order of Orion, and vows to thereafter remain in the city, and if needed, follow and adventure with the party to aid them in whatever way he can.








Game Review






EXP by Player












Next Session

Date: December 13th, 2008

Link: rw081213


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