Campaign of the Month: May 2016

Mysteria

A Bee Eater Lands on the Balcony...

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I’m sure you’ll already have heard of Il Zawbaa Saia’s display at the city limits the other day.

After being tasked by Marakesh to bring him the Sand Ship the ‘Winds Mistress’ we ran afoul of Il Zawbaa Saia on our way back to the city. We later found out he’d sent his Mephit spies watch us and tell him when we’d found the ship. We were unaware the Genie that was bound to ship was in fact Il Zawbaa Saia’s long lost love Nadirah and having being cursed into his present form, he’s actually been roaming the desert for centuries looking for her. I kid you not.

He mercifully spared our lives for our part in reuniting them, giving us little time to grab our gear and get off the ship before tore it apart from within and broke the bonds that have held his love for so long. Reunited and released from the curse, he thanked us and we watched the two lovers walk into the winds before the mighty maelstorm dissipated in front of our eyes as if it had never been there at all. It truly was a moment of marvel.

On our return we managed to convince Marakesh that this could work in his favour still, having rid the city of the maelstrom forever, and the slaying of the Sand Corsairs the desert trade routes are the safest they’ve been in hundreds of years; so all was not lost.

We’re helping a family friend of Arcael’s with some research at an ancient site somewhere outside the city over the next couple of weeks, so I’ll get in touch when we get back. Hope all is well with you.

Bart

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Yo Ho-Ho

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Goran sat on the edge of the docks, his feet dangling above the sands. He had captured a taste for the sand sailing. Before coming to Siwal the only ships he had known were the slave powered warships of the Ruby Despotate. They had fought off a Kraken and yet that display of the dangers of the desert gave him no pause.
He thought of the fun they could have had sailing the sands for a while. Running wild. Perhaps this group’s ideals weren’t ideal when it came to what Goran wanted. First the fountain given away, ok at a hefty sum, but he was sure he could have kept it in check. The mistress will supply other opportunities he supposed.
He could see the reasoning for releasing the entity bound to the ship. Binding is just another form of slavery after all and I guess every creature should have to chance for love. He sighed and clambered to his feet. He took a look back at the sands and threw his new tri-corner hat out from the dock.
“Well,” He sighed, “I guess I better tell that animal dealer that I won’t be needing that parrot”.

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City-Guard reporting, Sir!

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Sir,

It was around mid-morning, the bazaars were already busy with people and that means pick-pockets, so I had my men deployed mainly to patrol the markets.

I received a report of a sand-storm coming in, but there was no real wind to speak of. I formed a patrol and as I reached the gate I could see it clearly. A spiral of sand and winds some three miles out of town. I could see the smashed remains of a sand-ship breaking up within the body of the storm. The remains of the bow were thrown high into the sky and spun down, shattering upon a rocky outcrop. I felt that nothing could have survived the storm or the impact. I was about to sound a storm alert when it then appeared to change course and moved further into the wastes leaving wreckage scattered in its wake.

A partol of ten, led by myself, mounted camels and headed out to investigate. As we approached the wreckage we could see a small group of five figures that had somehow survived. Two humans, an elf-blood, an N’kosi and a Gearforged, all foreigners and adventurers, all without a scratch. We searched the area and there was no sign of any of the ship’s cargo or crew amongst the wreckage.

The adventurers requested to see Ramon Marakesh who had apparently hired them to re-take the ship from pirates, ‘The Wind’s Mistress’. I have taken the name plate from the wreckage and have confirmed that the ship was formerly a wanted pirate vessel. We detained the adventurers briefly on suspicion of involvement in piracy until Ramon Marakesh confirmed that he had indeed hired the adventurers for this purpose.

Further questioning of the adventurers relating to the crew, in particular the ship’s captain, Asad al Nar. The adventurers stated that they had slain the captain and crew when attacked by the vessel. The djinn bound to the ship transferred command to the gear-forged when Asad was slain and they were discussing how to transfer ownership of the vessel back to Marakesh when a djinn in the form of a storm came and destroyed the ship to free the djinn bound to the ship, a long-lost love apparently.

I found this fanciful tale suspicious and so I questioned the group further, they stated that the pirates had secreted their booty somewhere in the deep desert as there was none on the ship. I found the adventurers did not seem too disappointed about this which leaves me suspicious. However unless some divination magic is utilised I fear we will not learn the truth of this.

