The Flight of the Sun

Breaking and entering, session #27

Everybody does it these days

They came in during the afternoon, and pulled a rope trick behind the shelves. It was a bit crowded, but soon the curfew begun, and with it the visitors left. In a couple of hours, the library was deserted by all but a few guards.

Protected by the gnome’s ability to quell any sound they might make, the PCs went for one of the closed doors.

Roland made a quick work of he lock, and they slowly entered a long and narrow stone hallway, quietly closing the door behind them. The masonry was simple and stripped of all decorative details that adorned the rest of the place, with only one door at each end of the hall and, as Darwin noticed, a long line of tiny holes in the stone that stretched across the whole length of the ceiling.

Roland inspected every yard of the place, but saw no traps or alarms of any kind, until they reached the other end.

There, the wizard used the dwarven… rod of metal and mineral detection, and saw there was a sheet of lead at the other side of the door. If there were any magical objects or traps behind the door, they would have been invisible to them.

A tiny voice spoke:

- There is a spell I prepared, of transmutation school, that allows one to dissolve himself into but a thin line of smoke, not losing ability to hear, see or think. The incredible lightness of it is exquisite, it is almost as if… -

- Žbica, –
sighed Wons.
- I hate to interrupt, but can you cut to the point? -

- Oh, yes, the point. In such a gaseous form a person upon which the spell has been cast can move through the tiniest cracks and holes, just like those surrounding the door. -

- Great! Cast it on our locksmith friend here, and we’re done! -

- It’s not that simple, you see, while in a transformed state, one cannot manipulate objects, nor use magic that requires materials, hands, or vocal cords. Once on the other side, Roland would have to make a choice – either to return without doing anything, or stay and risk being captured behind the door if he fails to open them. Since I have the ability to use the spell twice, it would be wiser for me to cast it upon myself, go there, attempt to open the door and then come back here if my attempt should fail. -

- Wait, – said Roland, – I could put Žbica inside the bag of holding, and then, if Darwin could cast the same spell on me, we could… -

- No. –
said Darwin.

- But if we rested, perhaps you could… -

- No. I can cast it. –
said the dwarf, after a small pause.
- But I choose not to. – 11

- Stubborn dwarf. -

Darwin addressed this remark simply by turning his back to Amadeus.

Žbica sighed.

- That’s it, im going in. -

His fingers traced runes in the air. They watched as the gnome dissolved into thin line of smoke he spoke of, and whirled slowly, as if carried by a draft, through tiny cracks. Soon he disappeared, and all they could do was stand in silence and wait.

It took a while before they heard the whispering voice from the other side.

- There is an opening mechanism that seems quite ordinary to me, and I can detect no magic on this side. However, in the holes on the ceiling I saw delicate little vials containing what seemed to be some sort of liquid. What shall I do? Shall I pull the lever? -

- No! -

- Yes! -

Roland and Darwin looked at each other.

- The door may be trapped by some kind of magic he could not detect, –
said Roland.

- That may be, but I bet the vials contain some sort of poison. Perhaps opening the door might trigger an alarm loud enough to break the glass? If so, I can use my wind wall spell to disperse the damn thing! -

- Let’s go for the door, then! – said Žbica.

- No! I’m not sure that would work, – said Roland.

- The gas would have nowhere to go, and the other door is pretty far. No, let’s be a bit more careful about this. Perhaps we should count on our luck only if everything else fails. -

- Agreed, – said Wons.
- Let’s try doing this the traditional way. -

Darwin’s eyes rolled. Wons had such a distrust towards magic… perhaps that’s what happens when one hangs around with the likes of that sword.

In the end Žbica came back, and they agreed to spend the night in the library. They could wake up early enough for the wizard and the cleric to prepare spells, get into the vault and get out in time the library opened.

They did so. Žbica and Darwin got into the bag of holding, casting a spell on Roland and Wons. They got to the other side and pulled the dwarf and the gnome out. As Roland soon discovered there was a trap on the lever. Should someone try to pull it and open the door without saying the password, the spell would make noise loud enough to deafen, and even harm everyone near. Those vials in the ceiling certainly would have cracked, just as Darwin had predicted.

- – tu bi kontinjud, jelte – -

View
Sharp dressers

Studying the library

View
3000 reasons to feel good

A butler in strife

View
In the naked light I saw 10,000 people, maby more

And it only took us 24 sessions to get there!

