The Flight of the Sun

The untouchables, session#2

“Protecting our investment.”

Darwin, Amadeus and Roland went to their houses for equipment, and in half an hour they met at the square, ready to go.

Darwin headed for his little hut on the western edge of Saltpans, next to the hives. The door were never locked – rumor had it that he even let some small untouchables into his yard, feeding them honey and stories. Kael was furious about this – he was doing his best to get Darwin out of the city council. Dwarf’s love for gambling and moonshine didn’t make things any better, for he drank and played heavily, but almost never got as drunk as to loose any money. Actually, he kept winning, and that annoyed quite a few townspeople.
He donned his armor and collected his urgrosh, a weapon as archaic and exotic as Darwin himself. Flask with moonshine never left his side, especially now his pipe was gone. And though the trip couldn’t last more than a few hours, he made room for some honey too.21

Amadeus entered his small apartment above town’s garrison, chose one of his favorite armors and simply took as many weapons as he could carry. He even took the long sword, finely wrapped piece of equipment he never used. Three packs of matches, and Wons was ready to face their island’s malevolent visitor. Or anything else, for that matter.22

Roland entered his home after unlocking all of the six locks on his front and only door. He took his fine weapons, hid them under a long cape and had a change of clothes before he got out. He wore long sleeves even on such hot nights as tonight, and was seen as eccentric, at the least, by everyone else. Yet none ever dared to call him “Princess” to his face, and as he heard the word whispered amongst the guards he passed, Roland had no idea they were referring to him.

They got to the lake and took two long boats. One hour later they reached the other shore, and saw a line of two dozen untouchables sitting at the dock, tame as sheep (and thus deserving no better fate, thought Roland), waiting for the boats to take them back to their homes in the caves under the Saltpans. Roland and Amadeus observed, with obvious disgust, as Darwin was passing honey amongst the small unclean creatures, when one of them noticed strange small objects laying around on the rocks. Roland lifted one, and realized the were seeds of some kind, smooth and dark, with small chunks of chewed up fruit still hanging on the edges. With disgust, he threw the thing away, then took off his glove and threw it away too (yes, Roland is a bit of a hypochondriac).

“One of them is missing!” Yelled Darwin. 23
“One is missing, the others say his name is Finn, and he left that way.”

At this point they had a brief discussion about what to do. Amadeus approached the first untouchable to force more information from him. Darwin stopped him in his tracks, and started a patient conversation with two uncleans. As Amadeus listened to this conversation, it became clear to him this is not the first time Darwin is talking like this to these creatures.

“My God, the idiot treats them like they’re children,” thought Wons.

“The fruit came from the sea,” said the untouchables, “Finn brought it and shared it with us. He was soaked, must have been swimming, and went to fetch some more an hour ago. Hasn’t returned since.”

It turned out that Finn had a mysterious friend in caves near by, and that friend gave him fruit.
Roland kept his distance, appalled by the fact someone wasted good food on them, but still agreed to come find Finn with the rest of the party. 24

It was only later, while they were walking the path Finn supposedly took, looking for him aided by two untouchables they took along, that Darwin realized the fruit had feint magical auras.
Amadeus was alarmed, made all the untouchables throw away any fruit they had left, and decided to fall behind, so he could keep an eye on the rest of them.
Roland was shocked by such mad recklessness, acute lack of responsibility and brute violation of the law, and suggested they kill all the untouchables right away, just in case.

Zagor was fascinated, took a bite of the food himself and stored one piece of fruit into his pocket, which almost led to the complete break up of the party. But then Leylana, surprisingly not at all disgruntled by Zagor’s mad action, noticed strange shimmering at the bottom of the lake, right under the place they were standing on. They examined it for a while and realized the light was coming from below, as if there was a hole in the rock they were standing on. They knew there were many caves around, but decided to go back and look for Finn tomorrow.

As they turned to go back, distant but clear in the silence of summer night, they heard the sound of city bells. Signaling danger of demons in the mist. Soon enough, the crows at the boats begun making noise, alarming them of the demon’s presence. The untouchables left on the shore started running around, searching for cover. Then they were screaming, and then they were silent.

