Signs and Portents

Session: 11/19/97


Kathy - Vochma

Micah - Cardhu

Mark - Corlis

Ben - Drew

Liz - Quera

Joe - Moth

Slavers revisited - The Great Waste - Shastan Barbarians - A Meeting with the Duke

Windsday, Harmony Week, Fire Season

After spending a considerable amount of time studying the tracks and signs where the Overmen were taken, we decided to pursue them for at least a while to see if we could uncover their fate. The tracks led eastward, towards the Great Waste. Since we appeared to be following a large group (5-10 Morakanth, 20 or more goblins, and 10 or more ogres), we used caution as we followed. A couple hours later, as we wound our way out of the Needles, we crossed a road, running NNE and SE. At the point we crossed, we discovered a circle of standing stones, apparently used to display slaves, and numerous horse tracks and signs of passage. Our group appears to have skirted this area however, making their way out into the wastes to the east. We continued our pursuit, apparently gaining on those we followed.

Towards evening, Drew spotted the Spike far to the north. Strange that he could see this landmark from so far away. It must truly be huge. One day perhaps we'll see.

That evening, after supper, Tarkis strolled into camp in his usual nonchalant manner. He had news to share, and a number of items as well. Apparently he and his organization -- he hinted this was the either the White Wanderers or the Balance Cult, both now supposedly defunct and part of the Brothers of Balance -- had heard how we had destroyed the threat of Blasted Mountain, and had prepared some rewards for us, along with some further tasks. The list never ends!

He also passed on information concerning Gar, stating that he served the Faceless Lord (a greater demon lord who's name he would not speak, but which he wrote as "Jubilex"). He also stated that he would be gone for some time, and that if we were in the area to look him up at the Temple of Winds in Lei Taibor. He then took his leave by means of a strange bluish doorway he summoned, leaving us to ponder his words and our path.

Fireday, Harmony Week, Fire Season

After a quiet night in the scrub and scraggle of the Waste, we continued our journey, surrounded by an unnatural fog. During the night we decided to press onward for half a day to see if we could catch the group in front of us. We were concerned about our time constraints, as we were to meet the Duke in 3 days, and the distance back was growing greater each day.

As we walked, we noticed the fog surrounding us was blowing in the wrong direction, eastward, into the wind. Later in the morning we topped a short rise and saw the corpses of numerous ogres and goblins scattered across the hillside before us. Each had been completely drained of blood. Truly a dangerous place this Waste. Studying the trail leading away from the scene, we noticed the Morakanth and our Overmen friends are all that remain. Moth also thought the Morakanth were wounded, as several appeared to be limping. We pressed onward with renewed vigor, hoping to catch the things before they got too much further.

An hour later, no more, and we found them. Seven of the creatures, and three Overmen (who were acting very strangely). We attacked at once, hoping to surprise them. Alas it was not to be! Using foul magic, they managed to charm Moth, Drew, and Vochma. Luckily Misha, Quera, and Corlis managed to shake off the effects of the enchantment and engage the things in combat. Meanwhile Cardhu attempted to restore Moth to his normal mind by striking him. A mistake we learned, as Moth instantly attacked Cardhu. Cardhu used the power of his strange amulet, and transported both he and Moth to the Shadow Plane, where Moth proceeded to pulverize Cardhu. Meanwhile back in the real world, we managed to seriously wound several of the Morakanth, and seeing their leader fall, they called upon some strange magic and all vanished, probably just as well, as all of us were sorely wounded.

[somewhere out there we discovered a large slate engraved with what we took to be a demon's seal. We destroyed the foul thing.]

Once the Morakanth fled, all our party were restored to their normal minds, but the Overmen were left in a strange state, where they had only the minds of animals. We elected to return to town with the Overmen in tow. Hopefully someone in town can aid them, as none of Drew's healing arts had any effect.

Towards evening, we once again reach the trade road on the Waste side of Veldman's Needles. We note a camp of a few dozen large reddish tents set up near the road's edge. We approached the camp, hoping for a safe night's lodging. After some initial uncomfortable moments, an old woman came out, and seeing the symbol of Lopnel on Corlis' armor, allowed us to stay. Conversation revealed that these were the Sieggar, Shastan barbarians, the cursed followers of Lopnel. After much conversation, the old woman related to us the Caldera's Saga. It reads:

