Sundered Lands 53

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 53
May 21, 2017

Session Title

Tuesday October 31

Pressing on With Ered in Tow
This far into the caves, you can no longer feel the heat from the burning ships out in the protected cove. The smoke is no longer visible either, though you catch the occasional whiff of smoke as the erratic breezes shift and turn.The caves have also grown quiet, though occasional screams and bar rattling can be heard, mostly echoing from behind, no doubt the savage prisoners still cages up. The young man, Ered, a teen from the Western Empire, follows along slowly with the group, though he keeps to himself and does not say much. It is clear he has seen much horror recently and is possibly in shock.

The way east turns into a veritable maze of passageways formed by numerous columns and walls of natural stone. To the right, heading to the southeast, a wider, main passage is visible. Sloshing water can be heard coming from all directions here. The smell of salt is strong in the air and those with more sensitive noses can detect the scent of the savage disease as well.
Silver adds “I vote for the widest passages…”
Valinya smirks and says, “I'm flexible ... obviously. Let's take the easiest path for now.”

Looking around at the rest of the group, Gorg speaks up "Are we still looking for more clues what's going on here, or do we just want to get this boy out of here? But then...what would we do with him if we get him out now? Should we just let him tag along while we check out the rest of this place?"
Silver says, “Well, we've come this far, it would be a shame to not learn anything here”

Seeker says "We need to get him out of here, and if there are any others that aren't 'infected,' then we need to help them too. I think I heard someone back that way."

Ered, not understanding much of the Eastern Tongue, merely stands shuffling his feet and staring at the ground. He pulls a tattered blanket that was found in the store room around his bare shoulders. Seeker says In Western, "Ered, we are going to look for other survivors. Stick close and we will take you away from here when we are done." Ered nods toward Seeker.
Seeker queries his companions, "So, shall we get going?"

Valinya agrees, “Yes.”

Gorg asks, "Seeker, which ways smells like the way to go?" Both ways smell the same to Seeker’s and Moonscar’s sensitive noses.

Seeker answers, “Sounded like it came from the east,” then heads off to the east. Gorg follows, then Silver and the rest. The narrow passageways in this area are tricky for the larger companions to move around in but it is manageable. Fighting in this area would be very difficult. Moonscar shrugs and follows.  Ered follows as well.

As Seeker moves forward, he finally passes the maze-like area and sees an open passage ahead. The sand is considerably disturbed by countless footprints. A smashed and demolished door lies in the sand near a door sized passage to the south and the passage continues on past that. From the rear of the group, Arn calls up in a hushed, yet forceful voice. "Hey all, I see someone back here. Down this side passage, laying on the ground. Still moving though. Seeker calls back, "Okay, you and Brother check it out Val, stick close to Ered" Moonscar nods and sniff the airs.

Gorg gives Moonscar the lantern when the Druid realizes that the side passage that Arn can see down is completely pitch black to him. Having a helmet that allows one to see in the dark must be nice. Moonscar says thanks. Gorg reaches into his pack and pulls out a snack. A dead bunny.

Lying on the Beach
Moonscar, Arn and Sings to Moon move off to the south east to look into something that Arn had noticed.

The sound of sloshing water fills this damp cavern. The eastern half of the cave consists of a large, frothy tide pool, its depths thick with red seaweed and its surface roiling with the surge of the sea. Several narrow fissures in the ceiling seem to lead up and out through the cliff face to the south, allowing a brisk breeze to whip through the chamber.

In the far corner of the room, the body of a woman can be seen slumped along the ground, her legs dangling in the water of the tide pool. She stirs and moans, reaching her arm out, weakly trying to grab onto the floor in an attempt to pull herself forward.

Moonscar sniffs as he approaches slowly and notes that the stench of the disease and seawater are strong in this area.
She calls out weakly, “Is that you, my love? Vanthus, where are you? I can’t, I can’t see you. I knew you wouldn’t leave me….” her voice trails off as the crash of the tidal pool drowns it out.
Sings to Moon approaches the waterline well away from this waterlogged woman.
Moonscar mutters Danzi profanity then speaks in Dwarven to Arn - “I don't think this is going to go well any way it turns” Arn shakes his head and grunts. “Which of our faces do you think will be the least scary?”

