The Dying Lands

Twenty Four, Part 2
Session 05: Twenty Four, Part 2

Quick Summary
Qingron, Thurkear, and S’rathaad are ambushed by two thriants and a human. The three demand food, but Thurkear is able to teleport out of a thriant’s grasp and a fight breaks out. Soon, several Guards hear the commotion and join the fight, and so the two groups of criminals work together to defeat the Guard. They then escape the district, and bid goodbye to the remaining thriant and human. S’rathaad disappears.

As the sun begins to rise, Qingron and Thurkear head to a poor mining district, where they kill a lizardman. They are attacked by the lizardman’s children, but are able to escape. Eventually, they reach Krynt in time to present him with “S’rathaad’s” head. He then gives them a list of 100 people and says that for each person on the list that they kill, they will be richly rewarded.

Detailed Summary
Two humans and a lizardman stand before a huge black, stone wall, in the early hours of the morning. Desperately searching their minds for the quickest and easiest way out, they have little energy left to spare for physical or mental exertion. They’ve been awake and active for over twenty four hours now, but they know that their task is not yet complete. Thurkear, one of the humans, must find a lizardman to pass off as S’rathaad before noon. There is no time to rest.

While thinking, S’rathaad and Thurkear feel crossbows pushed against the back of their heads. Insectoid pincers grip their wrists. Qingron sees a human point a crossbow at him from 20 feet away. They have been ambushed. The three creatures are starving, two are Thriants, one much bigger than the other, the other is a human, who, though masculine in appearance, is female.

The three demand that Qingron, Thurkear, and S’rathaad give up their food. However, the companions refuse, though threatened with death. Thurkear vanishes from the grasp of his captor and appears behind the human woman. He threatens to kill her, but a thriant still holds S’rathaad. They are at a stalemate, until S’rathaad dazes his captor and sprints for the ladder on the wall. Thurkear and Qingron seize their opportunity and follow, and Qingron draws his blade at the bottom of the ladder and engages the thriants and human in battle.

After a short while of fighting, Qingron kills the large thriant, enraging their enemies, just then, Guards appear. The fight shortly becomes a three way fight, but soon the companions join with the remaining thriant and woman to fight off the Guards. They kill most of them, before blocking off several and then descending the opposite side of the wall. During the fight, however, Qingron and the woman are knocked unconscious.

Once outside of the district, the thriant administers a blue-purple potion to Qingron, it drains life away from the surroundings, but begins to heal Qingron, so the thriant also administers it to the woman. Once everyone is conscious, the four realize that S’rathaad has left them. Qingron and Thurkear give the woman and thriant 10 days worth of food, and in exchange they are given a mysterious potion. The woman tells them that her name is Ravaran, and that she and the two thriants called themselves the Rodents. She then sprints away into the city with the other Thriant.

Thurkear and S’rathaad head to a poor mining district, and find one filled with many lizardman. After Thurkear spots one that resembles S’rathaad, he summons them. He pulls the lizardman over behind some shacks, and the lizardman offers him dreamspores, Thurkear pretends to accepts, and then slits the lizardman’s throat. Thurkear cuts off his head and hands, grabs the dreamspores, and then Qingron and Thurkear bury the body.

As the two prepare to leave the district, a young lizardman child comes up to them, he communicates in broken common, but eventually summons over his older brother. The two realize that the lizardman they just killed was the father of the two boys in front of them. The boys had seen them with their dad and no wonder where he is.

Just when Thurkear and Qingron are walking away the child notices the blood on Thurkear’s sickle. The older boy charges them and Qingron and Thurkear decide it is in their best interest to flee. They are weary and need rest. They flee, but Qingron is hit with a dart by the lizardman child. It causes him to see a lizardman army rushing towards him, but he runs forward and realizes it is a hallucination. The two are chased into some caves, before quickly exiting and losing the lizardmen children.

They eventually make it to Krynt’s house and present him with the head. He seems to believe that it is S’rathaad’s. Krynt tells them that the Guards have been fighting among themselves, and that “without the honorable Guard to protect the city, Athrandro Kan will surely descend into chaos.” He presents them with a list of one hundred names, claiming that these names are the names of rebels. For each person on the list killed, they will be presented with enough food to feed them for a week. He then gives Thurkear 100 gold coins and a bronze sickle.

