The Cabin Sessions

Sessions Index

Game: The Road Home - Part Two

Saturday September 14, 2002

Location: The Home of Craig Potts - Virginia


GM: Mark Thomas

25th of Rolanesh

[The previous day the party had been surprised by a group of "lizardmen". After some negotiation they talked their way past the Setalar and received a string of polished beads that the leader of the creatures, Sar'rasa, said would grant them passage through Setalar lands]

The group traveled half a day with no incident. The weather was still a bit damp, but the group made reasonable time. From time to time Nyota, Zeb, and Fasheen notice some vague movement in the jungle on either side of the road. It is too distant and too vague to make out, but the group suspects the Setalar are following them.

Near noon, the party rounds a bend in the road and see three lizardmen talking (hissing?) in the roadway ahead. The party pauses and dismounts, then Zeb and Fasheen move forward. One of the trio advances and begins to speak with Fasheen, who shows it the necklace given to him by Sar'rasa. The creature is quite interested, and asks where the group met Sar'rasa. After Fasheen tells him, the creature says "The friend of Sar'rasa is my enemy!" and attacks, along with his two companions.

Now as the front group were talking, the rest of the party had spotted a few signs of lizardmen in the woods, so they weren't totally unprepared. As a horn sounds in the woods, and lizardmen burst forth from the woods on all sides, Benik rubs his magical gem of enlargement, instantly growing to 12' tall. Unfortunatly the gem shattered upon use, leaving Benik with nothing but faintly glowing shards.

Up front things have suddenly turned very bad. Zeb accidentially slashes open Fasheen's throat on a backswing, and Fasheen falls to the ground, gurgling out his life's blood. The rest of the party fights off the initial wave of attackers who are variously held, magic missiled or slaughtered. As Nasir breaks from the group and runs to help his brother, Zeb steps in front of the fallen Fasheen and is fried by the burning breath of one of the lizardmen. Clearly these are no simple creatures.

The party in back continues to fight and Nasir continues to run forward. Abruptly a massive (truck sized) spider leaps from cover and lands on the flying Thyme, slamming him to the ground. At the same time a greenish, glowing figure steps from the edge of the jungle, as a fireball streaks out of the woods behind it, engulfing Nyota, Benik and several horses. Ow that hurt!

Zeb continues to press the offensive at the front, covering Fasheen, but his foe, the lizardman leader is effectively countering all his attacks with a dazzling display of parries. As Nasir reaches Fasheen and casts a powerful healing spell, the group Thyme is stung by the massive spider. He is now very badly wounded. Nyota calls forth a magma geyser that engulfs the greenish figure near the edge of the woods, while the others all continue to fight various foes.

Benik attacks the spider, while the wounded Thyme pulls forth the hand of fear and uses it on the spider, which, amazingly, leaps away. Unfortunately another spider leaps into the fray, attacking Benik this time. The rest of the party continues to fight, and Fasheen regains his feet in time to be hit by Nasir! At the back of the party, Nyota is held by a spell, while the others slay a few lizardmen.

Things are getting ugly all around, as at the rear of the party the held Nyota spots eight more lizardmen charging up the road behind the group. On the flanks most of the lizardmen are held or slain, and while Benik has inficted serious harm on his spider foe, he has also been poisoned, as has Thyme. At the front, Nasir falls to a critical blow, and is stunned.

Thyme manages to get off a lightning bolt that combines with pair of massive blows from Benik drop the second spider. At the front, Fasheen fumbles while Zeb actually hits his foe. At the rear the eight lizardmen charge past Nyota and begin to attack the first group of lizardmen. Apparently Sar'rasa's following hunters have arrived. Another fireball streaks from the woods, this time from the other side. It hits several of the lizardmen, both friendly and hostile. In the center, Benik kills Thyme's lizardman foe, but not before it inflicts damage on Thyme. Combined with the poison in his veins, Thyme falls from the air, DEAD!

At the front Bo finally casts a hold spell on the leader, who is beheaded instantly by Zeb. The rest of the lizardman forces, friendly and hostile, flee into the woods, and the party regroups.

The party takes stock and regroups. They have been seriously damaged by this encounter. Everyone is wounded, and most of their mounts have been slain. They load Thyme's body on one of the horses and set off down the road. According to their map there should be a Compact watchtower a short way ahead. As they travel Bo and Nasir heal as they can.

Indeed after a couple hours travel the group reaches the tower. As they make camp in the nearby clearing, Fasheen reports the attack to the tower commander. The Dwarf is clearly upset by the news and tells the group a war wagon will be coming through soon.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Bo decides to use the Eye and one of the raise dead scrolls the party recovered from Agim Zul to try and restore Thyme to life. The process works, but as before, Bo falls unconcious. With two unconcious and weakened party members the group elects to rest at least a day in the relative safety of the tower's shadow.

26th to the 29th of Rolanesh

The group spends several days resting. During their stay, two events of note happen. The first was the passage of a caravan headed north. Fasheen warned them of the lizardman encounter, and the caravan master was suitably grateful.

The second event was the arrival of an armored Dwarven war wagon, headed south. The wagon pulled up to the tower, and a dozen Dwarves dismounted and went inside. Later in the day they headed out southward again. The party thought about asking to join them in the journey south but realized they would not be able to keep up.