Arn looks at Moonscar with is black, demon faced helm. "Well I'm not taking this off, so probably me. Haha!" Arn speaks again, muffled from inside of the helmet. "I'm done with talking here though. You can talk to her or I can smash her brains in. I mean, you know, if she's one of the bad guys, that is."

Moonscar jokes, “Oh hell, might as well just shine the light up from under our chins! We're trying to find Vanthus too, ya know”
The woman drags herself forward a few feet, her wet hair dragging through the sand. "Vanthus, that is you! I love you so my dear, Don't leave me, I'm so hungry... please ... feed me..." She raises her head and looks at Moonscar. Sings to Moon begins barking loudly at her and pawing at the sand.
Moonscar tries to get her scent more clearly and finds she smells like seawater and the savage disease. Moonscar shifts his stance, for ready retreat

Gruesome Aftermath
Just a few moments after the party has split up, the sounds of Sings to Moon barking wildly fill the corridor but it stops almost as quickly as it started. Seeker approaches the battered door, the others follow closely. Up ahead, around the next corner, past the doorway to the right, he can see faint light shining from around the corner.

Peeking around the corner into this first area, a small but lavishly appointed chamber can be seen. This small cavern has been outfitted with the finest in stolen furniture. Thick rugs cover the floor and fine silk tapestries and masterful seascape paintings hang from the walls, giving the place an almost regal feel. A narrow, four-poster bed dominates the space and an oak writing desk is tucked in at its end. Alas, everything in this chamber has been ruined, spattered and stained with gore and deeply scarred by battle. A recently skinned skeletal body dressed in the ruins of studded leather lies in a red heap at the foot of the bed. Five dark, oozing puddles lie about the room, the tell-tale marks that something infected with the Savage Fever died here recently.
Seeker sticks his head into the lavishly appointed room and calls out "Hello?" With no light source now, Gorg follows him. Seeing no living folk, Seeker moves past the lavish room to the next. Ered shudders and looks away as he passes the room with the skinned body.

The floor of this next chamber slopes downward to the southeast, finally ending in a large pool. The waters seem to be surging from a submerged passageway leading to the southwest. A hammock strung between two stalagmites sways gently to the south, just out over the water..
Dark puddles of the familiar black ooze covers this entire area. The only area not completely covered with this black substance is a small area at the far end of the room, near the beach. A body of a Human female lays in this patch, a bladed rapier on the ground next to her. This figure, a Human female, does not appear to show the advanced symptoms of the savage fever. Not yet, at least. Seeker searches the room for any survivors and finds none. The dead woman in the corner, near the edge of the water, is well equipped and does not show any signs of the Savage Fever, but she is most definitely dead, though not long dead.

Vanthus’s Ex-Girlfriend
The woman looking for Vanthus lunges forward, reaching out with blackened, clawed hands.
The Kankoran exclaims, “Oh Grandma, what big teeth you have!” as he dodges backward.
Moonscar knows that he has heard the name of one of Vanthus's girlfriends that he came here with, but his addled brain cannot seem to find the name! The waterlogged woman swings at Moonscar's legs with a sharp claws and is about to score a hit!

Moonscar drops the lantern to the sand as he dodges backward and readies Sunstroke. Arn grunts and steps up, letting his new axe fly. Arn throws at the woman's head with his axe and strikes her true. Arn's new axe, Karrzark Cuttrumm, smashes into this woman's head, the blade splits her head in two, taking the left half clean off. She falls to the ground spasming. No sooner does she hit the ground, she is propelled back up in a chaotic attack at Moonscar!
Moonscar curses,  “Aww, dammit! Stay Down!”

The lunging degenerate closes in on Moonscar’s legs, trampling the lantern in the process, threatening to knock it over or break it. Moonscar manages to keep the dying woman at bay. She falls to the ground and immediately, like all others of her ilk, begins breaking down into a spray and puddle of acid. Arn and Moonscar seem to have forgotten this in their brain addled state and are both splashed with acid.
“Aww, smeg!” Moonscar complains and runs toward the water’s edge. The sloshing of the sea waves is gentle and rhythmic, echoing softly off the stone walls. Moonscar finds the water is cold and deep here, there is a swift drop off and the sloshing current tries to drag him under. The acid covered Druid tries to wash off quickly and calls to Arn to do the same.The Kankoran druid finds himself in deeper water than he expected. The salty waves roll up over him and drag him down. Sings to Moon moves up to the shoreline and begins pawing the rocks quietly, not sure what is going on.