Notes

  • S’rathaad’s player was not able to play, so S’rathaad was controlled by the DM outside of combat and by the other two players during combat
  • At the beginning of the session, Thurkear had only 1 healing surge remaining, and S’rathaad and Qingron had no healing surges remaining
  • The two thriants do not speak common, and instead speak through the woman, who apparently speaks chitter.
  • Each enemy fights with a unique fighting style, the big thriant fights with its claws, flailing them around and striking and distracting all around him, the smaller thriant is a magic user, using magic that conjures wind and sand, the human wields a club, and deals massive damage when fighting an enemy alone
  • The Guards appear at the beginning of the third round of combat
  • During the fight, the human woman is severely burned by Thurkear
  • After completing his task, Thurkear is given 100 gold coins and a bronze sickle by Krynt
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Twenty Four, Part 1
Session 04: Twenty Four, Part 1

Quick Summary
Drakot finds his way to the district of the Western Guard, and joins Qingron, Thurkear, and S’rathaad in a battle at the wall. They successfully make it into the district, but Drakot is too noisy and is captured by Guards. The remaining three make their way to the house of Captain Vantajar, the target they are intending to assassinate. Qingron and Thurkear enter as entertainers, well S’rathaad slips in a back door, leaving a trail of dead bodies. He eventually hides in a closet, and once everyone has finally gone to sleep, he bursts into Vantajar’s bedroom and throws an explosive eye. The three sprint back to the edge of the district, and prepare to once again try to climb the wall and reenter the main city.

Detailed Summary
Drakot returns from an encounter with an old rival of his, to find the place he and his companions had been staying in the site of a cave-in. Though he sees no one, he continues throughout the caves until he eventually finds a Guard. The Guard, Alyssa, and Drakot eventually realize that they know the same people. Alyssa tells Drakot that his companions, Qingron, Thurkear, and S’rathaad, have gone to the district of the Western Guard to assassinate Captain Vantajar. He travels across the city as night falls, and eventually reaches the walled off area.

At this wall, he encounters a starving woman. She begs him for food, and eventually, feeling sympathy for her, Drakot gives her some of his food. She begs more, and he gives a bit more. In exchange, she gives him a large, mutilated eyeball that she explains can cause an explosion when activated. She then leaves, and hears the sound of a battle break out on top of the wall.

Meanwhile, Qingron, Thurkear, and S’rathaad, after much deliberation, attempt to scale the wall. A swift fight ensues a top the wall, after S’rathaad and Qingron scale it. Thurkear teleports through a gate in the wall and also is caught in a combat. Drakot encounters several drunk Guards fighting, before he eventually joins his allies a top the wall, and after a bloody battle, the four companions slip into the district.

Though Qingron and S’rathaad are able to slip through the city without being spotted, Thurkear and Drakot have less look. They meet several Guards, and Thurkear is able to spin a convincing lie. However, Drakot has less look. Being a lizardman, he should not be in the district, and so he they attempt to leave the city. Thurkear leaves the scene before the outcome of the fight is resolved, and eventually meets up with his two other companions.

The three locate the house of the Captain Vantajar, their target. It is located opposite a temple to Kan. Inside this temple, they find a box filled with tributes to Kan. They kill a Guard, and talk to another. They determine that there is a party taking place inside Vantajar’s house.

Qingron and Thurkear enter the house pretending to be performer’s, they are able to negotiate and bluff their way through a variety of Guards, but are forced to leave their weapons stashed outside. Meanwhile, S’rathaad slips in a back entrance, killing a number of Guards as he goes. Qingron and Thurkear meet Vantajar, but are unable to do anything when surrounded by so many Guards. They eventually are forced to leave. However, S’rathaad makes it upstairs into a storage room.

S’rathaad waits for a long while, but eventually slips out and then bursts into Vantajar’s bedroom. There, he sees Vantajar with a woman, along with two Guards. He pulls out the explosive eye he had stolen from a Guard, and then runs as he throws it into the room. The room explodes, causing part of the house to cave in. He meets up with Qingron and Thurkear as they sprint towards the edge of the city.

