Monday, July 18, 2011

[Wilderlands] Wilderlands World Tour

The Selisengard Campaign has been on hiatus for a while, as we've focused on the World Tour Campaign...

Session 4
The Wilderlands World Tour continued last Friday, with a stopover in the Dead City of Harkarim. Following the battle along the strand, Unferth the Thief rejoined the rest of the party and reported on his and Hadrian's encounter with the giant sub-chief at the lighthouse. The party decided that since Hadrian had not returned, something unpleasant likely befell him; as it was likely that there were fewer enemies at the lighthouse than in the ruins, they felt they might as well check into his situation at the ruined lighthouse...

There they discovered that the sub-chief was not the only occupant of the lighthouse, as four savages threw javelins at them from the ruined walls. A sleep spell from Zoe the Enchantress quickly took care of them, while battle was joined between the sub-chief, several other savages, and the party. In the end, the party triumphed again, and another of the saw-toothed blades was taken as booty by Jem the Warrior. Altogether with the treasure of the other savages from earlier, they had gathered two saw-toothed blades, many stone-tipped javelins, more than a dozen shell necklaces, and two gem-and-shell necklaces that the rogues guessed were worth upwards of 400 gp each.

After defeating the savage giants, they found Hadrian, much bruised, unconscious, and tied up, just about where Unferth had left him. They also found many rough-built wharves, and far out at sea, could see many fishing boats, with men (giants? men? could not tell at this distance) casting nets...

They bandaged his wounds and slapped him awake; as they did this, others of the party searched the ruined lighthouse, and discovered the four other sleeping savages; one had fallen into the collapsed portion of the lighthouse and died from the fall, while the other three had their throats unceremoniously slit by the careful adventurers. Rafael Wulfsson, Zoe's barbaric brother, discovered a secret door, long forgotten, at the base of the lighthouse near the wall...

Down into the secret stair the group went; down, and down, and down again, deep beneath the ground, until they came to a long-unused bronze-covered door. A careful search by the thieves found the simple stone-block mechanism that would have dropped upon less wary heads, and Hadrian stopped up the switch after carefully prying away the bronze cladding along the doorframe.

Within the unlocked, musty room they found an ancient armory, fit to equip 10 men with ancient Lenapashim-style bronze scale mail, shields, scimitars, and bows; the bows were long rotted away, but the weapons and armor had been well-treated by some miraculous oil that maintained their lustre and strength. Molding sacks at the foot of each kit revealed long rotted grains and rations, as well as a (former) pouch of 20 gp each. The gold coins, of ancient sort, might well be worth 10 times their value to the proper collector!

During their search of the room they discovered another secret door that opened into a long, narrow corridor that apparently ran under the long sea wall, back toward the ruins. Lighting more torches, they made haste through the long tunnel, hoping to come out deep within the ruin in secret, the better to loot whatever treasures the savages might have. After an indeterminate time, they felt a fresh breeze from above; torches revealed a narrow chimney that an unarmored man might climb...

Up went Hadrian and Unferth. Hadrian discovered that the chimney opened into a narrow hole in the wall, that he could just barely squeeze into; from this vantage he had an excellent view of the strand below, where he discovered that several patrols were now crossing in the growing twilight, likely due to the discovery of the slaughtered patrol and the lighthouse garrison! Also, coming from the direction of the lighthouse was a large group of normal-sized men, tied to coffles, being driven and led by three giants armed with javelins and whips...

Finding his hidden vantage point an excellent sniper's cot, Hadrian set to slaying the giant slavers with grins and glee. First one, then the other fell to his bolts; but at the second the third found him, and cast several javelins his way, which narrowly missed him and clattered into the chimney below... desirous not to join the thief in his madness, the rest of the party continued on the tunnel, and though at first Unferth joined them, he thought better of it, and returned, in penance for his abandoning Hadrian at the lighthouse before. The rest of the party then decided to wait...

The last giant slaver charged at Hadrian's spot; rattled at the savagery, his last bolts went wide of their mark, and he dove back into the chimney even as the giant reached into the hole to grab the thief. He flung his dagger at the frothing giant and took him right in the eye, killing him instantly... and plugging the hole with the giant's body! For several minutes he tried to push the body out of the way alone, until Unferth joined him in the cramped chimney. Together they were able to push back the giant's limp form, only to discover that a dozen or more giants had found their slain companions!

Sliding down the roped tied for such an eventuality, Hadrian and Unferth dove out of the way of the dozen javelins that suddenly filled the hole, many of which bounced down the chimney with the thieves as they rapelled down. The pair joined their companions, and the whole lot moved on with speed, the shouts of the giants behind them fading quickly, as the savages had no hope of fitting down the chimney.

After even longer, and nearly running out of torches, they came finally to the end of the tunnel at a large, bronze-shod door. The mighty Jem put his back into his labors, and together with Rafael was able to open the verdigris-covered portal. Beyond they saw a ruined pit, a basement of some sort, filled with broken stone and brick, and covered with ferns and flowers. The wide pit was framed above by thick forest, and in the breaks between boughs they saw stars beyond scudding moons-lit clouds.

