Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 79
|Dwarf level 3
|A dwarf hailing from Western Wastes.
|Dwarf level 2
|Portly, bald, red bearded, with an epic nose. On a mission to have a drink in every settlement in Wilderlands.
|Elf level 1
|A dangerous looking elf.
|Elf level 3
|Thin and balding elf whom also happens to be Rashomon's friend.
|Hagar the Hewer
|Dwarf level 1
|Imagine Conan as dwarf.
|Tarkus the Promising
|Cleric level 2
|Follower of Bachontoi, God of Red Wisdom.
|Beorg the Gravedigger
|Fighter level 1
|Inspired to adventure after burying several adventurers.
|Fighter level 3
|A tall, supple hunter adorned with bones and horns of his prey.
|Elf level 2
|An always alert owl masquerading as an elf.
With just a few days left before end of the year, adventurers decided to recuperate, plan, and make contacts with influential people in Hara.
There was great commotion in the streets—hawkers and emissaries of the Invincible Overlord himself were aggressively recruiting anyone whom can hold a sword or spear.
“Travel the Wilderlands!”
“Invincible Overlord wants YOU!”
They'd yell again and again and again. Every lowly commoner was offered a gold piece sign-up bonus, while experienced adventurers were offered up to a hundred gold pieces.
Local jeweller finally finished the gold necklace Derennan had commissioned. It was fine but nowhere near as fine as the jeweller said it would be. Either way, the party had another commission for him—a crown fit for a dim witted giant.
Derennan's plan of approaching the Imrael merchant family—oldest and most affluent in Hara—finally worked. He was joined by Nolmbork, Llyfed, Tarkus, and Oberon. Everybody tidied up, and strode up to Imrael's mansion overlooking the river.
Upon presenting their gift—a gold necklace with large amethyst—and request to Kennunn the Quiet, they were granted audience with Amulias Imrael himself.
The meeting was cordial, with the party offering their services. Amulias was professional and distant, for reasons Derennan discovered later. Cadmias the Wise, vizier of the Imrael family, was advocating against getting involved with the adventurers, for he had seen firsthand how incompetent they are.
“One of them wilfully took a blade named Doomed! And now he is dead!”
Llyfed rebuked him. Upon sharing they've been clearing up an old dungeon where a drug called Red Dragon was produced, Amulias said that Myrna Blaxter, the woman who sent them there, is a bit crazy. She's been talking about this for years, but no one ever found anything. He was surprised to learn there were beastmen there, though.
The party also learned that Invincible Overlord was not recruiting just commoners and freelancers. All affluent families must send their first-born as well. In addition, the rumour has it that Haermond II, Hara's castellan and general of forces, will take the offer as well.
If that is true, then one could reasonably expect a power vacuum that might lead to internal strife and unrest. Queen Earani Cor is primarily backed by Haermond II and Imrael family.
Upon leaving the mansion, Melell Imrael confided in Derennan that his father is distraught because his only living son—himself—is being sent to the City State of the Invincible Overlord.
“Please forgive my father. He is a good man, and would stand to benefit from your services. His bad mood is due to me leaving soon. Damell, my younger brother, died very young. Tibon, my older brother, went missing several years ago. He is only worried that I too will perish.”
“Tell me more about your missing brother. Maybe we could help.”
“Truth to be told, I don't know that much. All I know is that he was supposed to be married to the daughter of another wealthy merchant. He went to their estate and never returned. My father sent several messengers, but none ever returned. Kennunn is the only one who came back alive and whatever he told my father was sufficient for him to stop looking.”
“Do you know where did your brother go missing? Maybe we could look into it?”
Melell promised that he'd investigate and let him know before he leaves Hara.
Party then spent two days tracking and snooping on the scribe's son which demonstrated symptoms of Red Dragon abuse: fiery belching. Besides being a loser and alcoholic who hung out with other do-no-gooders, the boy seemed innocent. Having run of patience, the party abducted the boy from his drinking place—an abandoned warehouse at the docks—and took him to their townhouse for gentle interrogation.
What they learned next shocked them.
Derennan let out a nervous laugh.
Boy has been belching like this ever since he was a little kid. He doesn't know why. And the best part? Myrna is his mother.
Adventurers discussed what the meaning of all of this could be. Is Myrna dealing Red Dragon herself? Is she just delusional? Was she taking drug whilst pregnant and now went mad with grief? Is the boy a polymorphed Red Dragon that is pulling their leg? Could the game be rigged so? Many, many ideas were discussed.
Ultimately, a decision has been made to return to the Den to get out Brent Goose. But for that they have to wait for the crown to be finished first. Hence they paid the jeweller for the rush order. The artisan promised them to be done by the end of Thawmist—the first month of the year.
Melell paid them a visit on the last day of the year.
“My father said that Kennunn will share all the details of Tibon's last known whereabouts if you prove yourself. We have reliable information about Klekless Racoba's hiding place. If you bring his head you will demonstrate your capabilities. Be warned though for he is not alone. Apparently he has a small, but loyal, force. Godspeed!”
And so did end the year of 4433.
Everyone in Hara celebrated for five days straight, cleansing the last year whilst welcoming the next year. It is a well known fact that your annual fortunes are determined by this ritual. Everyone in Wilderlands recognises the cosmic importance of these five days.
Thawmist 3rd, Earthday
“Right there, that ruined stone tower.”
Whilst waiting for the crown to be finished, the party of Derennan, Nolmbork, Llyfed, Tarkus, and Oberon decided to return to the dungeon underneath the ruined tower south-west from Hara. The same one where they had found silver balls that made them rich.
In an hour and a half of delving they managed to trigger a dart trap that hit two of them, flee from a large snake, ignore secret doors, and find a corridor that reeks of death.
In the latter one they found a portion of the wall that had nine circles in a circle. One of them turned out to be a button which opens a passage nearby. It led into a thirty by thirty feet completely empty chamber with low ceiling.
After checking for traps the party crossed the room to the east, where another doors were. They opened into another similarly sized chamber. But this one was not barren.
A two feet tall pillar of hexagonal cross-section was in the middle of the room. On top of it was a round depression, matching the size of silver spheres they had found elsewhere in this dungeon.
In the south-east corner of the room was an elevated platform made from unknown material. Weird symbols were carved along the edges.
What will the party do next?
Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.
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