Dark Sun Sandbox

The Inside of the Tower

Battle with the Cilops and the inside of the tower

Session 2014/01/18 – first session of the new year! Alex missing.

…keeping an eye on the Cilops that is slowing uncoiling itself in the yard, the group proceed towards the collapsed tower’s wall.

The wall are massive, 5 meters thick at the bottom and particularly smooth, looks like the blast melted away the stone leaving a surprisingly smooth hole into the structure.

The entrance leads into a wide circular room, that looks like an enclosed garden, there is a sort of pentagonal shape in the ground that probably was grass or plants, but the time and the lack of maintenance have taken their toll, there are also traces of something that looks
benches or other implement used to sit around, but are now reduced to broken down locks of stone or masonry.

In the center of the room there is an hole, like there was a tree there but is now gone. Burned or removed and taken away.

On the opposite wall two stairs, one leading up and one leading down.

The walls are slightly curved and windows are hidden above, letting light into the room. It looks like it could have been a pleasant place where to sit and meditate.

A few kanks workers and a massive warrior are scattering about, also a couple of cilops are feeling around with their antennae…

The group decide not to mess about with the cilops for the moment and quickly move towards the stairs leading up, leaving the room.

Upstairs there is a similar room as below, but smaller (the tower taper up in a conical shape). There are the remaining of furniture in the room, broken down cabinets and desks of sort and some remanence of paperwork. A quick search of the room reveal a solid wooden desk that got damaged but remained somewhat intact, in some papers that are still partially readable there are depiction of elves and a symbol that looks like a elven clan tattoo but has a skull motif, and nobody ever saw a skull motif in any elven clan tattoo before. Besides that the group find some sort of schematic of the tower that points to some sort of a bell on the top of the tower and some scribbling that after some trouble
Therai manage to decipher. The schematic reveals that the garden is some sort of psionic focus that allow psionic force to be used to ‘power’ parts of the tower for some purpose. The power apparently is guided from the top of the tower, where some sort of ritual is performed and then is funneled waaaaayyyy down…

So the group moves upper into the tower, towards the ‘bell’ room. The next room looks a lot similar to the previous one, so the group moves up again, into a smaller room but with larger round windows, that are completely open and allow quite a view to the surrounding area.

Poking around and removing a bit of the dust that accumulated around, there are intricate symbols traced on the floor and around the windows, Therai hypothesize that the room was used for some sort of psionic ritual. Pondering about it, he decide that the whole tower could be used like a telescope that could be used to watch in the surrounding area not only in space, but also in time. However, the place need ‘power’ to function and right now isn’t getting any. To booth, the person performing the ritual should completely focus on the seeing and ignore any other sense.

Hardok looks out the window to check if Iuraks is around, but notices that the view is a bit hazy, he suggest that the tower was built for a specific reason and it’s not just to look out the window.

One more floor up and the group is in the bell room. And there is indeed a big bell in the middle of the room. The walls taper up and there are no more stairs, there are also windows (or holes) to let light and air in. The bell attract all the sights, is a huge thing, that looks it could be made out of metal and there are all sort of grooves and sign on it,
Therai goes to investigate.

Irann remind that the bell was rang once a day in the morning. But there is no swing inside, Hardok try to smack it but it notices that the bell is not really metal, it looks like a combination of metal and stone and simply smacking it won’t do much. It seems that some sort of psionic trick involved.

What Therai figures is that if the bell is actually rang, whoever is standing around would probably be deafened for a while by the noise.

Irann doesn’t remember any deaf monk during her time in the monastery.

While the group is looking and puzzling about, Hardok and Cor hear a faint clicking/skittering noise coming from below, Cor sneaks towards the stair and confirm that a couple of Cilops are coming up the stairs, flipping their antennae around. Quickly, Hardok moves to block the stairs while everybody moves to have a better position. However, Varnag reminds that Cilops can climb wall with ease.

At the last second Varnag also remember that the Cilops have resistance to Psionic attacks.

The first Cilops shows up on the stairs, like he knew that there was somebody upstairs.