Ramon Marakesh appears happy with the outcome stating that both a terrible pirate and the maelstrom will no longer pose a threat to sand-ships plying the deep desert. It would appear that the adventurers have done some good if this is the case Sir, but I remain unconvinced.

Guard-Captain Afiz

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Captain, my Captain!

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After his successful negotiation with Il Zawbaa Saia (“the bad sandstorm”), Arcael was feeling pretty good with himself. Bartiman Greenbough was doing well too. Iwandornless Walderin (Iron Wall)’s powerful prayer had saved him from the terrible beak of the SALT KRAKEN. Goran was also feeling smugly satisfied with life. He had a powerful magic ring and he was getting closer to being an accepted member of The Sand Corsairs. Even the devout priest, Saabu Theet was jubilant. Cassandra Per-Aten was not only beautiful, but she also commanded respect in the Library, and was finding out some very important information about deeply religious subjects close to his heart.

The cry from the crow’s nest that wakened the sleeping Goran and heralded sight of The Wind’s Mistress seemed to make all those Endure Elements spells worthwhile. As the Sirocco and The Wind’s Mistress rushed toward each other in a whirlwind of sand, they rose into the air another twenty feet above normal and engaged over the sweltering sands.

Stealthily ….and, let’s face it, bravely….Goran sneaked across the deck of the enemy ship and despatched the enlarged Sorcerer before he could even unleash his fire spells. The same could not be said for Arcael, who started depleting enemy numbers with his carefully aimed Fireballs. When Captain Asad al Nar appeared, he quickly crippled Goran with his “improved two weapon fighting slayer’s feint” and manoeuvred himself to engage with Iron Wall. Iron Wall was as a construct of chaos to his faltering enemies and although Captain Asad feared nothing, he could make no serious impact on the heavily armoured fighter priest.

On the other ship, that had earlier been boarded by the pirates, Bartiman now reigned hugely supreme, knocking his enemies off the deck of the ship like bottles off a wall, the huge bear-druid left Arcael hovering in the air delivering precision spells and jumped onto the ship to help Iron Wall defeat the enemy captain. They squeezed and he popped! Iron Wall delivered the killing blow, thus becoming captain with the beautiful bound djinni Nadirah binding herself to his service.

Oooooh, there’s gonna be a lot to discuss!

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A Close Run Thing.

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A cursed place, a wasteland beaten and raked by a desiccating heat, its rocks cracked and flaked into razored shapes untouched by the slightest dew. A fitting place for the punishment of a cursed kraken, hellish and hateful, its salted stench still assailed the area, its melted arms and tentacles now contorted shapes, blackened and shrunken, their armour of salt-crystals having fallen away.

The sand ship got smoothly underway, gliding into the approaching night. Structurally damage was minimal, the morale of the crew however had taken a battering. Two sailors had been taken but the beast would know better than to tangle with them again, a poor trade for a tale to tell and a greater reputation. The druid was lucky, the gods surely looking out for him.

Greenbough and the others were taking on water, their injuries had left them dangerously dehydrated. A large circular suction injury marred his shoulder where the beast had grasped him, attempting to pull him under the sands. From his time under a silver smir of sand and salt had coated him, a crust punctuated only by the red wetness of numerous cuts and wounds.

For once Goran was serious, still and thoughtful, fingering his invisibility ring whilst he scanned the ground below the ship. Ironwall was kneeling attending to a broken railing as if it were an injury to the ship itself while Saabu sombrely prepared to invoke Thoth-Hermes. All were injured.

Shadows were claiming the landscape below the horizon and a sky incapable of rain was changing into open naked night, the only beauty in this place. Arcael was reminded of the cursed and blasted lands of his home and the vast abominations that claimed it.

This place would be good training.

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A run in with a Sarlacc
Bruised Dignity

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This ship was younger than the last, it’s blast furnace was far livelier. Only recently having gained partial sentience it’s thoughts were erratic, full of nonsense. The results of this were sudden bursts of speed every so often, slowly turning Bartiman positively green. He kept muttering along the lines of the ground being the only true way to move arround  with solid, proper dirt between your claws and the sun being unnatural in this part of the world. Foresters, pha no interest in real works of art, to fly without wings, or the closest thing too it thought Walderin. That and this extra light was doing wonders for the newly installed Divinity Crystal the Venerable One had installed deep within his chest to regulate the gathering magic within. Almost bursting with the loving dedication of the glorious powers of Rava.

