September 07, 2011

Campaign Report - The Price of Freedom - 04

The dark sun of Athas was set, and the chill of the night winds were sharp as blades. The group of adventurers had to chose between trying to cross the stony barrens with twenty or so ex-slaves that were wounded and terrified or to find shelter for the night and help the fragile to recover. They decided it was best to wait the morning to venture out of the ruined temple.

Errich, the halfling monk, made an improvised tomb for his fallen companion, Thalai, the half-giant barbarian. And went inside the temple with the rest of the group. The ritual that Szur performed had damage the structure of the temple and some of its parts were in risk of collapsing, but the ranger, ex-templar, managed to identify a safe passage and room for them to spend the night.

At this point the group decided to split and do different things. Eben, the battlemind, Arbitria, the shaman bard, and Abbadon, the ranger, decided to look further into the temple to make sure nothing would attack them during the night, while Errich, the monk and an ex-slave named Rain, a shifter ranger, stayed back to take care of the ex-slaves, treating their wounds and raising their spirit.

In a few minutes a high shriek was heard and from a room came the prisoner Delkun yelling "We are all going to die! Run!". The party was being attacked by desert vampire bats that were disturbed when Eben and the others entered their lair. Soon the battle reached both groups and now they were trying to defend the ex-slaves too. The sound of fight and smell of blood attracted the surviving giant desert scorpion that ran off before and now the group was in a hard fight. Delkun, the prisioner, managed to kill a good number of bats and the group defeated the creatures without anyone being severely hurt. After calming down the agitated ex-slaves the group decided to stay together and rest until the sun was rising.

The next day came, and the group decided to use the wagon to put the more seriously wounded people and the rest would go walking with them. They decided, this time, to take the longer but more easily trodden path, along an ancient dry river course. After almost half a day of travel, the group saw three elves on the top on an ruined bridge that crossed the dry river. They soon approached the party and said they were crossing their territory, and because of that the heroes would have to pay a tribute to their tribe, the Sand Walkers. Arbitria managed to talk to them to reduce the tribute and convinced them to accept a gem saying it was worth twice as much as it actually was worth. The elves then showed them a passage that they could use to avoid being ambushed by a band of silt runners that lived further along the dry river course.

The adventurers took almost a full day to reach the road leading away from Tyr, and were really tired, but they decided to continue walking to Tyr, making a forced march, even though some of the ex-slaves were asking to stop to rest. After a few hours, they could already see the ziggurat and the golden towers of Tyr, but the city was still hours away. Some of the ex-slaves were falling out of fatigue and it was time to look for shelter from the cold winds of the night. A few steps away the party saw a group of Tyrian Guards and signs of a noble's grain farm. The Tyrian Guards tried to take the son of Suazil from the group, but, again, the diplomatic skills of Arbitria convinced them it was a bad idea. Approaching the farm, the group negotiated with the noble's guard to let them sleep in the barn, but the guards wanted gold bits for each person. Errich decided it was no good to discuss price when people were almost dying of fatigue and cold, so she decided to pay whatever it cost.

The next day, the guards waked them up, rushing them to get out of the barn because the noble who owned the place was coming for a inspection and he would not be pleased to find them there. The group quickly returned to the road and after a few hours reached the Caravan Gate of Tyr. The sound of the merchants yelling, the smell of sweat and food, and the view of the ancient city-state overwhelming their senses.

And thus ended the fourth gaming session. What will be waiting the group inside the walls of Tyr, a city without a Sorcerer-King and on the brink of anarchy with nobles, templars, merchants and free citizens struggling for power and influence on every opportunity.

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