It also took them some time to climb down the mountain (not 24 sessions, though). It was a silent descend, everyone was focused on walking the treacherous road winding between snow covered rocks on one, and misty chasms on the other side. Their days were reduced to harsh walks during the brief periods of bleak light, an deep rest throughout the mercifully long nights. The gnome slept too, again, and studied in the mornings. Darwin spent some of his time outside of the hut. As the dwarf grew more and more reclusive, the periods of his meditation grew steadily longer. 11

Contrary to what Hubbertsuggested, Darwin, Wons, Roland and Žbica decided to let Brinnyalive. They threw a bit of an act to convince her they weren’t headed for Eleb, and Darwin cut her loose before the dawn, telling her to run for her life. And run into the darkness she did, like only a true horizon walker could.

In a few days – thanks to Darwin’s ability to keep them fed and healthy, and thanks to the shelter gnome provided every night, even old Dragunov reached the first settlements alive. They sent Roland ahead alone, hoping they would arouse less suspicion that way. 12

To make the long story short, Roland – drained of his strength and thus looking almost starved to death – told a lot of lies to the villagers, all wrapped up into a fat slice of truth that nicely fitted into the local lore and carefully spiced with generous will to spread his wealth amongst, it seemed, the first humans he saw in a long, long time. He got himself a warm bed to sleep in, a few news on what awaits on the road ahead, and the best meal he’s had in months. He also bought a few drinks for Darwin, and when the rest of the party came after him the next day, he bid the villagers farewell and ‘joined’ his new companions. They stormed away as fast as they came, not letting any potential Victor’s spies to call for backup and organize an ambush.

The rest of the way they traveled off road, through the woods, avoiding company. As they drew closer to the main roads and the city of Eleb itself, they passed near a few more villages, and noticed that the locals have organized some sort of guard. The farmers kept their vigilant eyes – and hay-forks – turned towards the many travelers.

And most of the people on the road did seem to be in a quite a bad shape; the kind that turns honest, ordinary folk into daring robbers, not out of whim but out of despair, and not for the wealth, but for the bread.

The closer to Eleb they got, the larger and hungrier the mob seemed. The very fields that fed the the River city were not just covered with snow, but also with a myriad of small, improvised and scrappy shelters. The outskirts of the vast hunting grounds were robbed of the trees new settlers used to build the many barracks and feed the life-bearing fires in their hearts, and the slums drew dangerously close to the rich and large brick houses of the local farmers.

This vast sea of improvised snow covered roofs even threatened to engulf the large bleak buildings with doors marked blue – the places where the untouchables were kept, while not toiling on the fields to feed their betters. As they passed by, the pc-s realized the barns of the untouchables are guarded by armed soldiers, which was most unusual, for in the world of men, especially during the winter and times such as these, there was no place for a blue-clad to go.

Knowing it would be foolish to even contemplate taking R’vidd into the city with them, they used a small trick on one of the guards and left the untouchable with his own kind, in one of the shelters. There was no time for explanations – before he knew it, R’vidd was once again left amongst the other elves. 13

As the party approached what once were outskirts of the city, they saw high steel fences surrounding the wealthier neighborhoods. At the gates, there were armed guards.

Roland was told, and it turned to be right, that there was curfew: from what would be dusk at 19:00 hrs to dawn at 07:00 hrs, only the guards were allowed to walk the streets of Eleb. There were many fences, and many control stations – if you were not a city dweller with a home of his own inside the city limits, and had no documents to confirm you had at least a temporary residence and employment in the city, you couldn’t stay inside during the night. And often, beggars and many of those looking for job and food weren’t allowed in during the day either – there was simply too many of them.

But luckily, our PC-s had a way in, and it was of the best kind…

View
A dream come true, session#23

Yippie Kay-Ay

After a long and restless night, a new day has come.

PCs and Hubbert, Nazarov, Ingvar, old Dragunov and his sons are all that’s left of the company of 16 they were just a few days ago.

Led by Brinnya, they are slowly but steadily making their way through the mountain, towards Eleb. It’s been a long, hardship-ridden journey; they all want to see it come to an end soon.

They climb steep paths around rocks, and the day passes in silence. Žbica is still shaken by the late nights events, both Darwin and Roland have some unexpected requests, but otherwise first half of the day is pretty uneventful. 11, 12, 13

In the other half, the terrain gets harder, and Brinnya trips. Wons grabs her by the neck and pushes her forward. She continues without a word, but soon old Dragunov begins falling behind. The old man is exhausted; he will not be able to endure this kind of strain for much longer. And so they set a camp.