After a few desperate moments, Moonscar’s head pokes out of the frothing tide pool. He takes a quick takes a deep breath and gets sucked back under water! Moonscar tries surfacing but ends up getting slammed face first into an unseen rock in the nearly pitch black water! Moonscar thinks he can hear Arn yelling but cannot make out anything the Dwarf is saying with all this water in his ears. For a moment, he thinks he glimpses his old friend, Moon, standing over him, beckoning with outstretched hands. “Come with me, come home,” Moon seems to say, though Moonscar doesn’t really hear the words as much as feel them.

As Moonscar struggles in the dangerous tidepool, something begins poking him from various directions.It feels like small fish or water creatures slamming into him from different directions, though it is too dark to see what it is.

Fishing Moonscar Out
Silver pokes about the room, making sure everything is actually dead. Silver does not find anything alive. Just a bunch of disgusting and oozing puddles where formerly diseased degenerates once died around a Human female that is not infected. Silver pokes her head in the water to look around there too. Silver sees that the water is churning and moving quite a bit, It drops off quickly away from the shoreline and the movement in the water prevents too much visibility.

Seeker searches the body of the uninfected female. Seeker sees a nice quality edged rapier near her. She has 4 empty dagger sheaths along her side. She is wearing fine quality leather armor, finely tailored to her curvy figure and is wearing nice quality knee high boots. All of her clothes, armor and boots have been severely damaged. She is covered with many many wounds, inflicted by weapons and clawed hands alike. Much of her exposed skin is burned by acid, probably caused by the spray that happens when the savage creatures die. She is wearing some fancy, potentially valuable earrings and necklace. The earrings are in the shape of mariliths, 6 armed snake demon woman and the necklace is jade with a large sharks tooth at its center. Seeker collects the rapier and jewelry, closing her eyes and folding her hands across her chest. Seeker gathers up the jewelry and sword from the dead woman.

From somewhere in the distance, everyone hears Arn yelling "Dammit! I lost Brother! That crazy son of a bitch jumped into the water!!!" Sings to Moon is barking wildly again!

Silver looks around trying to figure out which way Arn's voice came from. “Hmm, maybe I could look around in the water, but I might have problems with the currents,” the Dragon muses outloud. Seeker rushes back to where he last saw Arn and Brother. Silver follows Seeker and Valinya follows Silver. Gorg and Ered trail behind.

Everyone rushes out to try to find Arn and Moonscar. After just a few moments, everyone arrives. The sound of sloshing water fills this damp cavern. The eastern half of the cave consists of a large, frothy tide pool, its depths thick with red seaweed and its surface roiling with the surge of the sea. Several narrow fissures in the ceiling seem to lead up and out through the cliff face to the south, allowing a brisk breeze to whip through the chamber. Arn and Sings to Moon are leaning over the edge. Arn is thrusting Moonscar's staff into the water. Moonscar is nowhere to be seen
Valinya shouts, “Is everything OK?” as she moves closer to the water to see.
Arn says "No, dammit! That brain addled fox jumped into the water after getting sprayed by that thing over there!" Silver rushes up to the shoreline.  Arn says "Think it was one of Vanthus’s girlfriends in the grips of that Savage Fever we been seeing." Valinya looks into the water to see if she can see her Brother but the frothy foam of the constantly moving tide pool and the lack of light make it hard to see anything in the water.

As everyone approaches the shoreline, the Kankoran's head pops up from the foamy waves. He takes a deep breath and manages to stay above water this time. Arn continues poking the staff at his drowning friend. The wet druid grabs his staff and Arn hauls him out. Both flop down on the wet, sandy beach near the black puddle that was once one of Vanthus Vanderboren's love interests.

Moonscar spits out a mouthful of water and curses, “Bloody burning hell smeg!!! Something groped me in the water. I just feel, violated. I still don't feel clean!”

Arn says "You numbskull. That was me trying to get yer stick to ya to pull ya out." The Dwarf pauses, then continues, "Well, maybe. I was doing that, I can't say there werent somethin else out there too.."

Moonscar shudders, “No. it had naughty tentacles.”

