Monday, March 18, 2013

Al'Qadim Session 1

Session 1
 DUNGEON MASTER: Several weeks after the incident in the cave along the river al-iltafat, the tired group of slaves, Dao, and Yak-Men arrive at their destination: a small, ruined temple in a ravine in the midst of the eastern jungle.
 DUNGEON MASTER: As the member of a non-human chain, you and those around you are gifted with infravision: thus, you are permitted several hours of rest before the night falls and you are sent to work clearing the rubble around the temple.
 LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar looks arround for a fether he may use as a pen
 DUNGEON MASTER: Lazar doesn't find any sort of feathers.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: During the time they are permitted to rest before whatever task they are given, Suhran spends what time he can afford praying to whatever gods in this forsaken land would listen to his silent words. He will attempt to refocus another Cure Light Wounds prayer in place of Sanctuary.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven sits down, cross legged and breathes deeply going through an internal claming exercise her grandfather taught her then slowly but systematically expands and contracts one at a time all her muscles to stretch and keep them loose.  the techniques is one designed not to be noticed by those causually glancing in her direction
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: While the group waits to find out what their fate is, Suhran engages in small talk with his elven companions and also the dwarves they had briefly spoken too before in the limestone cavern. Suhran whispers to them as they are grouped together inside one of the slave tents. "Any of you familiar with these lands from past experience or perhaps overheard stories whsipered over a jug of hard ale? I am curious to say the least what it is we will be facing inside the stone temple."
 DUNGEON MASTER: At what must have been the front of this temple stands a great mound of rubble and dirt, cluttered with rough gray stones and pillars wrought with various images. Small trees and large tropical plants have taken root in the spaces between the stones. It is here that the overseers set you and the other demi-human slaves to work.

However, even as the slaves are roused from their tents, one of the Yak-Men motions to a Dao who is standing at hand.

"Pass through this wall, Genie, and tell me what you see on the other side."

The Dao moves forward attempts to pass through the wall, even going so far as to try to claw the stones away with its hands. But the stones do not move.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I cannot, master," replies the Dao in a dead voice. "The walls here are stronger than I."
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Good," replies the Yak-Man, who promptly turns his back on the slaves and walks back toward the pavillions.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The overseers set the slaves to work at once, giving each slave a shovel or a pick, urging you and your fellows on with whips when the pace of the labor slackens.
 DUNGEON MASTER: [It is now about 10:00 pm. The stars are bright in the sky.]
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar takes his place at the mound of rock infront of him working at a steady pace doing his best to remove the rubble and avoide the overseayers wip.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven takes a shovel and proceeds to treat this like an exercise and training, she is careful not to demonstrate her strength, but uses fluid movements which would aid her to strengthen her back, shoulders and and arms for sword play
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran looks to the sky for guidance, as if the stars above would answer his unspoken prayers in some obscure way. He knew the gods did not work that way, not at least with the understanding he had with Zann. Suhran sets to work at a steady pace so as not to attract the whip while at the same time avoiding unwanted attention. As he works he looks around to count how many overseers, Dao and yakmen are observeing them.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran notices no Yak-Men nearby. Two or three Dao seem to be moving around in the area, and a total of four overseerers are watching four chains of ten prisoners each.

The work proceeds steadily for several hours. Most of the trees and some dirt has been cleared away, when there is a cry nearby, when Suhran's shovel hits something crunchy and white in the soil.
 DUNGEON MASTER: *redact the cry nearby*
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran acts as if nothing untoward had happened. Instead working to loosen and remove a nearby rock that had been entanged and trapped within the debris and roots that littered the outside of this forgotten temple. He will attempt to inspect the unusual white substance as he continues to work.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Pick Pocket (<35%): 1d100 = 48%
 DUNGEON MASTER: It appears to be parts of a bone. None of the overseers appear to have noticed Suhran's discover--yet.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran will focus on carefully digging the rocks surrounding what he thinks would be the skeleton of the unfortunate creature that got trapped within the land slide. He will dig around the skeletal remains in hope something of value remains that could be of use to escape their inhuman masters.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran sucessfully digs several feet beside the place where the bone was found, when, a voice not far away calls out: "Oi! Dao! We've got something over here!"

Two of the Dao converge on the dig site and scan the area, as several of the slaves simultaneously unearth bone skeletons that once belonged to humanoids, by the looks of them.