Notes

  • The characters are trying to assassinate Vantajar because of events that occurred in Session 03, please see that session for details
  • Drakot receives an explosive eye from a starving woman to whom he gives food
  • S’rathaad finds an explosive eye on a Guard that he kills by the wall
  • Not all Guards carry explosive eyes
  • Drakot is accosted by three Guards, the fight of his struggle is currently unknown
  • The fate of Brandis is still unknown
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Plots and Counterplots
Session 03: Plots and Counterplots

Quick Summary
Jonn Pieter, after several days trapped in a storage room, finally manages to saw his way out and escape. Meanwhile, Drakot receives a challenge from an enemy lizardman and travels off to defend his honor. During this time, S’rathaad meets Alyssa, a Guard who knew Jeral. She gives him a gift and asks him to assassinate a High Guard. On his way back to the caves, he finds Thurkear, who just disrupted a nest of spiders. They kill three spiders, and then met Qingron, who had just climbed his way out of a cave in. Brandis was apparently trapped somewhere within. They explored, looking for Brandis for a while, before encounter a strange green spider creature which none were able to identify. Eventually, they were met by Krynt, a Guard friendly with Thurkear, who seemed to distrust S’rathaad. Later, while Krynt and Thurkear were alone Krynt asked Thurkear to kill S’rathaad.

The three then traveled to some mines, where they encountered a swarm of spiderlings and a spitting spider. They then encountered Alyssa, and negotiated. S’rathaad agreed to kill the Captain of the West, but in exchange for the freedom of several Stoneclaws. They then ventured to the specialist district, before arriving at the district of the West Guard.

Detailed Summary
Jonn Pieter finally managed to saw his way through a wall with a serrated implement he found in a chest. After exiting the building, he was able to creep stealthily away. However, he almost ran into another Guard, before finally there was an explosion and Guards were running everywhere. Some followed Jonn, and one caught him, but he was able to bloody his nose and escape into the night.

Meanwhile, S’rathaad meets a lizardman named Mat’rathar, who he recognized as a member of the Stoneclaw tribe. Mat’rathar brings the unfortunate news that many Stoneclaws were captured. S’rathaad is very disappointed by the failings of his tribe. Around this time, Thurkear, while exploring some caves, comes across a huge cavern covered with spider webs. He also sees an ominous, dark shape in the center. He lights the webs on fire, causing many spiderlings to run around, and three follow him out.

S’rathaad is called by a female member of the Guard. She claims she is a friend of Jeral, and after some discussion, convinces S’rathaad to come back to her house. At Alyssa’s house, S’rathaad meets Rogath, another member of the Guard. They give S’rathaad an Eversmoking Flask, claiming it is from Jeral. They then ask S’rathaad to assassinate the Captain of the Western Guard, a man known as Vantajar. S’rathaad agrees to possibly try, and then leaves.

While Thurkear and S’rathaad are out exploring, Qingron is playing his guitar and Brandis is snacking on some snake jerkey. A rumbling starts, and rocks begin to fall. Brandis is able to stay ahead of the rocks, but runs into a dead end and is trapped. Qingron is grievously injured, but is able to crawl out.

After escaping the spiderlings, Thurkear and S’rathaad encounter Qingron. The three begin to search for Brandis. As they explore, they encounter a strange greenish creature which they slay with ease. Eventually, they hear three people. These three people turn out to be three Guards, one of which is a friend of Thurkear’s, Krynt. There are also two females, one of which, it is later discovered, is named Artana.

Krynt wants to talk to Thurkear, and so they travel back to Krynt’s house (which is connected to the caves). Krynt refuses to allow S’rathaad to come, but S’rathaad follows anyways. In the house, Krynt has a simple request. S’rathaad must be killed before anything else can happen. Thurkear says he will. However, as Krynt opens the door to have them leave, S’rathaad is caught listening. Krynt tells Thurkear he expects S’rathaad’s head in 24 hours, and Thurkear and Qingron tumble away with S’rathaad.