A shuddering broke his contemplation of whimsy. Then a sickening squeal of pain and panic emanating throughout the decks as the ship stopped dead. Something had grabbed it.

Massive dark shapes erupted like Velfrey Worms from a festering sore all arround the ship. Two of these wormes grabbed Thalin and Kerd’rez, two deck hands that kept the keening ship looking new and smooth, before they could react and wrenched them overboard. A second later he dodged another arm and saw the Half God get grabbed. These went wormes, no they were arms, from some massive beast no doubt below the ship. Failing to slice his assaling testical as it made another pass for him he noted the Fire Lord running up the steps assessing the situation with those overly old eye’s of his. Seconds later he was dancing above the ship, a bird without wings, gathering a nimbus of flame arround himself. Swing, miss, Swing. Fwooom, a huge swathe of flame passed over two of the testicals incinerating them instantly. A sickening squelch as the grey looking Piccolo Leviathan crushed another with his mighty staff. The Small Shade started savaging another limb as a final gout of flame passed uncomfortably close to the hull. This caused the entire ship to lurch to the side, sending the already unstable Bartiman over the edge down towards the waiting maw below.

This caused a frantic flurry from the group. A massive ball of green, sickening sludge whammed into the partially revealed monstrosity awaiting below the sands exciting a wail of primal Rage. Goran threw a rope overboard towards the frantic scrabbling fingers of Bartiman just too late as he sank, below the unforgiving, penultimate sands. The power within Iwandornless was crying, screaming to be unleashed. A whispering of hope, redemption, salvation was just beyond the edge of the senses. Awaiting nought but the call to answer. A prayer, as he watched helplessly from the deck, simple and concise. Save him, this displaced forester, grant him reprieve. A surge of power rushed from the depths of his broken body. A heave from the sand, then a mighty gout of sand, slime and partially digested parts spewed fourth sending with them a bruised slime covered Bartiman careening into the still flying and thoroughly surprised Arcael.

A few days later Bartiman could be heard loudly examining that should they ever tell anyone of what transpired near the end, retribution would be swift.

A silent thanks to Rava, she of the workers, of the Iron Cog of industry. Let your perseverance in the ways keep me humble and dedicated in your mighty plan.

A dark haze haze appeared on the horizon, blotting out the sun as far as the eye could see. (to be continued :P)dun Dun DUUUNN

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The Touble with Women
The Double Trouble of Djins

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Iwandornless had always had difficulty seeing the point in material non-essentials, not withstanding the obscene amount of pointless procreation Goran partook in. He had once again landed The Oozes into the cesspit of petty human lust and materialism. If it wasn’t valuable he had no interest, 1st it was paintings and now some insanely dense Princes.

This female was driving him to distraction so much for easy money! He thought, whilst sidestepping another clumsy sword swing. It was besides the point that, as it turns out, she maybe a Djin, with a mildly psychotic Paladin after her hide. Unpleasant beings having never worked an honest days labour in their lives. Another part of the flaming tent cracked, time to go.

(Some time Later)

Yup definitely a Djin though that sword show was quite the thing. Hmm, I’ll need to talk to Angus Short when we get back, temporary fight may be useful in the future… Aerial ambushes.

Ambushes that reminds me I’ll need to apologise for slaying that Paladin at some point, just couldn’t run the risk of him following us. That Greenbough fellow won’t stop saying how he was already dead, just knocked him unconscious I rekon, but if a polite agreement can sooth him for now it shall suffice. Arcael didn’t look best pleased upon seeing that Pudding chap either at the end. No doubt he’ll end up in an ‘accident’ at some point.

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Beyond the Gate of Old Cyreen

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In the courtyard beyond the Gate of Old Cyreen those whose families have lived in Siwal for many generations gather to drink coffee, smoke and discuss the politics of the day. Shaded by the grand dome trade and marriage are arranged, debts are settled, scandal and rumour are spread. Seating arrangements are established and based upon a system of old alliance, rivalry and vendetta, the veneer of respectable social intercourse however is a mask for there are those whose business and intentions are darker, they gather here to observe those entering the city.