The Dao's eyes flash violet as they scan the area for several minutes. "There is nothing of worth here. Continue," they command, and leave the slaves to their labour.

Dirt-cached bones now protude from the earth nearby, including a complete set of ribs, two skulls, and the radius and ulna of an arm bone. A rusted sword hilt also lies in the dirt nearby.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven hearing the commotion about the bones, slowly digs closer and closer towards where the bones were found. when she gets there she looks for a bone such as a rib or sholder blade that could be easily hidden and easily sharpened into a shiv/dagger
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven goes for one of the ribs.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: trying to disguise what she is doing
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar continues the digging steadely looking over at his conpanions checking what they are doing apon seeing Raven scrumiging in the ground Lazar turns to the the overseayers asking for a drink of water as he walks slightly away from the workface.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven looks around and to see if anyone is watching and tries to see if grabbing the sword is possible for her without being noticed.  A bone no one would care if they saw her a sword, that might cause the guards a problem
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran moves to block line of sight from the nearest overseer observing them to assist Raven's attempt to conceal a length of bone or the blade underneath her clothing.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: IF she feels comfortable that she can do it without being seen Raven tries to grab the sword and hide it in her clothing
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: As weel as the bone
 DUNGEON MASTER: The sword proves to be completely rusted when Raven pulls it from the ground--it falls apart in her hands. On the other hand, the ribs belong to a complete pelvis, and she is able to sucessfully slip one of them into her garments for future use.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The dig continues through the night, with multiple skeletons and fragments of rusted weaponry unearth and take custody of by the overseers. At one point the party notices that their own chain's overseer, a bitter sarcastic elf by the name of Semiha, takes posession of a gray dagger that seems to have avoided becoming rusted.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven as she has been digging has been using the time to identify the habits of her captors, where they walk to when they take breaks, where they go on their breaks.  which aupervisoers are friendly to whci hother supervisors, who seems to be in charge amoungst the supervisors, where there are little diggings/mounds where one could hide behind in any direction things like that.  She is also watching the other prisoners for possible snitches or allies.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Raven notices that Semiha does seem to have slipped the dagger into her clothes rather than add it to the collection of weapons and bones for the Dao's inspection.
 DUNGEON MASTER: On the same chain are a dwarf, a gnome, a half-orc, a halfling, and three half elves.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The night contiunies without further incident until just before dawn, when a horrible scream rises from the edge of the camp, where Raven has observed that the overseers go to answer nature's call.

"It's a cat!" calls one of the overseers nearby, and the party can see a pair of Dao rushing off into the night towards the sound of the cry.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran looks in the opposite direction of the noise to notice if it is a distraction of sorts to conceal something more interesting happening.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven uses her elven hearing to try and hear a cat or cat like animal off in the distance
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar keeps his eyes on the direction the noise came from and readys to defend himself.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Raven does hear a sound in the distance--it hears more like the cry of a humanoid  though, if she is any judge of such things.

Suhran sees a slight movement in the opposite direction--it appears to be a small human , albeit with long, frog-like legs. The thing quickly darts out of sight.

Lazar notices nothing from the direction of the noise for several minutes, until at last the Dao return bearing the corpses of several frog like humanoids, dressed in leather and bearing primitive bows and spears.

At the Yak-Men's command, the dead frog creatures are mounted on stakes at the edge of the jungle--the party has an excellent view of their impaled bodies half an hour later as they go off shift and trudge back to their tents.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Looking over the scene, the party determines that one of the overseerers perished earlier--their corpse is laid out at the feet of the impaled frog men.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: When the opportunity allows, Raven tries to sharpen her bone into a knife.  She tries her best not to allow others to see her.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Raven, after several hours' work, succeeds in turning the rib into a passable shiv. Soon the party heads to sleep, chained together hand and foot.

... only to waken after a few moments, in an entirely different location. Where before had been jungle, sweat, and chains, now the entire party finds themselves unchained, on the edge of a river bank. An old man sits bobbing a long fishing line in and out of the water.