Exhausted from their long day's endeavors, they closed the door again and slept in the tunnel...

The next morning they carefully opened the door again and climbed out of the pit. The found themselves amidst the ruined city, south of the great ziggurats, quite near one of the tall black towers. They decided to investigate the tower first, and carefully picked their way down a ruined boulevard, Unferth and Hadrian scouting ahead. The pair had discovered a vine-lined crossroad leading directly to the tower when suddenly and quietly Unferth dove into a nearbny ruined building; he had seen what Hadrian had missed, a patrol of savages coming down the boulevard... and they saw Hadrian at the same moment he saw them! Hadrian drew his crossbow as they shouted war cries and threw their javelins...

And thus ended the session...

Session 3
In the last session of the Wilderlands World Tour, the adventurers awoke on the Black Kali to thunder being created by a cadaverous, liche-like wizard... said wizard floating in midair between the two ships. Claiming to be the protector of the nymphs who were terrified by the attack on the merchants, the wizard demanded recompense... in blood or coin. To emphasize his demand, he burned the prize ship to the water line with a mere wave of his hand...

Quickly, the party decided to turn over their ill-gotten loot, though several less wise warrior types though to fight it out... until reminded that their swords fell short of the wizard's position, and none of them could fly or walk on water. So out spilled a pile of jewels, which the wizard took (along with the yet-to-be enslaved/ransomed merchants) through the expedience of a magical vortex. To add injury to insult, before he left, the wizard turned the captain of the Black Kali into a fish, which flopped about the deck, dying from lack of water, until he was thrown into sea.

"Tis pity," the wizard cackled ere he left, "The fish was of fresh-water sort..."

After this, the adventurers were given quite the evil eye by the remaining crew, who were busy rescuing their comrades who had fled the burning prize ship. They were ordered below while the crew decided on a new captain... and when they returned abovedeck, discovered that they were putting to along the Bitter Shore, where the adventurers were to be abandoned as being "too troublesome."

Given one week's rations, the adventurers were warned not to go south, "as ye value your lives," where they would find the ruins of the Dead City of Harkarim. They were told to go north to Nho, a town of ill-repute, but infinitely better than Harkarim...

Of course, they went south, the Harkarim. En route they had an encounter with a pack of giant weasels, which attepted to suck the blood from their bodies... end result, three fine giant weasel pelts, with the party little worse for wear. Eventually they came to the ruin of a tall wall, which stretched far out to sea; they climbed the tumbled-down ruin, and found to the east a vast city dominated by great pyramids, to the west a silted-in crescent harbor, the ruins of two great cyclopean lighthouses at the far end jutting out to sea. Upon the strand below they saw footprints, to and fro, though of a giant size as to make even the tallest of the adventurers seem small by comparison...

The thieves in the party decided to scout out the lighthouse to the west; they disappeared in the shadowed scree of the fallen wall, while the others took up hidden positions behind the wall to watch... even as the thieves rounded the corner of the lighthouse, a party of a dozen giant savages came into sight from the eastern ruins, running at speed, obviously having spotted the interlopers!

Combat was joined, as even as the party of savages came upon the party's position, the thieves nearly ran into the back of their own singular, though mighty savage, who wielded in a single hand a toothed blade a normal man would be hard-pressed to carry with both hands! One of the rogues thought better of the encounter, and fled, while the less wise fellow remained, thinking speed would outdo savagery...

Short work was made of the dozen savages along the strand, as Zoe the Enchantress confused them with her magical power, weakening the group enough that the remaining adventurers made short work of the lot, including another brute of the sort at the lighthouse, who accidentally took off the head of one of his own warriors! Unfortunately for the remaining rogue, however, his simple rapier was no match for the brute force of the sub-chieftain, who with a grim smile finished off the thief with the pommel of his blade, that he might be taken alive to be sacrificed to the Dark Gods of the Pyramids...



Session 2
Friday's "World Tour" game went very well. We had five players with six characters: Aelphen Fighter (Bastard Sword), Aelphen Fighter (Broad Sword) Aelphen Wizard, Common Viridian Rogue, Vandarian Rogue, and Tharbarres Fighter (Archer). They were onboard the Black Kali, a merchantman out of Lenap running between Targnol Port and Quitzit, when along the shore of Cape Salmo they saw another merchantman at anchor, with Amazon merchants trading jewelry with the orchard nymphs.

Together with the black-hearted captain and crew of the Black Kali, they decided to take the jewelry and the ship. The adventurers went ashore with the First Mate and some of the crew, while the rest of the crew came alongside the Amazon ship to board her. A long, fierce battle could have gone either way, but in the end the adventurers and the reiver crew tirumphed and won a lord's ransom in jewelry and Amazon panoply. The Amazon warriors were put to death (most felled by the wizard's sleep spells), though the merchants were taken, to be ransomed or enslaved as fate would have it...

Thereafter en route to Quitzit near Bitter Bay they encountered giant eagles from the Hoary Mountains (taken as a good omen, as they flew south), and just as they rounded Cape Nho they encountered a giant sea turtle, which was also deemed a good omen, as it was not, in fact, a terrible dragon turtle...

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