Arn says "Why in the hells dint ya just do the doggy paddle?"
Moonscar explains, “undertow is insane there, then I hit my head on something.”

Valinya speaks in her motherly tone, “I say avoidance is the best water policy. We breathe air”
Seeker snorts, “We done here then? Hopefully we find something useful soon.  There does not appear to be anything of interest here on this beach.”
Arn points to a black spot on the sand, “That horribly ugly woman that's now a black smear thought we were Vanthus. She said she love us, me, him, i mean.”

Silver jokes,  “Well... not anymore.”

Arn shakes his head and says "Naaa, Love is forever. Like a stone. Even broken, it still lasts."

Valinya asks, “So do we know anything new about Vanthus?”

Moonscar chuckles, “Vanthus is really bad luck for his girlfriends. No, she was too far gone.”
Seeker says, “I'll remember that if he tries to sweet-talk me” Seeker thinks about where else the group needs to search while here in Kraken's Cove. He knows that he has not gone into the room where the strange mental attack was happening. He has not gone out to what Valinya described as the "kitchen" and could be reached by 2 tunnels from the first main room. Other than that, there does not seem to be any further unexplored areas.

Valinya says, “There must be a clue somewhere here.”

Questioning Ered More
Seeker turns to the newcomer, speaking to him in the tongue of the West, "Hey, Ered. Did you ever hear the name Vanthus around here?"

Ered says (in Western) “Yes, I heard this name. Last night. There was much cursing and calling this name. I believe he is the one that caused this horrible curse on everyone." Visibly upset at talking about the events of the previous night, he falls to the ground and starts crying. "Why not me? Why?"

Valinya asks, “Have you seen him here and if so when? Did you hear of him leaving?”

Ered shakes his head as Seeker translates Valinya's question. but he does not stop crying long enough to speak.
Seeker says in Western, "Boy, you survive because you were stronger than they were. You survived because you deserved to. We wish to catch this villain and bring justice to him. Can you think of anything you heard that could aid us?"
Ered says in Western, between whimpers “No, I am sorry. I was brought here several days ago and put in that cage. I slept and meditated as much as I could to keep all of this away from me. I armored my mind with Dragon-scales. I did not want to hear what they were saying so I did not listen."

Valinya sighs. “We may have to resort to magic”
Ered smiles briefly wiping the tears, dirt and sand from his face. "Thank you for releasing me. I owe you a debt." He then stands up and looks at Silver. He approaches slowly with one hand outstretched. "May I? May I touch your scales, oh mighty Dragon?"

Seeker translates Ered's request for Silver.

Valinya interjects, “Wait ... Seeker, ask him what was said that made him think the others blamed him for the curse.”

Silver blinks at Ered and asks "Why?"

Ered seems to understand this word in Eastern. He kneels down in the sand near Silver with his hand out, though not touching and with his head down, he begins reciting what sounds like a prayer or mantra or something. Seeker translates it as "The Dragon who gives breath, who gives strength, whose command all the bright and dark gods revere, whose shadow is immortality, whose breath is death"

Silver smiles a toothy grin, “I think I might like this guy…” Silver nods to Ered, and watches him closely.  He continues, keeping his head down. Seeker translates more "May the dragon not forget us, the begetter of the worlds, or the righteous, or the creator of heavens, bright and mighty waters" He stands again, blushing and steps away from Silver. "Sorry. I sorry you" he says in broken Eastern.

He looks to Seeker and explains that Silver looks just like images he has seen of the mighty Kym-nark-mar, the God-Dragon and creator of the universe. At this translation, Silver seems to arch her neck a bit more… then says, “Seeker, let him know I don't bear him any ill will. I am rather interested in Kym-nark-mar though.” Silver thinks about how "Kym-nark-mar" might translate into Draconic... Everyone but Silver is familiar with the name Kym-nark-mar as the chief dragon god of the Church of Dragonwright. It is one of the traditional yet not widely practiced religions of the Palladium world. Seeker translates all that Ered shares.

