Twan and Alex absents, Varnag was played by Davide and Cor was played by Jaroen.
…the situation is full of trouble: the inner city lays in front of the heroes, but they are not very confident that they can handle the perils that it is going to throw at them. Varnag is in really bad shape. After a quick discussion the decision is to withdraw outside of the ‘danger zone’ and try to backtrack to a point where they can rest and recover a bit, then attempt again with a better plan and more stamina.
Getting out of Yaramuke seems easier than getting in, especially now that they know what to look for and how to evade the problems.
The group quickly reaches the outskirt of the urbanized area, there a surprise expect them: the spot where they had left the crodlu is devoid of crodlus… it seems that they have broken their leashes and gone astray! From a quick check it seems that the crodlu weren’t stolen or attacked, they just didn’t wanted to be there at all and escaped. It also seems that they scattered in all directions. There is nothing to do but proceed on foot.
Therai suggests that they can check with that strange Braxat they saw before if there is a chance of resting at his farm. Nobody has ever heard of a ‘farming’ braxat, but there aren’t many options. Luckily, from the traces on the dust, it seems that a couple of Crodlu went in the same direction, and after a while they spot them grazing on some small plant. They catches them easily enough (the Crodlu are domesticated). One of the two seems limping a bit, but a quick check by Rochus tell them that it’s nothing bad, a bit of a liniment and some rest and it will be fine again. After a bit they also notices the traces of other 2 crodlu that seems to be still going towards the outskirt of the city. So it seems they only lost one.
After a while, the group manages to be in sight of the farm and they also spot the Braxat sitting on his rocks apparently in deep thought. Rochus and Cor will move forward and try to stay hidden while Therai, Varnag and Hardok approaches the Braxat, if he doesn’t seem very friendly everybody will jump him.
They also notices that the 2 missing crodlu are grazing around with the other crodlus, so all of them are present now. Therai approached the Braxat, that seems to finally noticing them.
Therai – Hallo there… great farmer…
The Braxat slowly gets up, towering above them all. Therai has the impression that he’s not very dangerous, it looks a bit surprised and a bit… slow. Another strange feature is that his eyes are completely black, like a couple of black stones. That’s definitively not normal and Therai guess that it has something to do with Shadow Magic (the sort that creates the Tembos).
Therai – I apologize for the disturbing, I don’t mean any harm… I’m lost and just looking for some safe place.
the Braxat seems to slowly ponder the words, like something he isn’t used to, then slowly nods and mutter “Adventurer!”
Therai – Yes, we’re adventurer, we’re travelling to Yaramuke and we’re relly appreciated a safe place.
Braxat – Yaramuke… Good.
Therai – Yaramuke is very bad now.
Braxat – Yes. Dangerous.
Therai – Is it okay if we stay at the farm?
Braxat – Good. You go to Yaramuke. The Crodlu stay. Dangerous. Crodlu Safe here. For you.
Therai – And we can stay safe at the farm?
Braxat – You can rest. I have quest for you!
Therai – (oh fuck)… Of course… You are… very right. Something in return. Sounds fine. We help you and you help us.
Varnag is puzzled by the Braxat, he knows that they are not really bright but this one seems a bit strange. There is an urban legend that in Tyr there is a group of Halfling that somehow has a Braxat.
Braxat – Follows.
The Braxat moves towards the farm, he counts his crodlu and realize that there are more, he mutters “More. Yours”. So he makes the connection that the crodlus have to belongs to the group.
Braxat – Have you been in Yaramuke?
Therai – Yes, we got to the wall.
Braxat – Not inside?
Therai – Why?
The braxat seems confused.
Braxat – Dangerous.
Therai – Do you know Yaramuke?
Braxat – Dangerous. Defiled. Shadow. You in city. Beware of your shadows.
Therai – What is the problem with the shadow?
Braxat – Dangerous.
Therai – Are you from Yaramuke?
He seems to think about then he mutters “Yes. No”.
Therai has the impression that the creature is actually two persons in one.
