Friday, July 23, 2010

non campaign bits

This is a maintenance post. First, I transposed the names of Sajesh and Mriga several times in the past two posts. They are, I hope, all correct now. I don't blame you if you were confused..

Next, I spent some money at Old Glory, before my Old Glory army membership lapsed. Got a few more Ghost miniature elves, some Philistines, and some Ancient Egyptians all for Tekumel. Got some Pirates with firearms as well, cause I have enough pirates to make a decent pirate skirmish and I can use a number of the Numidians and such that will serve in Tekumel as natives in games on that front.. So, 12 bucks on non tekumelani items seemed not unreasonable. I am finding it hard to justify any more lead purchases this year, because I am not getting much painted.. Though I have gotten a couple house projects nearly done.. perhaps when it gets cold again..

I have a shameful secret to share now. I started playing in Second Life. Originally to help a friend with his SL night club, but, honestly, I am finding it kinda interesting.. I have requested membership in a Tekumel Group in SL, and, if the creator ever gets back to me, I could see a long term goal to create a sim area just for Tekumel RP..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't drink the Bong Water

This is the second of two posts in short order. If the action seems to jump here, you probably need to read the post below first..

Loaded for Zrné, the party went down into the caves.. The beast handlers stayed outside, to direct the slaves and progress on the encampments defenses and potential for Chnéhl trapping. So, it was Mriga, Suni, Sanjesh, two priests of Thúmis and about ten slaves. Wit added light, they could see what looked to be a body on the ground, across the river, behind a stone column. It was discussed to send a slave across to investigate, but, all the slaves denied any knowledge of how to swim..

The ground was slippery again, because of the mushrooms, which were everywhere. They had learned from experience that the hallucinogenic quality was not absorbed by skin, but had transferred to the underground river, so drinking from it was out of the question. They traveled up stream, but the land bridge they used before now looked treacherous with mushrooms. They decided to go upstream and look for another crossing.

Later that day, they heard howling upstream. They pressed on, always closing on the intermittent noises. Eventually, they found a lost slave, from the Avánthe expedition, stoned on mushrooms. She attacked Suni, but was quickly taken down, restrained, and given real food. When she recovered her senses and got over her fear, she told the party that the Aridáni had released them to fend for themselves when they had found the ladder gone from the cave entrance. She did not know how long ago that had been. The party claimed her as their slave.

They made camp. Sometime in the night, Mriga heard voices, come and go, not far away, but muffled. It was brief. In the morning they investigated, and determined it to be an acoustical anomaly. They found that upstream the caves system splintered into many branches, each a separate source of the river. It was wet, but they found a fordable spot that kept their mouths safely above the water, and eventually move down stream. On the second night, Mriga was again on duty when he heard something. This time it was real, and close, as another lost slave attacked him. Others came to his rescue, and again, the slave was quickly subdued, restrained and fed. She confirmed the story of the first slave. By this time they had come to the cache site that Sanjesh and party had stored all the spare provisions in their first entry. It had been raided, but had mostly consisted of a few spare torches, so no great loss.

On more familiar ground they moved up to the goal, at least for the priest of Thúmis, the mysterious writing near where they had found Mis. En route, they found tracks for a another slave, but decided to leave his fate to the weaver of skeins. If they stumbled upon him, they would deal with it. The writing was, our Priest believed, from the time of the Dragon Kings. He could not decipher it, but it appeared to be technical data, and a caution or warning. His theory is that it was a guide for other explorers.. They spent the night there, and decided they could afford one more day in this location before turning back. They went to more carefully explore the cavern in which Mis had actually been found, and discovered a Stele, again, perhaps, from the time of the dragon kings. They also discovered that the stone columns had a very orderly and, dare say, architectural regularity, and that the far end was stepped, perhaps as a dias..

Mriga assisted with taking rubbings and writing notes on the stele, while Sanjesh and Suni, again a bit impulsively, started exploring again. They took a couple slaves, and torches and lined up lights on the dias and at the writing, and moved on in a straight line past the curtain walls, and, interestingly, towards the mild winds that had been noted earlier. Eventually, they found a large hole that went nearly straight down, with a distinct cool draft coming up. They considered it might be a trail from an Aqáà, but if it were it was huge, maybe 30 or 40 feet in diameter.. Still, if it was, they weren't going to out run it now, anyway, so, they tied off a rope, sent a slave to tell others, and Suni scuttled down the hole. At 75 feet she was out of rope, but not out of hole. Sanjesh dropped a torch, which fell past here at least another 100 feet before striking something, and shooting off out of site. They didn't have enough rope, or enough supplies to make a real attempt to explore this. So they came back up. Just as Mriga came running to try to stop them from doing something crazy.. So that all worked out..

