Al’Qadim Prequel Session
DUNGEON MASTER NOTE: I kept calling the genies Djinn. That was an error; they are actually Dao. My bad.
DUNGEON MASTER: [PREQUEL GAME STARTS HERE]
DUNGEON MASTER: It has been many weeks since travling caravan of Yakmen, Djinn, and over 120 slaves left the fastness of the mountains on a journey which you gather is headed down the al-iltifat river and thence into parts unknown.
At present, the entire lot of slaves is huddled on the shore near the foot of a brown and gray limestone bluff beside the river. Across the river a wide grassland spreads away to the south. To the west the sun moves toward the horizon, red and hazy.
The chains chafe against your hands and ankles as you wait to hear how you will be spending the night.
DUNGEON MASTER: After a few minutes of waiting, a Yakman comes out of the brush and orders the overseers to lead their groups forward, and they leap up to comply, one by one forcing each of the slaves to their feet.
The overseer responsible for you is a scarred, embittered elven woman named Semiha; she forces the group to its feet, using the butt of her whip to encourage her charges to move faster.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar rubs the back of his head where dull pain remains from the butt of the wip still remains and gets to his feet as quickly as his feet will alow.
He wispers to Suharan "how much longer do you think there going to march us today and what fate do you think awaits us at the end"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Worry what fate awaits you tonight," she snaps in return. "And worry on your feet: we don't want to keep our masters waiting," she adds with a sardonic emphasis.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran rubs at the tender skin beneath the manacles as if it would ease the pain. He struggles to his feet, eager to avoid the affections of the lash if at all possible. He looks though weary eyes at the ragged group of those unfortunate to be chained along side him with a hint of fear within his eyes. With a deep breath he was unsure of those who would survive the physical toil let along the mental scars.
Suhrah whispers replying to Lazar through cracked and dehydrated lips, "I am unsure of our destination my friend, however if they wish for some of us to survive only a few more days before we weather and the whip takes it toil on us."
DUNGEON MASTER: The chains of slaves are marched up a short trail leading to a cavern opening between the gnarled Sawda trees at the base of the cliff. No light is provided, and there are more than a few stumbles and curses as those not gifted with infravision lose their footing on the dirty, uneven floor.
Presently the slaves are brought to an intersection, where one by one they are unshackled head and foot by their overseers. Semiha produces a key from a chain around her neck, and releases each of you from your bonds. "Men to the right, women to the left," she snarls. "Move it."
DUNGEON MASTER: A tall, black skinned man with white eyes and an expressionless face--obviously a djinn--observes the proceedings with crossed arms.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar moves off to the right trying not to draw any attion to himself and stays close to Suhran keeping a watchfull eye on the surroundings and noting the positions of the guards as descreatly as he can.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran complies with the orders, knowing they would be well observed having been only just unshackled. The look of fear still remains in his eyes, however not so much as those unable to see within the darkness of the cavern. The smell of urine from the humans fills the enclosed space and Suhran guides those in the right direction to line up as commanded so. He looks anxiously for what will happen next.
DUNGEON MASTER: The slaves are marched up a short tunnel into a wider chamber with several stalagmites running from ceiling to floor.
Another Djinn stands in this room, his white eys shining in the darkness. "Back along the walls," he commands tonelessly.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar obliges helping Suhran with the strglers
DUNGEON MASTER: With the space near the door cleared, the Djinn heaves a huge boulder up on his shoulders and with a tremendous thud drops it in front of the tunnel leading out of the room. "Rest in this room tonight," he commands, before walking directly into the rock and disappearing from sight.
DUNGEON MASTER: The party is now unshackled in a room about 100 feet square with about 60 other unwashed, dirty male slaves. The walls are uneven and have numerous gaps and cracks. Several stalagmites form pillars running from the ceiling to the floor. A large tub of water sits in the center of the room, with several ladles beside it, but there is no food, as the slaves have already eaten.
DUNGEON MASTER: Many of human slaves throw themselves on the ground at once in an effort to get some sleep. A pair of dwarves start a game of some kind in one corner, while several others on the other side of the chamber begin shouting at each other.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar takes a large drink from the tub using one of the ladle then makes his way over to the dwarves and ask them in there toung what it is that they play whilst keeping an eye on the those shouting.
DUNGEON MASTER: The dwarves are rolling a set of knucklebones. "Aye, sit in if ye like. Gremel 'n I be wagerin' for pebbles, as we ain't got anything more valuable to our names."