The three travel, and eventually reach an area actively being mined, before they are assaulted by spiderling and a poison-spitting spider. In the middle of the fight, Alyssa arrives, after the spiders are killed. The three talk to Alyssa. Alyssa knows of the conversation with Krynt. She then explains the situation:

  1. Krynt wants S’rathaad dead in 24 hours.
  2. Krynt knows S’rathaad is trying to kill Vantajar.
  3. If you bring another dead lizardman to Krynt, and Vantajar is killed later, he will be extremely suspicious.
    Therefore, you must kill Vantajar within 24 hours, and then find a suitable lizardman to substitute as S’rathaad.

S’rathaad agrees to do the task, but only if Alyssa agrees to release captive Stoneclaw lizardmen. The two make a deal, and the three travel to a specialty district. Here, they buy a magic rod, a hand crossbow, and a longbow, before finally setting off and arriving at the gate of the district of the Western Guard.

It is early in the morning, around 2 am, and the wall is patrolled by Guards.

Notes

  • In the time between this session and the second session, Thurkear researched and created an arcane familiar. A familiar named Falcy, Falcy is a Falcon with several quirks.
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Miracle District
Session 02: Miracle District

Quick Summary
Three characters, Qingron Cadhir, Brandis Regdar, and Drakot, now outlaws, escaped from a prison with the help of their two allies, Thurkear Arcaniss and S’rathaad. They killed six guards, and escaped from the rest. Eventually, their way into some of Thurkear’s caves, and made their way back to Master Theon. Master Theon told them of several places in which to gain food, including a “Miracle District.” The four heroes (for S’rathaad was now following them in hiding) made their way to the district and gave Brandis, in the form of a pony, to some guards. After Brandis failed to escape, they got into a fight, and dispatched fifteen guards, as well as driving away Gryphero Targana. They also captured several animals and gained the equivalent of close to one hundred rations.

Detailed Summary
After Brandis has previously taken the form of a snake to slither through the bars of his cell, he returned to human form and began fighting the two Guards that were in the halls. Unfortunately, Drakot and Qingron were still trapped inside the cell, and were only able to occasionally jab at the Guards as the fight raged. Meanwhile, Thurkear and S’rathaad were able to figure out what was happening inside, and so began to distract the Guards outside. They were eventually able to lure away and kill two Guards.

Meanwhile, inside the prison, Thurkear was nearly killed in snake form and was knocked unconscious, losing the tip of his tail. Drakot was then able to grab him, and Qingron and Drakot successfully escaped with him. Once outside, they ran from the Guards, S’rathaad made it onto the roofs, and Thurkear and Qingron escaped down allies. Eventually, after several close encounters they were able to rejoin one another. They found their way to some caves and slept, regaining much needed strength.

The next day, they traveled through caves and found their way into an old barn with plenty of hay. They realized that S’rathaad was missing, though they thought that they had just seen him. They didn’t have much time to ponder this as a farmer walked in, he allowed them to leave, but gave them no food.

After talking to Master Theon, they learned of several ways to gain food, such as a migration of large animals in a week, as well as a meeting of black market merchants. After some deliberation, they decided on heading to a “Miracle District” where it was rumored there was plenty of food. There plan was to send in Brandis as a pony, then have him turn into a snake and escape.

After being turned away the first day by a guard outside the district, they return early the next day to execute their plan.

The plan had two main flaws. First, the food was a trap, it was illusory. Second, Brandis was not able to escape. Thurkear argued with a guard, and eventually Qingron dressed a Guard also argued, they were admitted, and then Gryphero attempted to kill them.

A fight broke out, but it was easily won by the characters. S’rathaad broke through the roof and helped Brandis escape. In the end, they captured a horse, a bear, several snakes, and an owlbear. They slaughtered these animals and feasted, returning to Master Theon’s house, as S’rathaad once again slipped into shadows.