Ered seems to be relaxing a bit and coming more to his senses. He speaks to Seeker "Some hours ago, I know not how many, when the green descended on us all, there was shouting and cursing of this man Vanthus. I heard a woman's voice saying she would make him pay. Him and his family would pay, she vowed. I think he may have somehow brought this about, but I don't know how. He may have also stolen a ship as well, I think I heard them saying that as well. Ered says "You have to understand, there was much screaming and the others in the cages... the others in MY cage, were afflicted by this horrible rage. They changed, they tried to kill me."
Silver speaks in Draconic, “Do you speak this tongue?” Ered smiles at Silver and replies in a language no one else can understand. "Of course I speak the language of Dragons. It is only right that one who serves Dragonwright speaks the sacred and holy language of Dragons"
Valinya concludes, “So it seems that this Vanthus may have eluded us yet again. Curses!”

Moonscar shouts, “he's headed upriver!” The Druid starts to feel that his brain is straightening out a bit and recalls the vision he saw through his ritual from the night before of their enemy going north across the Blood Bay and to the mouth of a river there.

Arn sneezes and says, "Hmmm, well that feels better now," and smiles.

Valinya muses, “Upriver? Not out to sea? Maybe we have a chance then”

Moonscar reminds her, “I've been saying since we got up this morning that he bugged out and went north to the river”
Valinya smiles, “I know, Brother, but it's a relief to have your vision confirmed.”

Silver continues his private conversation with Ered in Draconic, “Interesting. I have never met servants of the Dragonwright before. I keep my nature hidden in human settlements. It tends to be troublesome otherwise.”

Ered speaks to Silver in Draconic again, "Oh no, that is such a shame. You should never have to hid your majesty from anyone. You are a Dragon. You are divine and wonderful. Strong and terrible. All should respect and fear you!"

Moonscar and the others continue to converse, “the only question is - where's the Shadow Pearl - with him or here? I don't like the headache circle back there”

Silver turns back to her companions, "It appears I can speak with Ered as well."

Moonscar continues, “When we get someplace safe I should give him a little gift. I imagine he would find it particularly enlightening,” he says while pointing his nose at Ered.

Valinya says, “I'm guessing the pearl is with Vanthus. I didn't see it here and can't imagine it being left behind”

Moonscar says, “If the zone of destruction is big enough, here's as good as anywhere else.”

Silver turns back to his conversation with Ered in Draconic, “I am still young, and not all humans share your view. I prefer not to kill them due to their own shortsightedness if I can help it.”

Arn says "Ahh, that headache circle. Yea, that sucked. It felt like it was smashing my brain every second I was in there. It didn't stop until i got out to the prison area and found Ered here."

Valinya asks, “There must be something one can do to avoid it ... obviously someone was immune.”

Arn says "Must be some strange powerful mind magic, cause you know this brain is armor plated!"

Moonscar looks at Valinya with his little fox eyes,  “speaking of headaches - hey Sis, could you sing Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty again? I really took a beating between the acid shower and the rip-tide bath”

Valinya sings a soft, warm melody over Moonscar and heals him.
Moonscar asks, “Hmm, Uncle you may have hit on something. Brother - could you ask him to describe the dragon scale meditation?”

Seeker translates for Moonscar and Ered explains that he meditates and basically just recites certain lines from the book of Dragonwright, prayers and such. It helps clear his mind and keeps him from distractions.

Moonscar asks, “And you did this while everyone else was going crazy?” Ered confirms this. He says he has pretty much been doing this for several weeks straight, since he was captured.
Moonscar continues, “and when they attacked you in the cage?” After translation, Ered replies (through Seeker) "Yes, they tried to kill me. I defended myself as I had to." He holds out his hands in fists. They are bruised and cut and stained dark from dirt... or blood. Moonscar looks at them and nods. “I wonder if the meditation has something to do with not getting infected somehow. Anyway, it might be a way to not get a headache”

Ered turns to Seeker. "Do you have any food, I am starving. I have not eaten much in several days since arriving at this place."

Seeker shakes his head. "I did not bring food today. We have some on our ship, which we will return to soon. There we can feed you."

Ered replies in accented Eastern, "Thank you."

Seeker responds, "You're welcome"

Cast of Characters: 

Arne J plays Seeker, a teenage Wolfen Warlord
Stephen K plays Valinya, an Elven Wildsong Mage
Mike B plays Arn, a surly Dwarven Warrior
Amergin O'K plays Moonscar, the esoteric Kankoran Druid
Daniel W plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon
Mike W plays Gorgukk Torgnaz, an Ogre sailor and mauler
and Jason GURPS as the GM

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