*** This campaign uses the Tomb of Horrors adventure book, adapted to the setting. ***
Absent: None. --> OMG!!!!!!!!!!!
It has been a while since everyone was present at once. It was a nice evening with some fun tests that our DM put forth for us to overcome. So let’s continue the story…
With the sudden change of temperature also came new smells and sounds. We found ourselves near a busy bazaar in what looks to be Khinasi lands. A voice from behind confirms that suspicion as Sherabb is addressed by a stately looking man, a wizard by the looks of it. After exchanging some unfriendly lines we gather that it is Sherabb’s brother who is in the employ of the local emira. And the emira was there as well, gracing us with her presence and offering a challenge between brothers… That was our next test in the series for the temple of Rilni.
The emira challenged us to find the following things on the bazaar:
- A set of the finest riding clothes.
- A jewel encrusted jambiya (ceremonial dagger).
- A token from the most innocent person at the bazaar.
- A vial of Hydra’s Breath.
- The best riding horse for sale.
- An original gift.
The side who would best meet the challenge according to the emira would win. As the servants of our opponent ran off, we found out all of our funds had vanished. All we had was a pouch with coins and gems worth about 1000 gold pieces which the emira threw our way. That gave the first hint that not all of these things needed coin to be purchased…
We decided to split up the party. Yes…split up the party. You read it correctly, we split up the party. And we each went for a different item. I went for the Hydra’s Breath. I couldn’t remember what it was though until Adamar reminded me it was probably something having to do with alchemy and would not be literally the breath of a hydra (OOC: botched my arcane check…first failure in this skill challenge).
Snorri had little problem locating that expensive jambiya. She managed to talk down the price considerably as well. And on her way back she caught a servant of Sherabb’s brother trying to pilfer the item. A good score all around. Adamar went for the riding clothes and came back with a nice set (OOC: which was poisoned due to a botched insight check to notice the dealer hating the emira).
Jokul managed to talk a young, poor girl into handing him a bit of her hair after giving her clothing and food. He also promised to tell the emira about her and her desperate condition. I certainly hope he won’t go help every poor wretch he sees from now on. If the humans would control their breeding, this would not happen on such a grand scale. I searched for an alchemist to sell me the Hydra’s Breath. Adamar pointed me in the direction of an old crone. I acquired the potion at great personal cost (OOC: It cost me 3 kisses and some gold…for a poisoned vial because of the botched arcane check and the opposing party had bribed the old crow into selling me the poison).
Barsjt quickly noticed a fine riding horse. Except it was owned by a young woman who didn’t appear to want to sell the horse. At least, not to the servant of our opponents who was trying to bully her into selling it. Barsjt used his wits and convinced the woman to sell him the horse for some gold and the promise that he would help her enter the emira’s army. Splug managed to sabotage our opponents by switching an item they had bought for a similar item worth much less. Sherabb closed the contest in our favor by suggesting an original gift. An orphanage bearing the name of the emira. Sherabb and Jokul did an excellent job at convincing her of the value of the gift, both from a moral point of view and previous examples from history.
Right after being declared as winners we were whisked away again. This time we found ourselves in an ancient forest near some felled trees. We inspected the felled trees and immediately discerned that although they appeared to have been chopped down by axes, some at least were also brought down by magic and claws. Those signs were partly concealed by the axe-chops. It saddened my heart to see such disrespect for these ancient giants and I felt immediately connected to the trees. It felt like home, which made me believe this might be my memory. The challenge set before us is to stop the wizard.
Fairly close by we find an ambushed caravan of forest loggers. I recognize the fletching of the arrows sticking from the corpses as arrows of my people. As I explain that I think this is my memory and that it will probably revolve around my uncle who was a wizards and conferred with demons we hear a soft moan from the pile of bodies. Jokul extracts and aids a heavily wounded man who claims they came upon the felled trees and were subsequently ambushed by the elves.
Taking the man with us, we decide to follow the elven raiding party. Before long we find ourselves surrounded by a group and are called what our business is. I plead to meet the leader of this group and inquire if my uncle, the wizard, is among these raiders. Talking to the leader we find out they intend to wipe out a human village as payback for chopping down the trees. And it is my uncle, the wizard, who is off to the village to gather more warriors for the strike. We convince the leader of the raiding party to have another look at the felled trees and to come with us while we track down the wizard.
I wonder why Sherabb and Splug found it prudent to loudly proclaim to each other that the Sidhe were fighting a lost war against humans and goblinkind in the middle of this test. I hope they realize that even in these memory worlds one can really die.
Tracing the tracks of the wizard proved none too difficult and very soon we heard the monotonous cadence of chanting up ahead. We sent Snorri ahead and followed with the rest of the group at a distance of about 30 feet. He was not alone for a firbolg shaman stood next to him inside a clearing where he was obviously conducting a ritual. Before we could act, we found out there were more firbolgs about as they jumped down from the trees and attacked us with javelins and melee weapons.
Sherabb was hit twice by the first volley of javelins, hit hard. Another group of firbolgs jumped about and attacked as they passed by. They could outline opponents with a glowing aura, preventing Snorri and Adamar to benefit from their ability to hide in the shadows. I expected the fight to be a tough one and decided to disrupt my uncle’s ritual straight away. To my surprise I was not stopped by any of the firbolgs, even after I blew him over none of the firbolgs attacked me. I wonder if my heritage causes them to ignore me. Thus I am content being rooted to the ground in one place by crawling vines while redirecting my poisonous cloud over the battlefield and firing mental bolts at the remaining firbolgs. We seem to be faring well against the ugly giants that serve my uncle or his dark purpose and I expect to be able to question him before long. I am happy the leader of the Sidhe patrol chose to come with us; so he can see and attest to everything first hand.
During the fight as I was about to put my poisonous cloud over a firbolg and ‘accidentally’ an area where I suspected Splug to be…I suddenly realized in horror that killing him might make us fail a future test! Thus my cloud billowed the other way while I contemplated what kind of test the memories of that inferior creature might create.
*** We broke off the combat here and made a picture of the situation. To be continued, on the 16th most likely. ***