Running low on supplies, and having accomplished their goals for this trip, they went back down. They didn't feel they had time to go up stream to cross again, so Suni lead roped her way across the land bridge. And was beset upon on the other side by two Aridáni. They made the mistake of thinking she would surrender, like a sane person. She was, after all, unarmed, and outnumbered. But she was also Suni, and not a pushover, so she began to wrestle with one for a spear, which she got, then promptly used it as a quarterstaff and knocked one out. That Aridáni fell into the water.

In the mean time, Sanjesh, scampered across the land bridge on the ropes she had placed. Upon entering the scene he heard a third person say don't. Again, a sane person.. oh, never mind, he did. Sword drawn, he dove into the fray. A click and a blinding pink light, and he was frozen in time and space. But Suni had already dispatched the other Aridáni, and was now swinging randomly for the voice. Another click, and a fizzert, and a slight smell or smoke, followed by a curse. I don't recall what distracted Suni, but the Priestess of Avánthe used the opportunity to dive into the water and make a break for it. She figured she was out numbered and out gunned, and wasn't Suni.. mores the pity, cause rational thought in an irrational situation can get you in trouble. Suni went after her. Suni had the presence of mind not to open her mouth. The priestess did not. After that, it was just catching up and restraining her. And that was where we left it..

I am proud to announce this was session 10, of my campaign. I think it is going well.

Squatters Rites

Well, we are two game nights behind on the blog, once again.. Must be more diligent.. The first one was short, as I failed to coordinate everyone ahead of time. I will try to sum up..

After leaving the cluster of temple offering sites the party move back to their high ground camp site. Coming into the area the encountered slaves cutting trees, and eventually found that the black clan hunting party had camped in their site. “Ola,” they said, “We found it empty, and wondered what had become of you.” Well, not quite empty. They had found an Okhíba, bellowing in the Chnéhl trap, which they had killed, to quiet it down. It was being prepared for dinner. Would they like to join? At first the party was annoyed, but, when it was pointed out that, upon their first meeting at the lower, now abandoned camp, the black clans had said this would be the general area in which they would be hunting, and Our heroes had, in fact, been the ones who moved up the hill. A surreptitious check indicated that the cave entrance had not been disturbed. Our heroes decided to wait it out. The Black clan only intended to stay one more day. But they also intended to buy the land, which they said proved to be good hunting.

Feasting that night, and discussion of the lost Chnéhl, indicated that a small clan of the beasts was living up the mountainside. So, the Black Clan agreed to take them up to the area on their final days hunt. Tracks, nothing the size of their prey, were found. But, it did present the possibility that these two, highly aggressive males, might try to take over this clan of Chnéhl. That could prove a problem..

The Black clan left the next morning, and Sanjesh sent his three Hriháyal guards to inform Mis of what they had learned, with a loosely coded message, advising she or the temple make an attempt to buy the land first. Then, the campsite to themselves again, they set to work making a more permanent stair into the caves.

In the process they discovered that the caves were now rife with Mushrooms, everywhere the water had made the rocks wet. Sanjesh, being a devotee of Hriháyal, and Suni, being a bit impulsive, ignored the more restrained Mriga and had some with dinner. As our reader can probably predict, hilarity ensued. The mushrooms were hallucinogenic, and with a hint of paranoid aggression and a piquant aftertaste. Quick thinking, and naturally a bit paranoid, Sanjesh tried to corral the two, successfully getting Sajesh into the Chnéhl trap and secure. The more lithe Suni was off into the dark, dark woods. The party, well, Mriga, and others, pursued. It was a long chase, but Suni has perfect balance, and was hard to track. And once into the dark, honestly, the Beas handlers had little incentive. Mriga did eventually find her, hanging in a tree, believing herself a Biridlú, wrapped in what was left of her blanket. She was coming down, and more manageable. They wrestled her back to the camp, where the slaves had been poking Sanjesh with sticks, while he was stoned in his cage.. Still, no one got hurt, worse than cuts and bruises.