Monday, March 25, 2013

Al'Qadim Session 2

Session 2
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran turns to regard his companions, "While we reside in this place between reality and dreams, I feel it is to our advantage to discuss things we could not otherwise."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Well We could at least introduce ourselves seeing as we all seem to have made a pact with Teo.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The old man smiles at the mention of himself in thrid person, and politely turns back to his fishing.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: SO dear Teo, can you you give us any clue as to what is going on with the Yakman.  Are they trying to encroch on your place of power or tap into your power?
 LAZAR TARIQ: this is true raven we have managed to get a few things when we camped out in a cave a few nights ago we found a sword and a few daggers. as well as some cind of potion.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Do you all have weapons, I have this sharpend bone I am going to use as a dagger or is the sword and daggers spare?
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran looks to Raven, "I have a short sword concealed within my clothing I wish you to use when the time is right. People live out their lives bound by limitations of their own power. That's how they define their perception of control. However what does it mean to challenge control? These are merely vague constructs or interpretations made by scholars and lawmakers in dusted libraries who have never faced what it is we face. THese yak-men are worthy of the final death for their arrogance and abuse of power when they decided sacrificing or enslaving all those they set eyes upon was acceptable. We are not their property to be bartered with or used as they see fit."
 DUNGEON MASTER: "These cow creatures had been no concern of mine, up until this very day. I shall become better acquainted with them hereafter," he says with a weary sigh. "But I know their genie slaves of old."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: I am curious good Teo, can we meet here each night or is this a once off occasion?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I shall be honored to have your presence here in my home, every time you are invited," he replies.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Pardon me great Teo for asking, but how often are we likely to be invited?
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "This place whatever type of construct it is, is welcome relief from reality. Each night since we had been captured by the yak-men, a darkness has began to creep into my heart, a chill that leeched away all feeling and colour from my dreams. All we had was the fear of the unknown, a slow and cruel death at the hands of those who abuse the power they wield. Yet, when we awaken from his dream I know that fear will be gone, replaced with a purpose to give the yak-men a reason to fear again."
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I find that mortals take a different view of the word 'often'," he replies wistfully. "I may see you here again during your mortal lives. This answers you, yes?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Perhaps, great one, Is there perhaps a way to signal you to be invited into your realm if for example we need to talk to plan to achieve the goal of bowing at your feet when the time comes
 LAZAR TARIQ: how large is the temple we are about to enter dose it extend beond what can be seen from outside is your alter hard to get to
 LAZAR TARIQ: or would it be hard for us to get to it
 DUNGEON MASTER: "I may have other offers for you in the future," he replies. "In such a time you will be invited again into my home."
 DUNGEON MASTER: "My temple? It is small. The--altar did you call it? I suppose it is an altar of sorts--the altar is in the center of the main chamber, just inside the doors. You will not miss it."
 LAZAR TARIQ: how do we pray to you once inside the temple is there something we must say
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Ah. I am a humble god; a kind god. I require no sacrifices, no ritual cleansing. Simply prostrate yourselves before my idol and worship me. It may take time, but I will acknowledge you. Then your bargain will be complete."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: will you idol look like you do now?
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: OR do you have anther form?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "It will not look like this. You will know it when you see it--I am sure."
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: "I believe we should be patient for the right opportunity to be realised from our chains. Personally my first goal is to escape from the yak-men and if time permits, cut out the heart of as many of them as possible. We will be of no use to the rest of the slaves if we die in our attempt to escape. I doubt the yak-men will invest too much time and resources to track us with the threat of frogmen attacking the camp," replies Suhran.
 LAZAR TARIQ: teo can we have our bonds broken after praying at your alter
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: I strongly suggest we don't go out of our way to kill Yakman....if they are in the way most certainly, however if we seek any out it will slow us down. I would rather escape with less Yakman dead then more dead and be recaputred becasue we did not leave as soon as possible.  You can get your revenge later, getback your freedon first
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Whenever you request it. You remember that you must worship at my temple within ten days of today, yes?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Dear Teo, can you tell us anything about the yakman and their pets the deo which may assist us in bowing at your alter sooner
 LAZAR TARIQ: is there more than one way into your temple
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Do you not know of the Dao? They are deadly if you are not prepared. I have looked into their hearts, and they resent their masters--they will obey as they have been commanded, but will never take the initiative to protect those cow men's interests."
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Yes," replies the old man, looking at Lazar. He shfits somewhat uncomfortably. "Would you care to take up a rod and fish here with me? Or return now to your world of chains?"
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: perhaps we should fish, It is much nicer here then in chains.  Another question great Teo does time pass the same here as where we are from?
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran removes his sandals before sitting by the river edge with his feet dangling over the water. He picks up a spare fishing rod and enjoys what time they have left fishing and sharing idle chat and banter with the old man.
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar joins the old man fishing in the river
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Take a rod, then. It is a good evening for fishing, yes? Time passes here as it does in the world--but it is more comfortable here, I think."
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven Happily joins in the fishing and the conversation
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar scratches the temple shape into the sand with his finger. is it within you teo to show us where the other entrance is?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Ah--an ill topic, yes? There is a hole in the roof of my temple. Perhaps I should find some followers to repair it, do you think?" he replies with a self-effacing smile.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Just before we leave great Teo if one of my companions gives me something here in your realm, will I have it in the other realm or do I need to get it from him there?
 DUNGEON MASTER: "You can trade items here, if that is your wish," replies Teo.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Thank you.  So gentleman if you have that spare short sword I could certainly use it alone with my bone dagger.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran removes the short sword concealed within his clothing and offers it to Raven. He looks to Teo, "Thank you, that is most generous of you."
 LAZAR TARIQ: can you provide me with en and ink here to write down a spell?
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven says thanks and then uses so cloth to tie the sword to her body so it is concelled when she moves and doesnt stick me
 DUNGEON MASTER: "Alas, I carry no such things here. You can find some in my temple, perhaps?"

