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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Desert Nomads, Session 3

Session 3 begins with a short rewrite of history. At then end of Session 2 someone was found resting in the center of the strange hut. The younger nephew of one player joined our gaming group, so in the interests of getting him into the game, his PC was found as well, making two people found in the hut instead of one.

Once introductions were made, the Forged Man offered the name Steel and the human man that was resting nearby called himself Delf, both sides exchanged stories of what had befallen them since being trapped in this strange area of the swamp. Steel and Delf had been trapped a number of weeks (by Steel's reckoning) with no other living things to be seen. Cortain, even utilizing his Elven senses, couldn't discern a way out and several ideas for traveling in various directions from the hut back into the swamp always brought the person back to the hut's clearing. At one point Steel threw a rope and grapple into the thick swamp thicket surrounding the clearing and tugged on it until it caught something, then followed the line into the swamp...only to reappear from the same place he passed into the scrub following his rope line. The spellcasters consulted one another and it was decided that several spells would be needed on the morrow that the casters didn't have currently memorized.

Using the hut as shelter, the night passed by uneventfully. Everyone in the party had more nightmares, especially Yurur who suffered them before coming into this place. Once the bleak light of morning arrived, the group prepared themselves, but noticed Richard studying his spell book longer than usual. On closer inspection, he was found sitting quietly and still breathing, but his eyes were vacant and he was if his mind were gone. This spurred the group to some immediate action. They gathered Richard, with Cortain ensuring none of the others damaged Richard’s spell book, and exited the hut.

Yurur called upon his deity Gromlun to show him the source of the evil in this place and the hut and a pool of muck beneath it gave him an unsettling response. Short discussion followed that ended with Cortain destroying the hut and muck pool with a fireball, sending bits of flaming wood and muck everywhere.

A party member tried to leave again, ending back at the clearing again. Still sensing a dark presence at the hut's former location, Yurur called upon Gromlun to dispel the dark presence. Yurur's holy symbol flared to life with a golden pulse and immediately everyone heard a bitter feminime voice in their heads telling them to go. Quickly the party beat feet out of the clearing, with Richard coming to whilst riding on he shoulder of a party member and wondering what was going on.

The party exited the clearing exactly where they left the trail, days ago. Standing there was the coward guide, asking then what they found. It was ascertained that no time had passed in he world outside the hut's influence and they pushed onwards north through the swamp.

With a day of hard travel and the light fading, they only found one mound of dry ground large enough for everyone to camp overnight upon. Camp was quickly established and watches set up.

Early in the morning in the pre-dawn light a large and powerful-looking swamp dragon landed from out of nowhere and in an aggressive stance immediately breathed a cloud of corrosive gas on the group, critically wounding many of them and killing the cowardly guide. Combat was joined and the creature fought ferociously, taking down Yurur's crystal golem protector and nearly killing Val (the group's only surviving Ranger). Cortain attempted several spells at the dragon, but the creature proved highly resistant to his spells. It was grievously wounded however and few off, taking some arrow fire as it left.

One of the group's members discovered the dragon's aggressive actions almost immediately after they were sure it wasn't flying around for another attack - there were large-sized rocks poking out of the soft that were not rocks, but instead dragon eggs! Unwittingly, they must have stumbled over the dragon's egg nest. A very quick discussion over dragon mounts like the heroes of legend or the going rate for dragon eggs in any market was made then ended. A few minutes later, a female elf with emerald green eyes dressed in greenish-scaled armor trudged out of the swamp, hailing the group. Cortain, an elf himself realized she was no elf but more than likely the dragon in humanoid form, stepped up to parley with the newcomer. She proved to be not unfriendly but at the same time Cortain recognized the danger they were in, as she was standing before them in a presumably weaker form than her natural one and openly. Cortain managed to talk her into letting them go unmolested in exchange for not harming or removing any of her eggs. She agreed and gave them an hour to vacate or she would take action. Yurur healed everyone as best he could and Cortain produced a scroll he had been saving for he right time. He offered to Yurur to use it to restore the golem enough so that it could be healed and the group could move on. Yurur thanked him for the boon and Cortain, much to the surprise and dismay of Richard, used his scroll of limited wish to bring the golem back to functioning so they could be on the move.

Hard travel to put as much distance between the egg mound and themselves gradually brought them out of the swamp and into the stony badlands of the Great Waste. By the late afternoon they arrived at the caravan track and set up camp to deal with the hot sun and wait for Richard's caravan. Late in the day it arrived and after a meet and greet, the group got hired on as guards as the caravan made its way west across the Waste.

A couple days of plodding travel into the Waste the group found themselves on outrider duty with Val in the lead. On the horizon a dust cloud was kicking up, with Val shouting for everyone to get back to the caravan - he determined a large force was charging across the badlands and figured it was better safe to assume bandits or the Master's followers than friendly forces.

The caravan master's captain ordered the guards into formations to combat the incoming bandits. A few minutes later the bandits came in a well-organized attack, dividing its forces so that every formation of guards would have 2 waves to deal with. Val, Steel, Delf, Cortain and Yurur's Golem made a good showing, almost killing a bandit to every hit. The battle was long fought with the eventual killing of the bandit leader after he produced a horn that magically blasted Richard and several of the pack animals and driving off of the remaining bandit forces, but more than half the guards were slain as well as some of the animals. Yurur used the blessings of Gromlun to heal who he could and the rest of the wounded were patched as best as possible.

Session 3 ended here...


John said...

Definitely was an exciting session! :-)

James Bobb said...

I have to admit, I was suprised at Cortain's offer of the Limited Wish to repair the golem. It was a pleasant suprise though.

For an old module thus far it has been as fun to run now as it was 20 years ago and can still entertain new players! And you haven't gotten to the 'meaty' part of the module yet!

For those coming into the post late, I'm running the Expert-Level D&D module X4 - Master of the Desert Nomads, with my World of Onn retro-rules RPG. Thus far, the module has been easy to run with no changes needed for compatability