At that point both Darwin and Wons realize that Brinnya is coming down with a fever. The unattended wounds were exposed to filth – it will take Darwin till morning to prepare a spell that can heal her. He suspects he’ll need another such spell to keep old Dragunov healthy. During all this time Korr keeps an eye on the surroundings from above. When he finally lands, the rest of the party gathers around him.

We are being followed. There is a dog on our trail.

At first, they suspected the people from the other camp were using dogs to find them. But when Korr went to see how many people were coming after the dog, he saw none.

Shit,

Said Roland. Darwin hid on one side of the road, Wons hid on the other.

I’ll make an ambush near the hut – civilians, stay inside.

(it seems Amadeus forgot that they are all, himself included, civilians.)

They prepared an ambush. As time passed, the chill of snow and ice they crouched in begun to crawl into their bones, but they stood still. The daylight slowly started fading away when the silhouette finally appeared in the mist. It was large, moving at a steady pace, lowering it’s massive head to the ground every now and then. Wons held his weapon at the ready but didn’t use it when the thing came really close. He heard a strange noise, like a drop of water fell onto a hot stove. There was a sudden chill at the back of his neck as he realized the snow underneath the creature’s paws was melting.

The dog stopped. It was now on the middle of the road, right between Darwin and Wons. It turned it’s ugly, unintelligent head towards the dwarf. 14

They stood there, facing each other.

It’s not breathing.

For a moment it seemed as though nothing was going to happen. Then Darwin slowly started casting a spell. And the thing opened it’s jaws.15

Roland and Wons closed in quickly, using the advantage of flank. Though the thing bared it’s teeth, it made no real damage to anyone. But when four of it’s kind appeared out of thin air, searing heat poured from their bodies. Two of them went for Darwin, others placed themselves between him and the rest of the group. 16

As teeth bit into his flesh, Darwin felt it burn. The fiery creature’s breath melted the snow, set his clothes on fire and burned away any body and facial hair Darwin begun to grow since the last ime his skin was caught in flames. Another bite burned holes in Hubbert’s pants but, unlike Wons and Darwin, Hubbert did not seem unnerved by any of this.

Žbica started casting another spell, when an alien, blunt thought formed in his mind.

only the blue one.

In spite of this, his rained fingers continued forming a complex pattern. The pattern grew and captured the attention of two dogs keeping Darwin and Roland cut away. Hubbert gutted one, and approached the other.

Roland and Darwin flanked their own foes; soon the creatures realized they were overpowered. In the middle of the fight, as suddenly as they appeared, the dogs vanished.

They were outsiders, creatures of flame and Sun., said Žbica.

What were they doing here? Did the green mage summon them?

No. No, I don’t think he did. This must have been a work of a Sun’s cleric. And they were after Darwin.

The PCs went back to the hut and tied Brinnya (whom Ingvar released so she could defend herself). While tending their wounds, they continued the conversation. Soon they concluded the summoner must have been Malachy or Porphyrios. It seemed Darwin had every right to worry about privacy of his thoughts. To send such hounds after him, they must have used scrying. 17

And it must have been extremely costly, too. Also, such creatures would be mortal enemies of the corrupted ones, and those demon posessed. They may be the ones who caused the fire in the woods.


The night fell. Žbica and Darwin took the first watch, playing somewhat mouldy cards. 18a), 18b) Roland and Hubbert took the second one, but when time came for Žbica to go to sleep, he wanted to play some more. So they played, till dawn, and the gnome barely slept at all.19

In the morning, just a few hours after they went on with their journey, Korr came down for the second time.

We are being followed. Some man, wrapped in a bunch of clothes an furs, is coming after us. He’s following a clear trail we and the hell hound left in the snow.

After a short struggle about who is going to stay and welcome the new visitor, they decided not to get separated. So they waited, but no longer hiding in the snow. They all stood in the middle of the road. Well, all except Hubbert, that is. He – for some reason – decided to go ahead and show Darwin just how well he can hide. 20

Soon, the silence of snowy hills was disturbed by the sound of footsteps. It wasn’t clear at first; but as the footsteps drew nearer, the PCs could hear that the man coming towards them was dragging something heavy across the snow. Žbica’s face became pale.21 The shadow appeared in the mist and came to the very edge of the visible. It saw them, and stood still, it’s face remaining hidden. One of the PCs shouted:

Come out!