After a long restful period spent fishing, Teo returns the party back to their tents. No one awakens immediately, and in fact it is only when Semiha the overseer comes around to shake the slaves awake that the heroes regain conciousness.

It is about two in the afternoon, and the steam is rising from the jungle.
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar moves to get a drink when permitted to and eats what he is porvided.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven udergoes a serious of hidden stretches flexing her muscles to stay flexable and strong
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran opens his eyes slowly, then with a start as he realises where they are once more. He rolls to his feet before cracking his back and neck after a night sleeping on the clearing within the jungle.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: He reaches to his waist to check for the short sword as he stretches to confirm the old mans words were true, this time at least.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The short sword is indeed gone.
 LAZAR TARIQ: Lazar checks the position of the guards.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran carefully observes the initial reactions of those surrounding them as the slaves rise from their slumber, to notice if they behave differently, in a way that would indicate they shared a similiar dream as them.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The slaves behave as they always do--tired, wretched and resigned to another hard day of labor.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven looks into the surrounding jungle in a casual move to see if she can spot any frog men
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: or any movement in the jungle around them
 DUNGEON MASTER: Raven does not see any sign of frog men--other than the unfortunate ones impaled on poles near the jungle's edge. There appear to be a couple, fresher, frog men corpses that have been added to the collection during the morning.

But she does get the sense that there are unseen eyes out in the trees that are watching her.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The excavation in front of the entrance is nearly complete--an emblazoned gray door is still half-buried in the muck and the large stones, and a team of slaves is still labouring to clear it.

However, it is not to the door that your chain of slaves is sent. Instead, you are marched toward the side of the temple, where several ladders have been placed against the wall leading up to the roof. A system of pullies and ropes has been constructed on top of the temple, and chains of slaves are in the process of moving large stones up to the base of the pulley system.

"Up on top!" snarls your overseer, Semiha . "Move carefully--thirty lashes for the one that trips on the way up!"
 DUNGEON MASTER: Lazar, who was watching carefully the placement of the guards, notes that there appear to be two Yak-Men up on the roof, as well as two Dao. The other dao are scarcely to be seen--only glimpses of them as they move around the permiter of the site.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran looks to the rooftop of the stone structure at the mention of thirty lashes. "To the roof it is then." He begins to pick his way carefully across the moss covered stone stabs of the temples outer walls.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven takes the opportunity as she climbs higher to have a good look around her and take in her surroundings both close and in the distance.
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar starts makin g his way up the side of the temple making shore of his footing befor putting his entire weight on each step avoiding as much moss as he can not wanting to feel the bight of the overseer's wip today.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven wonders why the yakmen are trying to block the roof
 DUNGEON MASTER: The roof is situated about 70' above the ground. One treacherous climb up the ladder later, the party is in chains at the top of the roof, where they are set to work heaving on the ropes to pull chunks of gray boulders to the top.