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran stands there wide eyed for a moment as he watches the Djinn casually move the huge boulder before leaving the prisoners alone, seemingly not caring about the possibility of escape. For a moment only the occassional drip of water from the limestone stalagmites breaks the silence before they break into groups. Suhran walks over to the pool to drink his fill of water as he looks around at the prisioners. He watches as Lazar moves to speak with the dwarves, whilest his is not fond of their short race he can see the value in their ability to see in the dark and their uncanny knowledge of stonecraft that could be of use.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran walks over to join his companion with the dwarves, bowing slightly as he stands at the edge of the game waiting to be invited. "Do you mind if I join your game?"
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar grabs a few pebles of the ground and jokes in there tounge im ritch and sits in on the game.
LAZAR TARIQ: "i am Lazar and this is my friend Suhran" as he jestuers to him as he walks up
DUNGEON MASTER: "Aye, and a right king ye be! Ha! Time was when I would'a smacked an elf who made so bold as ye, but we're all brothers in this wretched cave. And another elf too? Bat shit don't drop by the one but by the dozens, eh Gremel?" he says making room four all four.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran takes his place, sitting along side Lazar to join in the game to bid their time. He offers the dwarves the slightest of smiles. "There was a time I would have smacked myself for sitting along side a dwarf however your words are true, in regards to us sticking together like bat shit if we wish to see the light of day again."
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar is destracted by the shouting trying to here what is bieng said and see if trouble may brew from it and misses the insalt alltogether
DUNGEON MASTER: "I ain't wish to see nothing but a full mug o' beer and then another beside it," replies the dwarf, rolling the bones. "I don't know where abouts these donkey men be haulin us, but I doubt it'll be a place we'd have chosen ourselves."
DUNGEON MASTER: Lazar decides that the two men are quarreling over something to do with a woman back at the fortress. Either that or they're fighting over who will get to sleep with a flamingo--it's hard to be sure.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran notices Lazar is somewhat distracted by the noisey group in the opposite corner of the room. He looks over to the group with a quick sideways glance, "I'm inclined to leave them be, as long as the noise doesn't attract unwanted attention from, how did you put it, the donkey men. The noise will cover our conversation for the time being. From what I could tell from the djinn watching over us it seems like they are unwilling pawns in all of this. They did only what was needed and nothing more without any obvious sign of emotion. Perhaps we could use this to our advantage when it is the right time for action?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Them genies? Slaves, you can betcher pointy ears on it. I know the look--we all do. And genies don't serve mortals anyway, not unless they've got a damned good reason to as friends. But these ones ain't nobody's friends."
LAZAR TARIQ: "i cant emagin that it's going to be good either. do you have any training in combat or of any other kind i have had some wepons training but obvisly not enough to keep me and my friend out of the pridicument we find ourselves in." lazar says as he shaks the bones in his hand befor realeasing them.
lazar turns to Suhran. " i agree i just want to know if its going to esculate and be ready to defend if neserseary"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Pish. There ain't many who got the training to beat a damned bunch of genies and them donkey men when they're out raiding for slaves. Those lot could take on the Caliph o' Utaqa, I hear, with nary breakin a sweat. 'Tain't nothing folks like us may do, cept run and pray. Ah! Damn every one o them."
LAZAR TARIQ: they keep a pritty close eye on things its going to be hard to get away if its at all possible. but if we see a chance hows about we try to stick together.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "They can not keep their eyes on all of us all the time. And we have those of us who attract more attention then others," Suhran looks again over his shoulder to those argueing in the corner. "Please excuse me for a moment, I would like to inspect this room in more detail." Suhran stands before slowly walking around the walls of the room inspecting the numerous gaps and cracks for any shards of rock that could be used as a dagger.
DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran looks around the room, using his elven infravision to peer inside the gaps in the wall. At this point the floor is thick with sleeping slaves, and it is necessary for him to step carefully to avoid putting his foot on someone's belly. Most of the cracks and gaps are nothing more than imperfections in the natural cave wall; however, one crack at the back does seem deeper than the others. It seems to go back some ways, although the space is short and narrow.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar keeps an eye on Suhran as he makes his way arround the room and asks the dwarvs "do you need to sleep if so i think it would pay to keep a watch in case there is troble."
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran turns to Lazar as he stands at the edge of the narrow space. "I am going to inspect this tunnel. If you hear anything eating me feel free to drag me out by my ankles if you think my shoe size matches that of yours." With a slight grin, he kneels down amoungst the moist covered stone floor and attempts to crawl inside the tunnel to find out where it leads.