30th to the 33rd of Rolanesh

On the morning of the 30th the party decided to set out for Gap once again, despite the fact that Bo had still not regained conciousness. Bo is strapped to a horse and the party sets off, setting a relatively slow pace, as they are heavily laden due to their lack of mounts.

The next few days bring a change in the terrain. The jungle gives way to scrub and broken ground, and ahead the group sees the Zokaine mountains rising like stoney teeth on the horizon. The group makes about 35 miles over the next three days, and are well into the lower reaches of the Zokaines on the 33rd when they reach the gates of Silver Fork, a small mining community on the road.

The party welcomes the chance to sleep at an Inn and eat someone else's cooking. They are also very relieved when Bo finally wakes up late in the evening. The group checks out the town, and discovers that aside from a a small general store there isn't much there. Obviously Silver Fork is not really there to support road traffic.

34th to the 37th of Rolanesh

The party continues on their way southward. The going is slow, as the road has become much rougher and steeper, winding up and down the mountain passes. They average only eight or nine miles a day, and are very tired when night falls.

Late in the day on the 37th, the party spots a group of six giants heading towards the party from the south. The group fears a hostile encounter so they prepare for battle, but Fasheen decides to try and negotiate. After some fairly aggressive bartering by Father Bo, he offers the giants a 'magic' mirror and 100 gold for safe passage. The giants, stupid things after all, fall for the 'magic' mirror, and agree. The party leaves the bemused giants studying the mirror and continue along the road southward.

38th to the 39th of Rolanesh

On the morning of the 38th the wind turns to the south, and Fasheen and Nasir smile as the first hint of arid desert air reaches them. The group makes decent progress for two days, and are deep in the mountains at this point. Huge 12,000 foot plus peaks surround them, and they walk through narrow valleys and over rugged ridges.

40th of Rolanesh

The party spends a long day travelling down a winding valley. As day draws to a close two great peaks mark the end of the valley. As the group rounds the shoulder of the nearer peak, the valley narrows to a deep canyon, and ahead the party can see the massive walls of Gap spanning the rift.

Gap lies at the floor of a narrow valley, each end sealed by 120' tall stone walls of Dwarven construction. Legend says the walls were raised during the wars against the Night King long ago, and have stood against all foes. The valley itself contains the public portions of the city, while beneath the eastern peak lie the tunnels leading deep into the true Dwarven realms.

Luckily the party is on a peaceful journey, and they are admitted to Gap. They find an inn and settle down for a well deserved rest. They are surprised by how difficult it is to obtain supplies for their continuing journey, until Nasir notices that several of the merchants they've approached bear the seal of House Antagon, the merchant house of the former allied caravan master Sandor. Nasir, Bo and Thyme urge the party to seek out and make peace with the merchant house.

Eventually Fasheen managed to find the house's agent in Gap, and arranges a meeting. Thyme and Fasheen attend, apologize profusely for abandoning and insulting Sandor, then offer as compensation a beautiful ruby Thyme had stashed away for a rainy day. The agent urges Sandor to accept the compensation and he agrees. The pair depart, pleased to have smoothed over the rough waters.

41st of Rolanesh

The party spends the day reequipping themselves with mounts, food and gear for the long road home. Ume is still about 900 miles away over the Burning. Everyone buys new personal gear, takes baths, and enjoys their last visit to a city for quite a while. New mounts are easily obtained, and by nightfall the group feels they are ready to set out once again.

42nd to the 45th of Rolanesh

The party spends several days travelling southward into the true Burning. Fasheen and Nasir are happy to be in their native terrain once again, while Zeb and Nyota are uneasy away from the heavy jungle they are used to. The party makes good time for several days, reaching an Imperial way-station (no more than a stone structure with a well within). There is already a caravan at the waystation, headed north, and the two groups share the shade, and information the road ahead. The other caravan master reports the south-western road has become more dangerous, and that Orcs have been seen near the road regularly. Before departing Bo refills the well by magical means.

1st to the 4th of Quaso

The party spends four days travelling the south-east road (the branch that essentially follows the coastline to Ume). They make reasonable time, but on the evening of the 4th a massive sandworm surfaces and begins to attack the party's mounts. The group manages to slay the beast, but not before the creature slays two camels. The party continues onward.

5th to the 13th of Quaso

The party continues their travels, reaching another Imperial way-station on the 9th. It is unoccupied, but the party realize they are near the site of the old fortifications they first explored back in Sholis of this year (See session 1 for more). They spend the night remembering the adventure and mourning their fallen and missing comrades (the group lost Lendo here on their first adventure).

Late in the day on the 13th the group is attacked by a pack of wyverns, who seem more interested in attacking the camels than the party. After several lightning bolts and volleys of missile fire, the creatures are slain or driven off, but not before three more camels are slain.

14th to the 29th of Quaso

The party continues their journey. The road is surprisingly empty and quiet. No sign of caravans, no unfriendly encounters. Aside from a single night's stay at another Imperial way-station, the group has been sleeping under the stars in the quiet of the desert. Though the traffic northward is generally light this time of year (the great grain wains are even now gathering south of Ume to make the journey northward), those familiar with the desert are disturbed by the unending silence.

Late in the evening of the 29th the group tops the last rise before Ume. Below they see the walls of the city painted red by the setting sun. The city is still distant, but even from several miles away, the group can see a vast encampment sited south-west of the city.

An army stands at the gates, but are they friend or foe?