Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 27
|Brawley||Dwarf level 1||Stocky, baldy, scimitar-wielding sea knave.|
|Mano Stern||Cleric level 1||A dwarfish follower of Mesha, the Bringer of the Seasons. Blessed with almost supernatural ability to detect wickedness; cursed with a limp and clumsiness.|
|Norwell||Thief level 1||A finely dressed slim fellow of few words. Carries the scar of betrayal.|
Mano Stern's report linked at the end of the post.
Warmshade 8th, Earthday
Gods weave the strands of destiny as they please; and what is pleasure to them rarely makes sense to the mortals of Wilderlands.
A dwarf pirate left for dead on an island whom managed to survive on a diet of coconuts and rats.
A man of faith whose body fails him, seeking what he does not yet understand.
A thief hiding the wounds of double-crossing underneath noble's clothes.
Which deity brought the unlikely trio will never be know, but the trail left by them perhaps will become a story of legends.
It was a hot day without a trace of shade. They saw the massive eagle-like temple towering over the city way before they even reached the Gates of Antil. The guards greeted them with enthusiasm, despite some members sporting a rather dishevelled look. They recognised the symbols of Mesha—a snow-covered twig with vibrant sprouting leaves—and were in good mood due to bountiful yield they've had this year.
“Lads, I'm taking you to the finest establishment in Antil, and getting you drunk!” Brawley rumbled.
“That is a kind offer, but I am short on coin.” Mano replied in a humble manner. Norwell was happy his status was honoured—of course he should be taken only to the best of the best.
“Worry not! It's on me!” the dwarf insisted.
Of course, having set foot in Antil for the first time in his life, he had to ask the locals for instructions. And so they headed off to the Seven Vultures inn at the docks.
Three streets were bustling with life, from street urchins running in giggling gangs to sun-tanned paddlers selling their goods to muscle clerics of the Windgod engaging into wrestling matches.
This richness of life was so captivating that Norwell failed to notice a child-like figure until it bumped into him—and ran away with his coin purse and set of thieves tool he kept in a sack!
Mano Stern, shocked by such villainy in broad daylight, immediately pursued. Norwell followed. Brawley, dressed in plate, panted heavily far behind them, but followed none the less.
They ran after the child through narrow alley ways, leaving the chatter of life behind them. The houses here were so tight that barely three men could walk side by side. Pumped with adrenaline, the trio barely noticed the lack of life and unusual quietness about the place.
“There he went!”
Mano pointed at at ramshackle stone building sandwiched between two larger buildings. The wooden door were slammed shut, and there were no windows. It seemed to be a one story house. Once the dwarf caught up and rested, the party was ready to go in.
The doors revealed a staircase going down what seemed to be a cellar of the building. The sun barely penetrated into the building, revealing a wide sofa opposite the entrance. Lighting a torch they descended.
It was a musty room, quite wide. There was a door to the right of sofa, and a wooden chest and glass cabinet to the left of it. No child was in sight.
Mano stood in the centre of the room, providing valuable light. Norwell carefully inspected the doors, finding nothing, but picking up a heavy smell of rum emanating from behind. “Surely a trap!” paranoid Brawley muttered.
Glass cabinet intrigued the dwarf. Visual inspection revealed that it is suspiciously flush against the back wall. Applying some force to it led to yet another discovery—the cabinet rotates around single vertical axis, and opens up into another corridor.
Mano's torch barely illuminated it, revealing three doors alongside it: two on their left and one the right. Dwarf picked up on the shoddy construction of the whole place, and the fact that corridor actually slopes downward.
Arranging themselves in a single file rank, the party cautiously checked door by door. First to their left was stuck; second was locked; first to their right opened up.
It's been nearly three hours since they reached this point. Brawley was at the edge of his wits; Norwell was convinced that this is some sort of thieves den and they should get out as soon as possible; Mano was the only calm one.
Seeing nothing but three beds and two small round tables was enough to send the dwarf into the rage. He rushed in, yelling and cursing, stabbing each bed with unadulterated violence. A weak whimper was heard from the second bed.
“Show yerself, ye scum!”
Flipping the bed revealed a freshly perished child-sized figure lying on its belly, coin purse and thieves tools right next to it. Kicking it over made others exhale a sigh of relief—it was a nasty goblin, not one of the street urchins. But the dwarf wasn't finished yet. He cut off its head and kicked it around the room.
“What do ye think about dis, cleric!”
“The seasons come and go, such is the cycle of life.”
Mano Stern was not to be disturbed easily.
The room had little else to offer. But the locked doors still beckoned them. Although they've proven themselves to be too much of a challenge to Norwell's lockpicking skills, combined strength of Mano and Brawley was enough to knock them open.
Another two small beds, a wooden chest, and a small roundtable with weird looking lamp sitting on top of it. The dwarf focused on chest, while the thief and cleric inspected the lamp.
The chest held a curious assortment of skulls, bones, and flagstones. Brawley moved them around with his scimitar, finding an iron stick on the bottom. He braved picking it up. It was indeed a rusty iron stick.
The lamp looked rather exquisite in its make. Although it seemed no precious metals were used to craft it, the shape was complex. It resembled a spiral, almost as if someone took a piece of wood and twisted it like a liquid in some unnatural shape, and then froze it. It felt both natural and alien at the same time. Mano put it in his backpack.
Having had enough of this rotted cellar, the party decided to head out.
It was still day, and the alley was still devoid of life. Well, mostly devoid of life. An ebony skinned figure dressed in plate mail was leaning against the building, whistling an unfamiliar tune. Its bald head was protected by a neat white turban.
“Oh, have you found anything of value inside?”
The trio was perplexed.
“You, yes, you!” the figure insisted, pointing figure to the party.
“Have you found... The magic sword?!”
“Oh come on, you surely found something? A little coin for me to keep my mouth shut?”
Last request hadn't landed to well with the dwarf, causing him to brandish his bloody sword at the extorting person. The man retreated back and whistled loudly. Three drunk men tried to run forward, but were constantly tripping and stopping to catch their breath. Brawley recognised his own ilk.
Few well thrown rocks and witty insults were all that was needed to send the pack fleeing and reeling.
“Where can we sell this lamp?”
It didn't take much asking around to learn about the Walled Bazaar, where all kind of wares trade hands. They reached it within an hour or so.
“Wait, I wanna rub it first... Cover me...”
Brawley gently held the lamp while Mano and Norwell stood guard. The retreated to one of the side alleys leading the famed marketplace. The dwarf felt warmth and could sense the craftsmanship required to make such a lamp. He rubbed it gently. No djinni came out of it. But something else happened. He noticed a faint flicker of light. Whenever he rubbed it for a minute or so, the lamp seemed to flicker for a second.
“Boys, this requires further investigation!”
The party proceeded to rent a room at King's Arms tavern. Without chronicling all the details of their bedroom shenanigans, it is sufficient to say they figured out how to rub the lamp the right way for it to emanate a bright white light.
One of the gods laughed.
Player Session Reports
- Mano Stern's diary entry
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