LAZAR TARIQ: "excuse me for a moment it appears my friend has found something" Lazar stands and makes his way over to suhran ready to act if something happens.
DUNGEON MASTER: "Eh, Gremel, them elves are pokin about in holes? What do ya say to that?" he replies with a loud hearty laugh.
Away in the corner the fight between the humans subsides, with no injuries to show for it. The room gradually grows more quiet.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "Zann protect and guide me." Suhran moves forward slowly using both his elven infravision and also his hands to feel his way forward inside the tunnel.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar follows suhran in to the tunnel keeping him in sight grabbing a few loos stones as he goes if he can find any that may make a better wepon than his own fist.
DUNGEON MASTER: The tunnel--or, rather, the crack in the rock--extends for about twenty feet, making several jagged twists and turns. Presently Suhran emerges on all fours into another chamber. Long, white strands form thick nets of web extending from the floor to the ceiling. Within the web sits a fat-bodied speckled spider, still as death. Several bundles lay wrapped in webbing along the wall and on the floor. A number of bones lie on the ground as well.
DUNGEON MASTER: The spider moves a bit as Suhran peers into the room, sending shivers along the net of webs. It is large--large as a treasure chest, perhaps.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran exhales slowly, not wanting to disturb the webbing as he huddles in the corner watching the spiders ever move. He looks around from his current vantage point for any weapons the spiders diet may have found unagreeable.
DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran does spot a handle of some sort, perhaps belonging to a short sword or a dagger. It protrudes from one of the bundles on the far side of the room--right at the base of the web.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran inches forward out of the tunnel, before slowly moving to his feet. He attempts to move forward to collect the weapon without being noticed by the spider and avoidi disturbing the webbing covering the cavern.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar makes his way to the mouth of the cave entrance and looks arround for a deasent sized bone that he mayuse as a club and grabs it if he can tell there are no webs attached otherwise he will wait to see what happens as suhran aproches the wepon.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Move Silent check (40%): 1d100 = 61%
DUNGEON MASTER: Lazar locates a femur that might have once belonged to a human. It is bloched in places.
Suhran moves forward carefully, making sure to avoid touching any of the sticky strands strung across the room. He does well: it is not until he is actually at the wrapped bundle and close enough to touch the handle that his left elbow accidently hits a strand of webbing, sending a shiver all up through the white net spun all over the eastern and southern wall.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran silently curses his luck as he removes the weapon to arm himself. His heart races as he turns to check if the spider has noticed him after disturbing the webbing.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar moves foward getting of his hands and knees ready for action apon seeing the web ripple.
DUNGEON MASTER: The spider jerks to life. Slowly it turns about, looking for the intruder in its lair. Soon its red eyes alight on Suhran...
DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran grasps the handle and pulls... yanking out a curved short sword, big enough to be a scimitar for a gnome or a halfling.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran prepares to attack the spider once it is within melee range.
LAZAR TARIQ: grundig moves foward ready to attack the spider once it comes down out of the web doing his best to remain undetected
LAZAR TARIQ: pecentile d100=61
DUNGEON MASTER: The spider jerks its head around to spot grun-er, I mean Lazar, but stays focused on the one who distrubed it. Like lightning, it leaps over and attacks Suhran, provoking an attack in the process...
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: To Hit (short sword): THAC0 20 = 1d20+1 = 0
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Damage (short sword): 1d6 = 4 dmg
DUNGEON MASTER: The spider hisses in pain as Suhran's sword slices through its body. It recoils and then makes a counter attack, which misses as the elf dodges nimbly out of the way.
DUNGEON MASTER: The spider attacks again, immediately, but once again its mandibles close over thin air.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran slashes at the spider wielding the short sword single-handed in a defensive posture.
To Hit (sword short): 8
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Damage (short sword): 1d6 = 4 dmg
DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran's weapon shears right through the thing's body, cracking bony legs and opening internal organs. It shudders, sending ripples through the web--and then it collapses and falls to the floor, legs up.
[Off rounds; 90 xp each.]
LAZAR TARIQ: nise one suhran is it poiseness?
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "I am quite glad I did not have to find out the hard way however it well could have had some kind of nasty suprise," Suhran looks over at the spider and then around the room. "I just hope we are alone and this spider had no companion to disturb us as we loot any items of use."
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar serches the rest of the cave looking in the bundeled boddies for any wepons or tresure and serches amonst the dabree as well he asks suhran to cut open any of the parceld corpeses he cant get into
DUNGEON MASTER: There are a total of five wrapped bundles in the room, all of them wrapped in strong, sticky webbing.
