Friday, July 15, 2011

Earthdawn Campaign: Terrors Beneath the Earth

 The explorers were not sure if it were the best course of action but they pushed forward inside the entrance at the top of the pyramid nonetheless. There, Kasefeh found a large open room, lit by a uniform white glow and a 10' square pit, magically darkened in the middle of the floor.
Rash Gurak quickly volunteered to climb down using their rope but they found its length to be far too short. While rest debated at length ever more complicated ways to get down there, Kasefeh put Gurag to work helping him weave a very heavy but (hopefully) durable 'rope' out of Jungle vines.
Once they climbed down, they found corridors in all directions and the shaft continuing (still darkened) to another level below, where they could hear the musical sound of running water.

Kasefeh used his Scout magic to light up some tracks he found on this second level and they followed them away from the shaft, and around the corner. The tracks had led out of the shaft from below, so whomever it was had reached this level from below. There they found the remains of an explorer. The blood-charm on him/her matched those they all bore from Kaer Jerall and he/she had some good, new, gear bearing the imprint of a maker from the city of Jerris. At that point, they discovered they were not alone, there was a whole mess of giant-spiders down there with them - worse, the air in the narrow corridor they sought to use as a defensive position (and where they found the explorer's body) was filled with some bad-air, if the blue guttering flame on their torches was anything to go by.

Eventually, they managed to slay or drive off all the giant-spiders and make their way back to the Kaer. There they found that the dead explorer was almost certainly Yrun, the Ork scout who was the guide for the expedition that went in the direction of Jerris. The Kaer's Wizard deciphered his personal map and reported that he had found some way through natural caves benath the Llaj Jungle and it appeared he had tragically died alone after nearly making it back to the Kaer.

The Illusionist Grima was eager to see what could be found at the lonely tower of Tyren, at the limit of what they could see to the east of the Kaer. When they arrived, they found it in good condition - remarkably good given its construction pre-dated the Scourge.

With their Scout doing his best to seep for traps, the Warrior Adept Zhelous led the way through the door and inside. There, at the landing atop steps inside, they saw the skeleton of something over three man-lengths long and perhaps another high. It was hard to divine what it had once been but it had a tail and the remains of a wing. When they looked closer, they found a mighty lance, so large it would take two-Trolls to wield it, with a heavy rose-crystal head. They recovered the lance-head, stowed it outside and began to test out other doors atop the stairs. The Scout Kasefeh pronounced two to be safe but got a huge surprise when opening the right one triggered a poison gas trap. Fortunately he had spent the preceding months practicing how to dodge traps like this and expertly tumbled backward down the stairs and luckily below the level of the gas-cloud. As he dusted himself off, Zhelous made ready to lead the way deeper into the chambers inside that lonely tower....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Earthdawn Campaign: Diplomacy

After some debate over the relative merits of benefiting from the nearby dragon's insights into the surroundings, or doing the legwork themselves, the five adepts resolved to make the most recent sign of intelligent activity their first target.They picked their way through the scattered trees of the Kaer surrounds for a day, before making their way up a hill to overlook the sight of the possible encampment. They found it empty but with clear signs of many, many, cavalry.

Their Scout Adept Kassafeh made a thorough reconnaissance but failed to notice two short Ork sentries in the surrounding shrub-land. So that night, those sentries took it upon themselves to 'claim coup' and go it alone to investigate the adepts, as they slept. However, they were spotted and what unfolded next is best understood as a particularly messy and error filled 'meeting engagement' as more and more out of the five adepts, and a patrol of five Ork Scorchers, became entangled.

Impetuous Gurag went it alone first, then the leader of the Ork Scorchers, thinking the two youngest runts had just gotten themselves into some stupid trouble, joined in without even bothering to don his armour or get his good axe. As more of the Adepts from Kaer Jerall joined in, that Ork mistook Gurag for a runaway from the Scorcher Cavalry and started barking orders at him. Gurag stood his ground, and a shouting match ensued. The Illusionist Grima, subtle and cautious as ever, quietly entwined the leading Orks' legs with a magical rope trick. Then all piled in and the Adepts of Jerall emerged victorious.

But now what to do? The main body of the Scorchers number at least in the hundreds so they took the surviving runt - Ogely - as a prisoner, left a surviving Scorcher tied up, took two of their fierce riding Dyres and fled into the jungle to the south.The five (plus Ogely and the Dyres) opted to circle south toward some ruins - which they found to be unnaturally quiet- so quiet that their minds filled the gap with a constant low hum - and quite deserted. There was one interesting but half over-grown bronze domed pyramid in the middle though. So they investigated. At the top were metal doors, trapped to stick to the hands of those who tried them, then cook them. Of course, the party tried more than one door this way until the Human Warrior Zelos had had enough of this foolishness and pushed the pivot door open with his spear, rolled his eyes and beckoned them onward...