Recap: On the 17th of Davor, 1328, the party caught sight of Aboris from the sea. The captain explained that they would be locked within Aboris'shifa -- a walled part of the city, for foreigners -- unless something came up. Captain Komsoloph bid them farewell, though he had four seamen carry their bolts of silk and cloth for them, throughout the bazaar in the heart of Aboris'shifa.
In the bazaar, they met with Artimus Sendant, an elven monk of Mikindim that had arrived there only recently, due to some of the church battles going on elsewhere in Gaeleth. Artemis agreed to help the party, if for no other reason than he could spend time with Lucian -- for it had been a great, long while since he had had the company of a fellow Sylvan elf.
The party gathered from their eavesdropping that the Sheik's chief scribe, Ye'amen, was missing. The Sheik himself was watching over Ye'amen's family, and the whole city was wondering what had happened to the old man. Several inexpertly placed questions had a contingent of the Sheik's guard pick up the party, and bring them all to Shir Galanus -- the main temple to Galanus in all Al Fahim. There, the Sheik asked for and received the entire story of Ye'amen's search for Al Mudim, and the grisly means of his death.
The Sheik had them all 'comfortably secured' while he called upon the priests of Brigain to explain why one of their own would kill the Sheik's chief scribe. After several marks, they were blasted free of their secular prison by a Brilathe of Brigain and one of his henchmen. Artimus elected to stay behind, but the rest of the party leapt through the Brilathe's gate when he told them, "Because you're wearing my ring," indicating Ye'amen's ring.
Later, he introduced himself as Va'anon, the chief Brilathe of Brigain in the region at the moment. Va'anon explained that he had been a child-hood friend of Ye'amen, and had later constructed the ring to help Ye'amen in his quest to find Al Mudim. He also explained that, now that the Church of Galanus knew about the Spinstone and the quest, it was likely that the entire church would be called out to find the fabled artifact. Va'anon told them, as well, that Ye'amen had already found one of the three parts of the map to Al Mudim -- and had worn it about his neck.
Before the party could return to Chirin Isle, and Shir Amanod, they would have to go to a place known as Va'anon's Forge -- and confront the shade of the Brilathe of Brigain that had slain Ye'amen. Va'anon's henchmen, Shur'kibir, would help lead them to the Forge so that they might hear the shade's Voice of Prophecy -- and give them a vital clue to the whereabouts of Al Mudim. Va'anon gave Jena a signet ring that she could use to reenter the city, and gave them all his blessings.
In the meantime, an entire Storshir of Brilathes -- nearly twenty in all -- assaulted Shir Galanus. The Storshir was furious as the demands the Sheik was making of Brilathe Va'anon, and Brigain willed that Shir Galanus be delayed in its search for Al Mudim. The battle was furious, and it allowed for Artimus to be sent ahead by prophecy, to intercept the party. The party itself made use of the battle to escape unnoticed into the sandy wastes outside of the valley of Aboris.
Meeting up with Artimus, and then finding their arms and armor waiting for them, convinced them that Brigain wanted them to continue on their quest. Some time later, Alora even arrived, having flown through the storm of the Storshir's, and been let free by Va'anon's people.
In the Forge itself, three days later, they found the shade of the Brilathe that they had killed back in Shir Amanod. The shade's strength-draining touch nearly killed N'Kara, and hurt Gunju considerably. One of the scrolls from Shir Amanod was a spiritual weapon, that Jena used to defeat the Brilathe's shade. As it disappated, their ears began to leak blood as it spoke the Voice of Prophecy:
The Scribe of Hidden Pages shall die,
and his Quest be given to One of Swords and Faith.
The One of Swords and Faith shall wield the Northern Shard,
and search in vain for the Eastern Shard.
The Western Shard shall be found where the Tears of the Giants were shed,
within the Crystle Falls.
The Eastern Shard will then be found where the Golden Dye
and the Cerulean Bolt adorn the Virgin Wind.
The Southern Shard shall the Second Eye find
in the Halls of the Pixie Queen,
beneath the Mounds of the Mother."
Unfortunately, a storm began to brew at supernatural speed right above the Forge. As the clouds darkened, and thunder rumbled within it, the undead began to rise from within the Forge.
The party battled their way through dozens of skeletons, taking horrible casualties -- only to exit Va'anon's Forge to find a mummy and more skeletons blocking their path. In the fierce battle that ensued, Shur'kibir was killed trying to help them, and many of them contracted mummy rot. Their weapons seemed ineffective, and what little damage they were doing seemed to be undoing itself. Going over Shur'kibir's body, they found a half-dozen or so potions of cure light wounds, and a golden ring.