"Peace and blessings be upon you," he says with a gentle smile.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Blessing and peace to you grandfather
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: how do we come to be here?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Those Genie masters brought you to my realm, I suppose. And so here you are. Do you like it? My realm, I mean?" As he speaks a chourus of toads and frogs begins singing along the riverbanks.
 LAZAR TARIQ: it is much more plesent than being chained with a group of strangers forsed to dig away bone filled rubble. do you know why they have brought us here?
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: There is a tranqulity here grandfather, a feeling I have not felt in a long time
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran takes a deep breath of the fresh air and breeze along the shore of the river bank. With a look of scepticism, he regards the old fisherman. He nods slightly in agreement with Lazar's statement. "A dream perhaps or some elaborate use of the arts? Either way a break from reality no matter how brief is most welcome."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Yes my chain comapanion asks a good question.  Do you know why we are here, and who might you be grandfather?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "My realm is the temple where you dig. *I* brought you here. Into my presence. I have a simple bargain for you. A simple bargain but an honest one, yes? I can save you from those who mean to betray you."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: are you refering to the yakmen as our betrayers
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Perhaps." His line tugs and he quite sudden flips a fish up on to the bank beside him, where it thrashes for a few moments before he ends its life. "It is not mine to see everything."
 LAZAR TARIQ: what is our end of this bargen?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Ah. Simply kneel and worship me. I am humble and inoffensive, yes? This is an easy thing, yes?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: to workship you we would need to know who you are Grandfather, who are you?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Introductions! How inconsiderate of me. I am Teo."
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran bows slightly in respect, "My name is Suhran, your offer is most appealing as freedom is one I hold most dear as would my elven companions. THe concept of slavery and our longed lived lives is one I wish not consider. What terms and conditions are involved in this bargain you are offering?"
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Bow and worship me. Promise to enter my temple and worship at me again in that place. And that is all. In exchange I will undo the genies work when you call on me. This is our bargain, yes? Shall we seal it with the bond of salt?" The old man smiles up at you and opens a container beside him containing a white substance.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Why is it important to you that we worship you, you must surly know we alrady workship other gods?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "That is no concern of mine," he replies, cutting open the dead fish and sprinkling some of the white powder on top of it.
 LAZAR TARIQ: it is a difficult disition to make, when we do not know what you stand for. to blindly agree to something like this without knowing more about the religon would be unwise, prehaps you could tell us more about what it is you stand for so we can make a more informed disition.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I stand for... this," he says waving his hand along the river bank. "I stand for gorging onself on fish who cannot bite me back. I stand for bargains with travelers in the evening, when the sun sets orange in the west. I stand for snaring those that would sting me."
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "Riddles within riddles. Would you be oppossed or in conflict with Zann or is he of no concern to you as well? I decision like this is tempting, if not to earn our freedom by protecting your interests within the temple. I am curious about what dangers and possibily that which is useful within your temple you could tell us about?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Is yours an enternal bargain or is it one we can do for a day?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I do not oppose Zann or any of your other gods, so long as they do not oppose me. Enlightened you call them, yes? I do not oppose enlightenment." He cuts the salted fish in pieces and offers one to each of you.

"The bargain is for a tenday; by this time you will have worshipped me in my temple. It is a good bargain, yes?"
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "As long as your words remain true I find this bargain to our mutual benefit." Suhran accepts a piece of salted fish and carefully eats it, testing the flavour and texture before finishing the simple offering.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "My favor is yours, once you bow and worship me." He smiles kindly at Suhran.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The raw fish tatstes fatty, and salty in his mouth.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran kneels before the river bed before the old fisherman as instructed.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I am yours to call upon, when you seek a release from your chains," Teo replies solemnly.
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar steps forward taking a piece of fish i agree to your bargen as the enemy of my enemy is my friend. and pledges as requested
 DUNGEON MASTER: "And a good friend I shall be. Will you bow now and worship me?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: I have one final question, are the frog people you children or do they belong to another?  Are the yak peolple your children or do they belong to another?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "That is more than one final question! Old men beside rivers still can count, yes? Two questions, but one answer: I have no children. Will you take some fish?"
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar dose bows low to the ground and worships the old man standing before him.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Your chains shall be released when you call upon me, young one," the old man promises.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Against her better judgement Raven takes some of tbe fish and follows the olds man instructons
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Then our bargain is complete. Stay and fish beside me if you like. Or return to your chains and your piss and your mud. We have made a good bargain, yes? Call upon Teo when the time is ripe."

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