Amadeus lit the matches, and they managed to fight off one of the fog creatures. But another came, and then another. Darwin gave an untouchable a knife, and told him to defend himself. He knew very well it was a blasphemous thing to do, but did it never the less. The untouchable fell soon, under the weight of an invisible force that started digesting him alive, and smell of his burning flesh became almost unbearable. They hit Amadeus, hard, but his comrades saved him; they had two options. Stick it out in the open, using matches, or dive into the water. Leylana made the decision for them by simply jumping over the edge.

“There is a cave down here, below the water level” she said.

GMs former secrets :)

21: Zagor took the honey for the untouchables; little Finn especially. Finns father was in the last stage of the Desease, and Darwin made sure he would get all the available healing ointments to ease his agony. But still, he found his consciousness was not appeased.

22: he carried Mortimer, but never used the sword. The first and the last time he did so, he earned himself a few months blackout, a ticket to this island, and a whole new world of enemies. But he never got rid of the thing, either. It spoke in the voice of his brother, and keeping it safe was a matter of honor, if not love.

23: While talking to the uncleans, Darwin realized Finn was missing.

24. Roland wants to find Finn, for Finn he trained and used as a courier when smuggling merchandise and people on and off the island. He used masks, though, so Finn did not know him. Just several days ago Finn offered Roland a trade – an interesting mechanical yet magical device, small and ancient, in change for some cheep medication. The instrument seemed to be a small musical box of sorts, but it seemed there was more to it than just cheep trickery. Ronald suspected Finn found it in the Grave Hills, a forbidden and cursed territory; story said it was once elven graveyard. So he accepted the deal, with morbid curiosity, and trade was supposed to take place in two days, after supplies arrive.

The Bells, session#1

The beginning of the first session

It is 01. 07. 1112., the evening of the second year since the Island and the Saltpans had been reclaimed from the Mist. Townspeople are gathered on the main square, celebrating. Today is also another anniversary – whole year since the belfry has been rebuilt and it’s magnificently crafted bells reinstalled, after Tuck constructed the crane to pull them back up, out of the depths of the salt lake.

A group of men are singing song to praise their towns heritage, written a year ago by priest Kael. They sing of the bells that guide the ships, that celebrate the weddings and say farewell to those who leave us forever, they sing of bells that warn about storms and teach us our history; that serve both mortals and God himself.

(this is how it sounds: )

Their song is beautiful, and is also final event tonight. As they end their performance, there is an applause, especially by girls in front, fascinated by local show-off and a leading vocal – Wiss’el.

PCs are tired, and plan to go to bed just now, Darwin additionally grumpy and irritated by not being able to find his pipe. But as the song dies, they hear a sound of bells, from afar, out on the sea.

(There is a ship approaching, and since the island is surrounded by fog, every incoming vessel must call for guidance. They send a man to the belfry to sound the bells, and help sailors navigate the ship.)

It is odd, for no ship was due to come for two more days. And nobody ever sails at night. Together with Kael, they decide to go down to the docks and welcome the unexpected visitors.

But when they finally reach the bottom of the high Sea Stairs and come all the way to the water’s edge, they realize that the ship emerging from the mist is not at all steered. If they don’t board it and control it, the prescious steam engine will crash into the rocks and sink.

At this point they all get scared, and Kael is the only one who dares to jump into the water, climb the ship and grab the steering wheel, thus saving their mutual investment.

When Darwin, Roland and Amadeus finally join him, they see that there are two corpses on the deck.

Both familiar faces belonged to the Ulsan sailors, and Darwin’s successful heal check tells them one of the unfortunate men had been dead for several hours. The other was slain only minutes ago, by sword.

They split up and search the ship, fearing the murderer might still be aboard.

It is a cargo boat that usually brought their supplies, but virtually empty. Nor coal nor food had been loaded.
Amadeus Wons takes his time, and discovers that there is a double bottom in a drawer, in captains quarters. It has been laid with lead, to block magical auras. Žbica the wizard takes the key from inside the box, and soon realizes it is a skeleton key, magically altered to fit all the locks (DC up to 28). It is a prohibited item, and they intend to place it in the safe as usual.