Therai – How can we call you?
Braxat – Braxat. Braxat is Braxat!
He seems satisfied with that.
Therai – You watch the crodlus?
Braxat – Yes, I watch the crodlus for the adventurers. They take them back when they leave. Sometimes they don’t.
Hardok – Many adventurers around here?
Braxat – Sometimes.
Hardok – (to no one in particular) So much for the forgotten city.
Therai – Did you see the shadow?
Braxat – Yaramuke is shadow. Braxat stay out. Defiled too big.
Hardok – (to no one in particular) This guy seems smarter than other people.
Therai – What is this quest that you want us to do?
Braxat – Find thing. (he seems to think for a while) Find Sphere of Shadows. Bring. Me want look at Sphere. You keep.
The group is a bit confused about this. He wants to look at this ‘sphere of shadows’. Therai hypothesizes that somehow the ‘shadow’ is inside his body and using this Sphere maybe it can ‘escape’ it. But nobody has heard of this “sphere of shadow”. Therai assumes that is some sort of crystal ball used as a focus for some sort of ritual.
Rochus – Do you know where the Sphere is in Yaramuke?
Braxat – Inner city. In shadow. Near gardens. Fountain.
Rochus – You’ve met a lot of adventurers.. any tip on how to survive?
Braxat – Keep moving. Stay away from shadow horror.
So there is some sort of garden in the inner city, with a fountain. Or so it seems.
Braxat – Beware statues.
Lots of things to be aware of apparently.
The Braxat at this point enters the barn, scraping his head on the top of the door, and gesture towards a corned that is covered with some hay and a nearby barrel.
Braxat – You rest here. Drink.
The water in the barrel looks like thick red wine, it tastes bitter but can be drank. Cor goes to check the distillation device, that seems to be put together with scampered remaining of pottery and obsidian glass.
Varnag collapses immediately on the hay and is snoring in 5 minutes flat. And basically everybody is resting and recovering. The place is desolate and abandoned, it seems that the Braxat spent his time thinking on his rock. Nothing disturbs the rest of the guys (for once), so they get up a lot rested and ready to tackle Yaramuke once again.
Therai decides that the simplest way to move around is to summon his “fire elemental” and use it more or less as a moving torch to illuminate the surrounding.
The group leaves the crodlu at the care of the Braxat and moves back to Yaramuke. This time aware of the ghosts, the defiled patches and the flaming creatures. They quickly reaches the inner wall avoiding troubles. There they consider if there is a different way to cross the wall that does not involve passing the unstable terrain.
Something that attract their attention is some sort of very dark cloud in the dark sky. But it’s moving in an irregular way… Some sort of shadow creature maybe? Rochus decides that it’s worth to keep an eye on it.
The wall is quite tall, but has been battered and seems possible to climb it. There is a bit of divergence of opinion about which place is the best for the climb, and while they are trying to toss the rope on the wall the sound of ghosts begins to be heard and a light turns on in one of the houses. Finally they manage to climb up, leaving Therai and Rochus’ friend tied to the rope to be lifted up. There is a bit of a rush at pulling the rope but they manage and everybody is on the top of the wall.
The group looks around: the city is very dark and it looks a lot like a ghost town. No much damages to the buildings, except the damage inflict by the time and lack of maintenance, but there is definitively something dark and sinister afoot.
There is a door on the nearest tower that lead to a spiral staircase that brings them on the street level. Rochus keeps an eye on the dark shadow in the sky, and notices that it seems closest to the ground now, but it’s difficult to see. In the road they can see some corpses, including a large quadruped.
They decided to move towards the river, there are more corpses around, but they seems ancient, probably some warriors that were either defending the city or attacking it. Unfortunately after a while they run into a large defiled patch that stretches along the road, so they decide to move north, towards the center of the city through an alley and a small plaza. The plaza is full with the remenance of some sort of a market, while moving towards the center they notices a severe drop in the temperature.