Caldera's Saga A vile land in the Void's dark hand. The evil purged by valiant band. The lowest of the low is near is eldritch, evil Arendur. Wheels in wheels. Sins abound. The Gate to Hell in this foul town. Shaker of Mountains, Earthfire's home. It's sin for sin and bone for bone. Liquid rock did flow and burn. Each evil extinguished in its turn. The valley sealed by Tien and sphere. The Hunger cowered in unnatural fear. Life was strong, but none trapped lived. Yet, Death was not theirs to give. The Hunger did their sins forgive. For precious gold, the slaves did come. Through bony curtains, their souls were won. Undead within and life without. The legions surged but Tien's spell did rout. Vile snakes from man's first home break ancient spells on bright, bleached bones. The undead a torrent and some do roam. The saviors come from Western Land. Elf and warrior, cloth and wand, and thieves abound in holy band. Together fight, and life is won in dark embrace beneath the sand. Back to back and hand in hand, within the mountain fights the band. Arendur lives again in eldritch land. To vile heart strike the saviors' hands. A sword awaits the brave of heart. It bears the hawk, dread Lopnel's mark. Mortals play in godling games. Their prize is everlasting fame. A god of Earth, machine and magic Will give the party something tragic. The seed of mountain in human hands. To darkness' heart goes our light band. The peak now burrows through sifting sand. The Lichlord's council makes desperate stand. The darkness purged from sacred land!

OOPS. Looks like the group is a perfect fit for those supposed to destroy the Caldera.

Seeing Corlis was a true follower of Lopnel, the old woman offered to show him the shrine. He agreed, and the rest of the party tagged along. Inside the shrine was a great red war hawk, living symbol of Lopnel. Unfortunately Moth attempted to free the bird, causing the holy woman to fall unconscious from the shock of someone defiling her shrine. We were able to restrain Moth, but not before the old woman died from the shock [YES - MOTH KILLED THE INNOCENT OLD HOLY WOMAN! - BASTARD!]

Luckily the tribe viewed this as the chosen ones' taking granny to Lopnel, and we weren't slain out of hand. We then spent a few hours in conversation with Luan and Suma, the descendants of the old woman and now the keepers of the faith. They told us quite a bit about the Waste, notably that there are ogres, Morakanth, dragon-newts and dwarves near Arendur. There are also slith around, particularly near the southern end of the trade route. Strangely, they're accompanied by men in purple robes (those damn Brothers again). She also pointed out Lopnel's star - which lies at the end of the constellation known as "The Sword". She told us of the coming conjunction again - Storm season, Movement week, Clayday. Conversation with the tribe's leader revealed a series of stone plinths that lead across the desert to the Caldera.

The tribesmen told us also that their was no known way to aid the Overmen, and that their minds were lost forever.

After much conversation, the party collapsed into sleep, secure in the tents of the Sieggar.

Wildday, Harmony Week, Fire Season

After attending the funeral for the old woman -- they burn their dead, make bread with the ashes, and eat the bread -- we set out towards Kernan and home, Overmen again in tow. Even though the Sieggar told us there was no way to help them, we decided we could not abandon them. We spend the rest of the day traveling at a brisk pace.

Godday, Harmony Week, Fire Season

A day of brisk travel.

Freezeday, Harmony Week, Fire Season

We arrived back in Kernan this day, just in time to meet with the Duke. We leave the Overmen with the healers (who seem befuddled by their current mindless state), and let the tanner know her friends are back, but not back (it turns out that no one had a clue about how to heal the Overmen, and all our efforts were for naught).

The Duke was quite pleased with our progress, and gifted us with horses and tack for all our efforts. He also granted us a season and a half to take care of the issues before us before we turned our attentions south.

We need to report back to the Duke by Freezeday, Disorder week, Dark season.

We shared information about Happy Valley and the avatar that is supposedly living there. The Duke mentioned that a wizard living at the north edge of Happy Valley had a golem escape, and that our allies in the Blasted Mountain adventures were going to go south and find it.

We updated the Duke on all our recent history, and asked the group (Rayward, Herernavi, and Walwyn were all present) about anything they knew that might shed some light on the subject. Rayward shared the following poem about the Moon Pools:

Riddle of the Moon Pools Annilla was the first to fly. Blue and light and secret wild. The Red One was the next to ride. She sought to shine. She did not hide. Pools built for lunar ways. Pools built in moons' sweet ray. Five were wrought in various lay. In foul Fess the first did fill. In Annilla's shadow the second chilled. Five and two and one hundred fold the third lies in this island home. The fourth in Hawkish temple found, the pool itself - deep underground. The fifth within the sacred grove from where the Tree of Life was stole. Round and wet and full of light. When moonbeams touch the surface right Stairs take the viewer out of sight. Beware what you face by force of might. Your future could be eternal night. party

We also learned that Haldric the King was a childhood friend of the Duke, but changed over time, torturing pets and becoming cruel. Apparently Haldric was favored by both the Overlord and Mung.

We heard a bit about Prax, the country lying between Kernan and Farpoint, a place we may need to travel. It is ruled by a number of lawful religious orders, including some of the following: Orlanth (Lightbringers?), the Stormbull (It is rumored that the Sieggar are followers of the Stormbull).

[The session ended here].

Session summary:

The party has (not including items distributed):

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