As members of the party would be knocked out, others would bring them back with the potions -- only to see others go down. The mummy was slowly pummeling them to death, as Alora cried her calls from above -- more skeletons were coming from within the Forge itself. Rain beat down on the desert's sand, as the battle became desperate. Cleo sucked down the potion they had found in the treasures of Shir Amanod, and use the massive boost in speed and agility to help save Jena, and get her away. Escape became their only option, and Artimus distracted the mummy long enough for those that were conscious to drag away those that were not.
They were barely away from the mummy and the skeletons pouring out of the Forge, when the flash floods of the deserts carried the mummy and its many skeletons away.
Moving as quickly as they dared, resting during the day, and traveling far and hard by night, they crept back to Aboris with the mummy rot killing them.
Once inside the city, courtesy of Va'anon's signet ring, Artimus peeled off from the party to go to the local temple of Mikindim in Aboris'shifa. Jena led the crew to the only safe place she knew of -- the tiny temple of Yatindar in Aboris'shifa, and the only outpost of the Inquisition in Al Fahim.
At the temple of Yatindar, the priest had a few scrolls that could be used to remove the curse of the mummy rot -- but there was also the possibility it would remove the 'curse' of the geas Ye'amen had laid upon Cleo and Gunju, instead of removing the mummy rot. In both cases, the mummy rot continued to eat them away, but Ye'amens geas upon them was removed.
Facing failure, both Cleo and Gunju made moves to commit suicide rather than let the mummy rot take them. Artimus' friends and the preists of Mikindim intervened, however, curing both of them, and reviving them all.
Two days later, on the 26th of Davor, the party finds themselves the temporary guests of the Church of Mikindim, with oversight from the one priest of Yatindar. The priest of Yatindar is a sympathizer with Diciple Merilyn, and thus a mage sympathizer who believes the time for the Inquisition is past. The priests of Mikindim have been informed of the search for Al Mudim, and rather than let the Church of Galanus discover it, or find it, they will hide the party for the time being. As well, they're rather annoyed with Shir Galanus and the Sheik, for their kidnapping of Artimus and the violations of the Avard Accords in their greed for Al Mudim.
The priests of Mikindim know this, however: they know of a place known as "The Giant's Tears" on the same continent. The Giant's Tears are perfectly round boulders found together within the Jayce Forest, across the Eastern Gulf of Chirin from Al Fahim. There, perhaps, they might find the 'Crystle Falls', and the 'Western Shard'.
XP Awarded: 1,000 (total to date is 1,750)
DM's Notes: We met over at Brandy's house that night, and her husband, the other Mac, played Artimus. Artimus was left over from a beer-and-chips game I'd played with Brandy and Mac probably six months ago, but since his stats were still available, he had something work with. Dinner was Subway, and we had the usual chips and cookies. Some time during the battles of Va'anon's Forge, Adam rediscovered Pizzas of Ressurection and Cokes of Healing -- one of the old 2nd Edition House Rules. (Hell, yes, I'm open to bribery! It gives the guys an emergency out if things are looking too damned dicey.)
Pam hadn't been feeling too well, the past week or so, and perhaps mid-way through the campaign, she had to take a nap. That's about where the shade of the Brilathe got her character, and knocked her out. I'd anticipated this, which was why I had her animal company, Snowy, locked up in quarantine back in Aboris'shifa. Poor dear. She felt awfully guilty about not being in the fight, because her druidic healing talents were desperately called for. Snowy (a 45hp tiger from the Monsterous Manual), would've made a helluva difference in that fight with the skeletons. But, that's life.
Fred cracked some good puns, and the group had a good time, that night. There was a close call, where Cleo almost bit it, from the mummy rot. I had to sit back and go over every last detail to see if there was some way to keep her from dying. I'd forgotten that there was a inubation period of one day, before mummy rot set in -- and that alone saved Mac's character from death. Overall, though, he had a good time playing Cleo that night, and he's glad she lived to raise to the next level.
Playing with the other Mac in the group made me consider running for six players. With that in mind, I'd have to sit down and talk with Jousha; he's sat in with some of the other sessions, and he'd expressed an interest in playing a dwarf. Based off of the fighting I'd seen so far, another fighter in the group would help -- but I'd have to hold off on that until the five could really work together. Having Pam's character out of that fight really skewed things a bit -- but c'est les vi.