At the north west corner of the roof top, stonework is turned up at odd angles near a sagging hole in the floor.  It is to this place that the slaves are directed to haul the stone, placed so as to stop the hole.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The hole is about 10' across at its widest.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran inspects the edge of the collapsed roof without endangering his companions that are chained to him.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Suhran observes no light sources below. In the dim light below he catches glimpses of broken stone work, 70 feet down. Also, there appears to be another level 30 feet below, although the hole torn into the second level is about 40' in diameter--large enough to be nearly inacessable from the hole.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran looks away from the hole leading into the temple, passing it as an option at the moment. Instead focusing on working the rope to manually move the stone to the roof top as instructed.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven gets closer to Suhran and quietly expalins she is going to try and make the seal of the roof inperfect so that they could all pry it loose later or there is a small gap for something to get out while also covering it up s the Yakmen don't notice.
 DUNGEON MASTER: After several hours' work, the team of slaves creates a pile of gray stonework that covers the hole.

One of the Yak-Men--a gray-furred creature to whom the other Yak-Men seem to defer--comes to inspect the fruit of your labour. But instead of looking at the stone himself, he motions to one of the Dao.

"Dao," he commands. "Find a way through this pile of stone, if you are able. Then return to me at once."

It takes but a minute for the Dao to discover the imperfections left by Raven and the others. With ease, it passes through the dirt, reappearing a moment later by the Yak-Man's side as commanded.

The Yak-Man simply nods to Semiha  and the other overseers to patch the hole, and then returns to whatever it was he was doing up at the pinnacle of the temple.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: As Suhran finishes patching up the stone work to the yak-mens standards, he looks at the larger pieces of stone they have hauled up to see if there are any obivous religious or magical runes etched into the surface he can see wiith his mundane eye sight.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Several of the stones used to patch the roof are chunks of pillars brought up from below. These are decorated at the top and bottom with what appear to be anthromorphic frogs ensnaring scimitar-wielding humans with their long tongues.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Intelligence check: 1d20 = 6
 DUNGEON MASTER: It's subtle, but the scimitar-wielding humans appear to be various types of genies.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The apex of this structure is sheltered with a small flagstone canopy, where the gray-haired Yak-Man is currently positioned.
 DUNGEON MASTER: Once the hole in the roof has been plugged to the Yak-Man's satisfaction, the slaves are returned to the area in front of the door to resume clearing out the remaining debris.

Soon night falls, and your overseer, Semiha , drives you with some urgency.

"Hurry it up, you!" she snarls cracking the whip at Suhran. "T'will be worse than hell for you if this place isn't clear by dawn!"
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar picks up the pace slightly not wanting to find out what will happen if the entrance is not clear by dawn.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven tries to see what they are clearing, just plain rubble or more rocks with images on them?
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran grits his teeth in a silent frustration at the crack of the whip. Although the fatigue from the humid weather has taken its toil the adrenaline rush from pain is a suitable motivator for him to struggle loosening the rocks and clearing the enterance.
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar keeps his eyes out for any wepons that may be in good enough condition to use
 DUNGEON MASTER: Raven notes that they are clearing away the rubble in front of what appear to be large doors, made out of some gray metal. The images on the stonework appear to match that which Suhran observed earlier.
 RAVEN EAGLEHAWK: Raven tries to identify the grey metal
 DUNGEON MASTER: The metal appears to be a heavily treated alloy--albeit not one that Raven is familiar with.
 DUNGEON MASTER: While the work continues, the scent of heavy jasmine perfume  wafts through the air, and a cloaked, veiled woman approaches. "Are we nearly done?" she inquires of no one in particular.

Overseerer Semiha  starts at the presence of the woman. "Declare yourself! Are you of the Dao?"
 LAZAR TARIQ: lazar looks up to see who the newcomer is.
 SUHRAN ATH’THALITHA: Suhran rests against his work impliment momentarily as he catches his breath and observes the discussion that is taking place between the two woman.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "The Dao…" replies the woman contemptiously, but before the woman can answer, the gray-haired Yak-Man hustles out of the darkness.

"Kul'ana!" he snarls. "Back into my tent."

Lazar and Suhran note that the woman appears to be somewhat thin, and veiled head to foot in black attire, somewhat remniscient of the traditionalist sects of religious fanatics.
 DUNGEON MASTER: "As you wish, Thockmay," she replies, her voice thin but rich in haughtiness.

"Now!" the Yak-Man snarls again.

Slow and deliberate, the woman turns on her heels and follows the Yak-Man back towards the pavillions.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The overseer glares into the darkness for a moment, then returns to her charges with renewed vigor.
 DUNGEON MASTER: The work continues throughout the night. Mud, stone, and skeleton are hauled away from the entrance unceremoniously, as fast as can be. Dawn is nearly upon you, when at last the muck and grime have been cleared away far enough to allow full access to the door.

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