The buildings are still in good state after all, and the dark cloud is no longer in sight, but instead of the sun, that at this point should be on the south, there is some sort of dark disk hanging in the sky, like everything is in reverse, and the shadows are also pointing towards south. It seems the light doesn’t work as it’s supposed to. After that, they decide to try to move directly towards the center of the city, in the general direction of the big tower in the center, avoid problems as far as possible.
After some twist and turns, they reaches a large open area, with some benches and a statue, they are quite weary of the statue but decides in the end that it’s just a statue. It’s the statue of a woman with two large animals at her side, looking better they notices that the animals are Tembos. And the woman was probably Yaramuke’s Sorcerer Queen. Definitively, there is a connection between shadows and Yaramuke.
Along the road they notices some corpses that don’t look very old, probably others adventurer.
They reaches two large boulevards, that runs along the river bank, and follow the road towards the city’s center. At one point they decide that the other side of the road looks better so they cross over at a bridge. Therai looks if there are boats or rafts that could be used to move on the river, but everything that was there have long gone or it’s completely destroyed by the time.
At the end of the boulevard, a bridge connects both side, and ahead the road is closed by a long fence, with a large gate flanked by two large statues, the fence disappears in both direction in the darkness. The road is littered with corpses that seems not too old and they seems to have been smashed by great force.
Looking a bit better but without getting much closer, they notices that there are marks that looks like they have been pummeled by large fists. They notices the size of the statues and remember the warning of the Braxat of “beware the statues” and suppose that those aren’t statue but Golem or some other kind of constructs, and it’s better to leave them alone.
The fence seems made entirely of obsidian, very sharp and with pointy bits at the top. On the other side there are the remenance of an old strip of grass, but now all the traces of life are gone.
They decide to leave the road and goes through some house at the side of the street and locate another gate or a different way to avoid the statues.
The houses in this area are posh and large, obviously very rich houses, the interior seems intact, except for the time passed, but no much damages seems to have happened. Cor and Rochus have no trouble getting into one, the door disintegrating into dust as soon as they touches it, but then they get lost inside, and end up in an inner courtyard with a lonely tree, or what’s left of it, standing in a corner. They notices that the tree seems to be in the shadow even if it’s in the light of Therai’s fire elemental.
They moves to another house trying to locate an exit in the street, the house is wide open, the door is gone, inside there are a bunch of corpses, quite new and chopped to bits, it seems the adventurers tried to barricade the room but weren’t very successful in their attempt.
Quickly they leave the house and manage to get back to the road, at a distance from the gate. Therai approach the fence carefully and he feels immediately that trying to cross it wouldn’t be a smart idea. The fence is radiating something, a cold feeling.
In the distance, there is another gate house, this one is across the fence and has one lonely statue guarding it in front. The statue itself doesn’t look pristine: the head is missing and its body seems battered and scarred. It’s still looking powerful.
They decide to try to climb the gate house remaining out of the guardian’s view, get to the roof, cross the fence and climb down the other side, possibly avoiding the statue at all.
Unfortunately, as soon as they begin the climb, there is a rumbling sound and the statue moves, slowly but decisively, in their direction. The Golem is indeed very strong, doesn’t have weapons but its massive fists are capable of smashing walls. The group decide that a direct confrontation is to be avoided and quickly climb the wall of the building.
The problem at this point is the steep incline of the roof that makes Hardok slip and cling to the side of the building, and the Golem is so tall that he can grab the roof and lift itself up.
Everybody leaves the roof as fast as they can and gets into the building, just before the roof collapses bringing the Golem crashing into the building. Inside Varnag, Cor and Rochus confront and dispatch 2 ghosts that have materialized and then proceed to the ground floor, the Golem sees them through a door and smashed the double door to get them. Luckily, the Golem is damaged by the past battles and Hardok can keep it busy while Rochus, Varnag and Cor smash it, in the end the massive statues lies in bits and a new Hardok-shaped
door is carved in the wall of the building, but they are now inside the inner citadel of Yaramuke…
+700 Xp – Total 14550 Xp.