But instead of the stranger, out came the wizard. Žbica moved forward, towards the obscured figure. His friends reached out to grabb him by his shoulders, but it was too late. The gnome approached the visitor, and as he did so, the blurry figure spoke in a familiar voice:

Motherfucker.

R’VIDD!!!!,

shouted Žbica from the top of his lungs, and ran towards the figure. In one mad momet he halted, looked at the elf, and then, too fast for anyone to react, the unthinkable happened. Žbica threw his arms around the unclean, hugging the pile of fur that protected the elve’s thin and disease ridden body.

No, master, no!

Shouted bewildered R’vidd, shocked by such sudden and overly intimate outburst of affection.

This is wrong,

gasped Roland, somewhat weak at his knees, sickened and worried at the same time.

So he is barking mad,

thought Hubbert, climbing down from the rock he was hiding on.

Pitty. I liked the little guy. Wonder how long before he gets himself killed. Or makes us put him out of his misery.

Hubbert dwelled on that idea for one fleeting moment.

Oh well. You winn some, you lose some. It’s nice to have our mangy pet back, though.

After the first shock has passed, the others approached R’vidd and his little friend to see him dragging the remains of the hellhound they killed just yesterday. The body left after the creature was rotten and much thinner than the thing that attacked them – an instrument, Žbica knew, used to call it to this plane.

Food,

said R’vidd, proudly pulling up the leg of the carcass for everyone to see.

We eat,

he continued, and then layed the thing at their feet. The “we” part did not escape any of the PCs, though.

Where did the unclean get the idea of a “we”?

thought Wons. They asked the untouchable how he survived, and he told them he came back to Jona’s island after the thing from the mines appeared. It took him some time, but everyone knows his kin has a knack for finding their way around in the dark. There he saw Jona, and soon came a dark, dog-like creature that reminded him of Hector. Jona and the green mage went after the thing to see what it will do, and decided not to get involed once it, and several more of it’s kind started killing the corrupted ones in the forrest.

Jona told R’vidd the dog was after his masters, and R’vidd may follow it, but will probably end up dead along with the humans he is so keen to find. R’vidd decided to join his masters, anyway.

Why?

asked Wons.

Because master (he said this pointing at Hubbert) will teach me how to became a human.

And that’s how “we” were born, thought Wons. I should have known.

When R’vidd said he was going after his masters, Jona gave the elf a little box, and said:

Send our regards to Mr. Strife. 21

Žbica took the box in order to keep it safe till Eleb, so they could give it to Mr. Strife once they find him. Darwin watched the gnome. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen him so happy. It became scary when the wizard decided to share R’vidd’s food.

Let’s eat this hot dog,

Said Žbica cheerfully, and chopped off a piece. Wons sighed. Roland felt sick. Darwin couldn’t purify this food – he didn’t prepare the spell. But then Brinnya offered to do so. Except for Roland, nobody thought se was actually going to poison them. The meat was somewhat disgusting to Žbica, Brinnya and Darwin, but edible. R’vidd enjoyed it very much. They also asked R’vidd where he got his clothes, smeared in ashes and something inconveniently blood-like, he explained he found them on the bodies of the people who died in the forest.

And so they moved on, after instructing R’vidd only to loot when positive the looted one is a corpse.

Nothing much happened during the day; they traveled, they rested. Darwin meditated. Again. 21

The next morning Žbica was fast asleep. Nobody wanted to deprive him of his prescious sleep so the party waited till noon for him to wake up. Then they walked till dusk, and set another camp. Hubbert spend a part of the evening teaching R’vidd how to swear, before going to sleep. 22

And then, during the second watch, Darwin and Žbica decided to pull a trick on Hubbert. They cast a spell causing deep slumber on him, hoping to identify his sword. But things went somewhat wrong and it all ended up with Hubbert sleeping, his sword back in it’s sheet, and a few spell slots spent. 23, 24


And so the session ended. Well, sort of. :) 24

View
The dwarf lost it., session#22

Drums? Drums in the deep? You don’t say…

View
To free or not to free?, session#21

And what a fine question it was.

View
The moment we've all been waiting for, session#20

Old acquaintances die hard.

Twenty sessions’ worth of sneak attacks.
View
Light in the middle of a tunnel, session#19

Four little PCs

Trapped in a shaft

Along came David

And then they were out.

View
Pitch black, session#18

I see dead people. No, wait, they aren’t…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.