zaterdag 8 december 2012

Up the Zola Fel

1621, Third Day of the Sacred Time

The party has investigated the mudshark den, and returns with a plan.  With some trouble, they manage to get up into the cave.  Good thing though, they manage to get in unheard.  Raiko and Jaya  enter the rightmost cave, and discover a mudshark sleeping.  Raiko sneaks up to the monster, and kills it silently in its sleep.  The rest of the party heads the other way, and alert a next of younglings with a female mudshark.  The creatures attack at once, but prove no match for this hardened party.  They hardly manage to threaten the adventurers, and within seconds the mudsharks are dispatched and the mission accomplished.  When they return to Sa'ar, the Zola Fel priest, to report a successful mission, they are received as heroes.  All along the town they get congratulated and hailed as river voices and heroes of Corflu, Zola Fel favorites.

Sa'ar has arranged a boat with a pilot and undine for their travel north, and after a night of heavy partying and drinking, the adventurers head for Lokazzi and beyond.  On the second day, along the Zola Fel, they are hailed by a young boy accompagnied by an otter.  The boy requests their help with getting rid of a gorp in his cave.  The party helpfully complies, and follow the youngster into his narrow cave, where they discover a gorp in the water indeed.  Using their Zola Fel River Eye, they quickly spot the creature in the murky water, and a few disruptions and fire arrows take care of the chaos abomination quickly.  The grateful fellow gifts Jaya with a bronze and golden shield that lights up in the dark.  Then the party accepts his invitation to visit his homestead.  The adventurers follow the young boy through the marshes, through murky pools, mangrove trees, and finally arrive at a ramshackle collection of huts in a clearing amidst the trees.  The homesteaders receive the heroes with respect, and offer them a meal and lodging.  The next morning the party returns to the river, and heads north against the Zola Fel current again.  The banks become more and more overgrown with vegetation as they head up north.  They arrive at a homestead close to the bank, and are hailed by a lady inside the walls of the stead.  She is in despair, as a gang of broos have just kidnapped her young son and adolescent daughter.  Her husband and brother have left only hours ago, in a futile attempt to follow and kill the Broo and rescue the children.  According to the woman, the Broo were ten, led by a shaman.  Our heroes do not dawdle.  They quickly find the trail and head off into the woods on a rescue mission.

It takes them a few hours, before they hear sound of melee in the distance.  When they check out the situation, they see the two Rivermen, surrounded by ten or so Broo.  The children are kept in check by one of the Broo, the Shaman is overseeing the events, and the 8 other Broo attack the two helpless men.  Herculon, in his typical idiom, charges forward, followed, after some hesitation, by Raiko.  The rest of the party, however, fails to respond as quickly, creating a dangerous situation for our heroes.  The charging heroes cannot avoid the brutal murder of the two tribesmen.  Within seconds, Herculon and Raiko face 7 Broo, while another one charges forward in an attempt to prove his exceptional valor.  The Shaman starts casting Malia's scourges upon the party members, who quickly learn Avert is no remedy for Malia's terror theism.  At first, Herculon seems to buckle under the pressure from 4 Broo, but he withstands the attacks, and in his berserker fury, after suffering several wounds, he manages to cut one broo in half through the chest.  The other Broo keep hacking at him, and the suffers several other serious wounds, which he barely notices in his Berserk fury.  Raiko has three opponents, and defends himself bravely, but lacks the destructive power of the berserker.  The last Broo is intercepted by young Daerius, and after a short fight the Talastaring prevails.  The aid allows Herculon to decapitate two other Broo quickly, and after about half a minute, the situation is already looking a lot better.  

As the Shaman notices the change, he retreats, accompanied by two surviving Broo, and taking the kids along.  Our heroes sense the danger, and start sprinting.  Raiko, with a useless right arm due to a very serious wound, summons his ancestor spirit, and in the guise of Hadrath, summons a large water undine.  He binds the undine and commands it to envelop one of the Broo.   Herculon, bleeding out of half a dozen of serious wounds, blindly follows the Shaman and his helper, and Jaya and Daeriius follow suit.  They discover the fleeing Broo, homing in on the heartbreaking cries of anguish from the children, as the Broo have already initiated the breeding.  Shocked, our party attempts to stop the brutality, but prove very inefficient in doing so.  The young girl suffers the worst fate, the young boy's assailant dies in the act.  Then, exhausted, Herculon falls to the floor, his several serious wounds now taking effect with a vengeance...

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