While others search the cargo space, Roland leaves to examine engine room. He looks at the engines, and everything seems O.K. But as he opens the coal bunker, two hands leap out of it and grab him by the throat. An old man pulls him down by weight of his own body, towards his own, madly distorted face, choking him, crushing his windpipe. Roland manages to pull a knife and stabs the old man. The man yells, but does not falter. Roland stabs him again and again, darkness in front of his eyes thickening. Finally, the unnaturally persistent grip on his neck loosens, and Roland falls down on his knees, gasping for air, clutching his neck, watching life ebb away from the body on the floor. Long white hands relaxed, eyes fell out of focus, but expression of horror never left the old man’s face.11

The rest of the team heard noise, and they all barged into the engine room, just to find their flushed friend fighting for his breath, and a corpse laying next to him.
“I had no choice”, said Roland in a hoarse voice.
“He caught me off balance, and wouldn’t let go. I am sorry.” 12

The rest of the party, along with Kael, took the bodies of unfortunate men out of the ship. Amadeus sent for more guards to help them, and they carried the remains of slaughtered sailors up the Sea Stairs, all the way to the town, and into the Guardsmen’s Tower. They laid them down onto the three long, wooden tables in the dungeon. They also, albeit with some regret and only after making a sketch of it, gave Kael the skeleton key they found on the ship. He disposed it in a safe where other such items are kept, until destroyed.

Amadeus gathered the guardsmen warning them of the killings on the ship, and ordering them to patrol the streets. They must be careful tonight, for whoever killed the sailors is probably on the island.

At the same time, Žbica the wizard is fascinated by a imprisoned sleeper, Bartol More. Kael failed to heal him of what he believes to be a demon possession, and will burn him at the stake tomorrow. Bartol is quite obviously not in his right mind. He sits in his cell, hands around his knees, swinging back and forth. Staring at them and yelling something gibberish, over and over again, louder and louder, he leaves Kael no choice but to ask them to leave, so he could use magic to appease Bartol.
One of the party members, however, realizes that the words coming out of old lunatic’s mouth aren’t gibberish at all. 13

Soon they leave the dungeon, and as they stand at the square discussing this evenings events, one of the local legends – Mist fighter Stipe “Hawk Eye” Lon – notices a shadow flying out of the tower window towards the continent.
“What was that, Stipe?” asked Darwin.
“Dunno,” said Stipe, “but methinks ’twas a bird of some kind.”
“You didn’t see? No longer hawk-eyed as you used to be, eh?”
“You fool! The hawk couldn’t see it in this light, either!”

Darwin continues to provoke the old fighter when Mate, one of the guardsmen, approaches them.

“Boss,” he adresses Wons, and is apparently uneasy. “There’s about thirty untouchables down on the new salt pans. It was my task to pick them up, and I thought I’d do that after the song’s done. But since this ship came in… Well, I think I wouldn’t be clever to go out there alone.”

“I’ll do it,” says Darwin. Amadeus and Roland agree to come with the dwarf, along with a young druid, Leylana. But Žbica says he’d rather stay in the town and have a good night’s sleep, since he is drop dead tired. 14

and here ends the first session
there are numbers at the end of some lines. they mark places where some details have not been shared, due to the fact that they are spoilers of sorts. until the campaign is over, or some of the PCs dead, these are to remain hidden.

Well, most of it is. So I can share the spoilers.
Here they are:

GM Only

11 And now, when he watches it, Roland recognizes the old man. Not long ago, Hubbert, his associate, ordered a set of new personal documents to go with this man’s picutre. Roland made the forgeries for a nice compensation. And now the man was dead. His unfortunate new name: Gustav Mart.

12 Of course, Roland is lying. He had a choice, but the man touched his face. He was dead before the knife was even pulled. This way, at least, the old man will take Roland’s secret to his grave.

13 The old man is yelling: “Your body isn’t shackled, it’s your mind!” And Roland doesn’t know what to make of this.

14 Now it is the gnome who is dishonest. He is fascinated by Bartol – naturally, for Žbica the gnome is having dreams, too. He is a sleeper, and this is a unique chance for him to inspect another of his kind, and learn more about the grim sleeper’s fate that awaits him.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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