Notes

  • Several rounds passed during which Drakot and Qingron could have escaped, but decided not to search one Guard’s body for keys because they saw them on the other one. Finally, after numerous hints from the Dungeon Master, they searched the body and were able to join the fight.
  • Brandis permanently lost his two smallest toes on each foot as the tip of his tail was chopped off in snake form. I forgot to mention this during the session.
  • Several districts were mentioned including the Capital District, a prison district, numerous residential districts, and the “Miracle District”
  • The characters met Rosalyn Oakenheart, who claimed she and 8 or 9 others were planning to kill Kan, they called themselves the Rainfall (Drakot and Qingron each gave her one gold coin, Thurkear gave her a copper)
  • Over the course of the session, the players met several Guards and civilians whom they killed, characters not killed include: a farmer with a barn that has an entrance into the caves, Rosalyn Oakenheart (see above), Gryphero Targana, and of course Master Theon.
  • Krynt Falck, a friend of Thurkear’s was also mentioned
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Sunset
Session 01: Sunset

Quick Summary
Five Eastern Guardsmen were interrupted while playing Three Dragon Ante by a lizardman and six humans. The lizardman demanded payment in the name of Kan, and when refused, attacked the five Eastern Guardsmen. Almost all were killed, although the Guardsmen killed the lizardman in the process. Only Jonn Pieter escaped alive. Meanwhile, in another part of town, five hungry people were gathered together by Master Theon. They made a plan to steal food from a banquet at sunset, but unfortunately it went wrong. They were chased away, and eventually caught by eight Guardsmen who were able to capture three of them, Qingron, Drakot, and Brandis. Thurkear and S’rathaad escaped, and followed the guards to the prison that the other three were taken to.

Detailed Summary
In Athrandro Kan, five Eastern Guardsmen met together after a day of doing their duties. As they usually did, Regdar Goldvein, Bradburn Johnson, Alek Darksun, Brandis Darksun and Jonn Pieter sat down and played several rounds of Three Dragon Ante. In the middle of a round, they were interrupted by a large, brutish lizardman. He requested all of their valuables in the name of Kan, and when they refused he attacked, along with six men he had brought along. After killing the lizardman things went bad for the Guards. Bradburn was killed, and when Regdar and Alek both fell unconcious, Brandis agreed to their terms, and went to fetch his valuables, only to return to find Alek dead. Brandis was knocked unconscious, and likely killed. Jonn Pieter was able to hide in a backroom, and heard only a man say “If Kan finds out what we are planning, he will not be pleased.”

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, five men, (two lizardmen and three humans,) were brought together by Master Theon. Master Theon told them of a banquet served for the high ranking Guardsmen, and how the food there could easily last months. After a long while planning, they set out, waiting for over an hour, they finally knocked out a Guard at the kitchen door and dressed up Qingron Cadhir in his uniform. Followed by Drakot, (a lizardman masquerading as a slave,) Qingron entered the kitchen and told the Guards inside that they were dismissed. When one Guard remained unconvinced, partly because of Drakot’s poor portrayal of a slave, Qingron drew his blade and attacked him with the hilt. Unfortunately, he was not able to knock the wind out of him, and the Guard was able to call for help. Soon, Guards came charging in, but were distracted when Thurkear Arcaniss caused a bright flash in the door to the outside.

The Guards left Qingron and Drakot alone and ran outside to investigate. Catching Thurkear, they threw him to the ground, but he was saved when Drakot came bolting out with the food. Knocking the Guards away, the three made a run for it, while their companion Brandis morphed into a cheetah and sprinted ahead. Meanwhile, their fifth companion, S’rathaad, darted into a side alley and ran along side streets.

Unfortunately, Qingron, Drakot, and Thurkear were caught, and faced eight Guards in the street. Even with the help of S’rathaad and Brandis, the Guards did not fall quickly enough, and when Drakot was close to death, and Brandis unconscious as well, Qingron surrendered. Thurkear and S’rathaad escaped, and followed the three to the prison where they were taken. After the three regained their strength, Brandis changed into a large snake and slid through the bars, morphing into a dragon hatchling as he prepared to kill the Guard in the hallway.

Notes

  • Originally, Brandis’ player named Brandis, Benn; however, his name was later changed to Brandis, any mention of Benn should be reported so that it can be updated to Brandis
  • A series of events, including a failed bluff check by Drakot, the decision of Qingron to attempt to knock out a Guardsman with the hilt of his sword and a subsequent failed roll, along with the failure of three out of five attempts to run away resulted in the characters being attacked by more Guardsmen then they could handle
  • For the purposes of role-playing and story, Benn was permitted to use his wild shape ability to transform into any other “medium” sized creatures
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