For it is here that new arrivals gather, drink, wash, make plans and ablutions before entering the city proper. Thieves, pilgrims, merchants, guards and slayers for hire may or may not be of interest to those who may or may not have needs of their services. It is not unknown for example, for those deemed to be well armed or wealthy to be followed by a near riot of agents representing those in power as wells as beggars, traders, prostitutes and other chancers.

Tolot was observing the courtyard today from his tower, the gossip of the day related to a group of adventurers. Rumour said that they had been involved with Djinni mischief and a mismatched marriage as well as the destruction of a cult of ghouls, with a group of valiant guards they had smashed the cultists in open battle. Tolot had observed this group up close, they posed as bards but clearly they were not, he also knew that the ghouls had used a form of magic to disguise themselves as the living and that the vizier had paid the group handsomely for an unknown item. A drunken guard had spoken of a ‘fountain of blood’, and further research into this warned of a deadly curse. There were certainly those who would find word of this ‘fountain’ interesting…

Alas Tolot could not waste any more time contemplating gossip and profit for the crew of a newly arrived sand ship came into the courtyard, one of the officers would die tonight and Tolot was to confirm his arrival, if he had guards and where he was lodged. He must have offended someone in power for the job paid well, focussing on his crystal his head sagged over it and his eyes rolled back…

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A Town Called Malice
Chaos at The Grand Souk

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Words whispered between two dark shadows in Ye Olde Darakhul:
“That be him – mithral shirt and buckler with the swaggering gait. See how he carries his blades!”
“Oooh yes, My Love! I may even enjoy this mission!”

Ramon Marakesh to Jim Al-Khalili:
“Give them a practice tent and prepare my private booth at The Odour. I would see what racket these Northerners can produce.”

Two young acolytes at the Library-Temple of Thoth-Hermes:
“That’s the one she likes. See by his furry face – Nkosi! Hangs around with them Northerners, I hear.”

Two Kobolds in Ye Old Darakhul:
“That one’s a friend of Snakey’s. Leave his pockets alone, whatever you do!”
“….And his scabby friends…?”
“I wouldn’t!”

Two town guards in the Grand Souk:
“Killed a cave full of ghouls, they did.”
“They don’t look very deadly. Okay, I’ll keep my eye on them. But they better behave. Nobody’s above the law!”

Carmelle Qatada to her friend Giselle:
“Surprise double gig at The Smells tonight!”
“I heard it was just a bunch of Northerners.”
“It IS, …. But The Puddings are playing a surprise gig afterwards.”
“You got tickets?”
“Four!”
“Count me in!”

Elgar One-Ear to Tolot the Toothless at the TEAHOUSE OF TAMIR:
“I see that young Haytham is mixing with the Northerners. Trouble will come of this. You mark my words. Especially if that young lover of his has anything to do with it. There’s something about her that just isn’t right!”

Spice Girl Aisha Sabella to her husband:
“A bit of a tragedy at the market today.”
“Hmmmmnn?”
“I did alright, but some of the girls lost a lot of money….and some even more than that.”
“Really?”
“And the whole place burnt down.”
“How?”
“I don’t know. Northerners, I think. But nobody knows for sure. It was all a bit chaotic.”
“When’s dinner ready?”
“Soon Dear. I just have to go next door and get some spice.”

Town Guardsman to Captain Wadir:
“By the time we got there, the whole place had burnt down.”
“And you had no clue as to its cause?”
“We’re sure Abdul-Jibral was behind it in some way. Challenged someone at the market, he did. And I heard they killed him twice!”
“For the love of Aten, we almost had them. If it wasn’t for that flying carpet…. Where is Jibral now?”
“In the cells, Sir, claiming his usual crap about Infidels and Genies.”
“Well, he can stay there for a good few days. Give the objects of his hatred some time to leave town… or disappear. I really hate that paladin!”

Two young slender lads at Boys R Us:
“So, are you coming?”
“You know I’m not!”
“No, I mean tonight.”
Finrod Halfelven and Peter La Fayette? I may even be coming twice tonight!”
“You Devil, You….!”

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The Lingering Odour - Holy House Indeed
First Siwal Gig!

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Looks like you have friends in the entertainment business…….!

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