LAZAR TARIQ: suhran do you want to cut open the webed boddies and ill serch amonst the bones on the floor.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran nods, "I will do this, however allow me first to offer words to the dead. Zann, we disturb the bones of the dead, however we pray for you to lead their souls find a better place."
DUNGEON MASTER: It might be his imagination, but Suhran thinks he feells a sigh through the room as his prayer completes.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar roumages amonst the bones on the floor looking for tresure of any knid.serching undre any piels and desturbing the dust to see if anyting is burried in it.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran begins the task of cutting open the cacooned bodies with the short sword so he can search them for any items of use.
DUNGEON MASTER: All five containers prove to contain the long-rotted remains of humanoids. Discovered items include: rusted chain armor, a pair of daggers with rotted leather grips, a clear liquid in a vial, a holy symbol with a circle painted on the front; a thick, bound book that is locked with a brass lock; and a brass key.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran coughs and winces as the smell of decay assaults his keen senses. He carefully removes the items of value leaving them in a careful pile away from the bodies for both himself and Lazar to inspect.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar looks at the book and hopes it might be a book of spells but resists the urg to open it streight away handing it to suhran asking if he can see any traps within the lock.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar has a closer look at the lock seeing if he can see any sighn of a trap
DUNGEON MASTER: The lock is made of brass, connected to a buckle that wraps around the front of the book. Situated beneath a small hole, the keyhole is about the size of the key discovered on the corpse.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar trys the key in the lock hopeing that he hasent missed anything.
DUNGEON MASTER: The key twists in the lock, and the thing opens with a very satisfying 'click'. Less satisfying is the needle that shoots out of the hole above the lock, sticking right into Lazar's index finger.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar removes the needle out of his finger and curses under his breath pushes the neadle into his leather strapping of his shoo hideing it as best he can and inspects the book
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran watches Lazar inspect the leather bound book as he conceals one of the daggers underneath his clothing inside his leather belt.
DUNGEON MASTER: There appear to be a total of three spells inscribed in this spellbook: Floating Disk, Charm Person, and Mending.
DUNGEON MASTER: The spells are inscribed in blotchy blue ink, written by a person unskilled at magic but quite skilled in caligraphy.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar smiels as he sees what he has found within the pages and the fact that he knows a few of the spells and lets suhran
LAZAR TARIQ: know what he has found
DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran knows that this holy symbol belongs to a worshiper of Hajama the Couragous.
LAZAR TARIQ: and he tucks it into his pants to conseal it he then takes one of the daggers with the rotted handle and hides it aswell. lazar looks across to suhran, "I think you desirve this aswell for defeating the spider" as he hands the other dagger to suhran
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran pockets the holy symbol, "Perhaps one of our friends waiting for us in the other room has need for this holy symbol of Hajama the Couragous?" Suhran conceals the dagger within his clothing.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar takes the vial and takes the stopper out and snifffes it then wets his finger with the contence and tastes it to try and find out what it is.
DUNGEON MASTER: The liquid has no smell--for all Lazar can tell, this substances might be water. Except that it does seem to leave a slightly stick residue on his finger when it dries.
LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar takes the potion and tucks it into his turben
LAZAR TARIQ: and tucks the book down the front of his pants and asks suhran to check if it is notisable. and then tears a strip of his tunic off and tyes it arround his chest under his tunic tucking the dagger it at his back between his back.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "I am inclined to leave the chain armour here as it will be more difficult to conceal even under our clothing. To be honest chain armour restricts my movements making it difficult to move quietly." Suhran spends a moment concealing the short sword inside his leggings secured by his leather belt against his thigh.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar changes his mind and straps the dagger to his thigh under his pants.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: The pair start cutting through and ripping down sections of the webbing in order to explore each part for any item of value that has been discarded by the spider and stuck within the webbing.
LAZAR TARIQ: lazar dose his best to cut the other bodies out of the webbing and cuts open the webbing to see what is in side
DUNGEON MASTER: Sheets of webbing fall to the ground, along with several bodies wrapped up cocoon like in the web. As the strands are cleared away, the pair are able to glimpse a hole in the east end of the room, about 25' above the cave floor.
SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran wipes away several presistant strands of webbing from his forehead as he kneels down next to the closet body and begins the task of freeing them from the webbing caccoon.
DUNGEON MASTER: The bodies generally belong to small creatures of the rivers and savanah--fish, game, and the like. There is one body that looks like it might belong to a halfling, but only the skeleton remains.
DUNGEON MASTER: [SESSION ENDS HERE]