dinsdag 18 september 2012

Ogre infiltration

South of Pavis, near Ryan Village...


1621, Fire Season, Disorder Week, Wildday

The party approaching the rocky mound
After the initiation of Daerius and Herculon at the Pairing stones, the Orlanthi help them cover the traces and ritually bury the Lunar patrol.  Storm Voice Frekor Firmfarer performs a obfuscation and purification ritual, and with the flames of Humakti blazing high into the Pavis sky, the adventurers and Orlanthi feast and drink and honour the fallen, the storm god and the new initiates.  During the party, Frekor tells the two new initiates about their new mission.  This mission will involve traveling to the Pavis Air Temple and report to High Priest Faltikus.  It is important not to tell Faltikus everything though.  Frekor makes it very clear in which conditions Faltikus has become the new High Priest of the Pavis Air Temple.  Rumour has it Faltikus is a Lunar agent, some call him a Nysalor Illuminate, but one thing is certain, he was appointed to the post by the Lunar government, and his appointment was one condition to avoid total suppression of the Orlanth cult in Pavis (normal Lunar practice). the other being the agreement that the Orlanthi organise the HeroQuest every year to escort rain god Heler to the Plains of Prax.  Frekor than reveals the new initiates what their second mission will be.  Uphold the promise made by Herculon to the Last Step Stead survivors, and track down and destroy the ogres responsible for the hold up and rescue eventual survivors.

7th Day of the Fire Season, 1621
The next morning, the party heads east towards Pavis.  At first it seems like a good idea to follow the river bank all the way downstream to the capital, but the many creeks and streams in the valley make the party lose a lot of time.  In the end, they decide to head for the Pavis road and keep to familiar terrain.  When heading for the road, they run into a lone Aldryami trekking through the chaparral, and Raiko attempts to approach the barkskin, but any attempt to approach is only responded to by arrow fire, and after ducking into cover a few times, Raiko gives up his fraternization attempts.  They put up camp for a totally eventless night, before arriving at the road the next morning and following it in the direction of Pavis.
8th Day of the Fire Season, 1621

After a long walk along the Pavis road, under a relentless summer sun, the party sees the off-white colour of the high walls of the Rubble appear in the distance.  The heat of the afternoon sun makes the sky shimmer, and dust devils are everywhere.  This time they do not head for the tent camp under the Rubble walls, but cross the bridge towards New Pavis.  Since none of them are New Pavis citizens, they have to fill out heaps of paperwork, and Giomanach decides to apply for a weapon permit. Not aided by the Lunar bureaucracy, they finally enter the city walls, and the Orlanthi head to the temple, while Giomanach visits his aunt at the Chalana Arroy temple and Raiko tags along with Jaya into the rubble to visit the Yelorna temple.
The Orlanthi report to Faltikus, who does not seem overly interested, and who's only worry seems to be being singled out as responsible for the death of the Lunars.  He tries to convince Daerius and Herculon to tell him more about what happened, but Herculon's web of lies seems to work, although Faltikus is not completely convinced. After meeting up with their friends again, they notice Giomanach is accompanied by Alwynn, acolyte of Chalana Arroy, who is too worried about Giomanach heading out after a gang of ogres to let him go alone.  Having a good healer along on a dangerous mission has never hurt anyone, so the other party members make nothing of it and make her feel welcome.  They decide to leave the following day at daybreak.

9th Day of the Fire Season, 1621

The next morning the party heads west again, and south at the Last Step stead.  They follow the trail to Whitefly and Ryan, and when passing the source of the stream into the Zola Fel they notice barefoot child  tracks heading out into the desert.  They decide to follow these, considering it weird to find kids' footsteps around here.  Surely, before too long they notice a small group of children keeping an eye on the party.  They attempt to overtake them but the kids disappear, and the party decides to continue walking in the same general direction.  After a weird encounter with an Aldryami, the party sees a rocky mound in the distance, and they notice several holes in the wall of the mound.  They decide to approach carefully.  Four perfectly round cave entrances are visible.  The geometric shape worries the party, and they decide to carefully investigate one of the entrances.  Inside they disturb 2 Krarshtkids, and within seconds they are under attack, with only Herculon's shield preventing some serious damage.  Giomanach's sorcery saves the day here, with two lucky palsies in a row taking out the chaotic monsters.
The howling krarshtkid comes bouncing forward...

Another entrance leads nowhere, but the third leads upwards and there another spawn of Krarsht is hiding.  This time the fight is even shorter, with Palsy once again saving the day, and Giomanach starting to feel very powerful indeed.  Within seconds, the krarshtkid is vanquished, not able to divulge it's destructive power.  Further exploration of the round corridors reveals nothing, and the party decides to make camp in a now empty corridor.  They cast alarm on the entrance, and with a double guard run no risk after the spider fiasco a few days before.  The night passes uneventful, and the next morning the party decides to climb the mound to get a better lookout position.  Arrived at the top of the mound, they stumble onto the ogre camp, seeing it below them through a slit in the cave roof.  They notice a captive in very poor condition, a bunch of kids, and several adults, both male and female, standing around a bonfire.  An area behind the ogres is closed off with wooden panels, and in a corner they notice many crates and barrels.  They try to set up a surprise attack, with little success, and within minutes the fight has broken loose, with Herculon and Daerius in the middle of it, supported by Alwynn's healing and Giomanach's sorcery.  Meanwhile Jaya is still on the lookout outside the cave, pulling some of the attention to her.
The blueish inside of the ogre cave
Giomanach attempts another mass palsy, but the ogres turn out to have some serious resistance to his magic, as well as a means of nullifying it's effect, and Giomanach's feeling of superiority becomes a bit tarnished.  If not for the healer doing an excellent job on Herculon, Daerius, Giomanach and herself alike, the fight could have gone completely differently, with particularly nasty consequences for the party, who would probably be on the next days menu.  The party cannot help noticing the absence of warriors, and realise they have been lucky to find the tribe with minimal protection, even if it was nearly enough to take them out.  They discover a stash of official paperwork, including a rent lease and permits to enter the Rubble and to carry weapons in Pavis, written out to verious Etyries temple members.  Jaya discovers a span of horses, but no wagon.  After the fight, the party collects whatever valuables they can carry, leaving behind the crates and barrels for lack of a means of transportation, and ready themselves for the return to Pavis, in order to investigate further into the ogre activities.

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