Irann takes the initiative, elegantly jumping down the stairs and attacking the Cilops with her spear and contemporary unleashing the Tiger Charm on it, the tiger spirit immobilize the Cilops while the severe wallop leave it confused and make it slide down the stairs.

Hardok moves forward, passing Irann and smacking the Cilops again. Therai doesn’t have a visual on the enemy, so he moves forward and attacks.

At this point the Cilops manage to react, since it’s immobilized by the Tiger spirit, it resort to concentrating its Psionic Gaze into Hardok. Hardok realize that this allow the creature to predict his movement to a certain extent, it also attacks with its antennas, that have some sort of electric charge and leave Hardok dazed for a while.

Another Cilops scurry past the couple, climb effortlessly up the wall and reaches the floor, it attacks Cor, focusing its psionic gaze on him and attacks.

At this point Hardok shout from below that “there is another one here!”, so 3 Cilops.

Varnag move forward in a flurry of trikal and slashes at the cilop that is attacking Cor, this distract the Cilop enough for Cor to unleash a nasty sword attack that decapitate the Cilop in one slash.

Irann moves forward, but she can’t reach the Cilop with Hardok in front, so she pulls her bow and shoot the cilop, finishing it. Hardok, being still dazed by the Cilop’s attack, decide to go full defense and bolster his position. Therai, not being able to see the target anymore, move down the stairs and attempt a psionic attack on the remaining cilop.

The Cilop attacks Hardok, but its pincer are stopped by the shield and the distraction of Therai’s attack.

Varnag move forwards and distract the Cilop long enough for Hardok to whop it. Cor moves forward and uses his sling to attack the cilop on the stairs.

…at this point basically everybody is stuck in the staircase, trying to reach the cilop at the bottom and getting in each other’s way…

Irann shoot another arrow, that zip past Hardok and hit his target. Hardok, having recovered his senses, attack the cilop with his Thunder Ram power, slashing the creature with his jaded Thunder Blade and killing it.

Therai – Well, that was sort of easy… do you think we can go down now?
Hardok – You mean down down downstairs?
Therai – Yes, downstairs down.
Hardok – We are on the stairs.
Therai – Exactly, so we can go down the stairs and then downstairs.
Hardok – Sure, we can go downstair and then follow the stairs down.
Therai – Precisely, down along the stairs shall we go down?
Hardok – Donw the stairs. We go.
Irann – …can I punch them now?

Recovered from that bit of banter the group moves back into the garden, that now only contains the few Kanks that seems undisturbed, everybody moves across the room and then in the basement of the tower.

The basement is dark, with no ‘light holes’, so torches are pulled out from backpacks and lit to provide illumination. The room is smaller than the ‘garden’ floor, and there are more remaining of furniture in the middle. It looks a bit like a storage space for gardening tools, but there is a weird opening on one side, through an archway it leads to an hole in the ground that goes down deep into the ground. The walls are smooth but with some strange ‘grooves’ going down, and some strange markings on the wall nearby, like 2 intersecting circles.

Therai ponder a bit and then declare that this is what is normally referred as “a levitating disk”. A magical thing from ancient time and is used to move up and down. Unfortunately, this device need to be powered and right now is not.

After looking a bit around the group decide that if they can’t figure out how to “power” the levitating disk, they aren’t going anywhere. The shaft is waaay to deep to descend with a rope or with a ladder.

The group return to the “garden”, since now the Cilops are gone, they start checking it out. There are obviously traces of benches and other places where to sit and probably meditate, and the hole in the center was certainly occupied by a tree of some sort and traces suggest that it was ripped out.

Everybody looking at the remaining of the plant can imagine that the plant was quite exotic, not a common desert plant. And the garden was probably functioning like a greenhouse to maintain the best condition for the plant. Therai’s arcane knowledge also suggest that this
kind of arrangement crops up in several legends about ‘Tree of Life’. Which pops up as a source of arcane power, associated with defiling. On the ground, there are also some ‘channels’ that could be for irrigation but could also be to channel psionic power around.

Irann decide to ask the Fox on the matter.

Fox – The cilops are creepy… but tasty as well! Especially the eye!
Hardok – juck
Irann – can you sense something going closer to the center of the room?
Fox – Oh yes, there must have been one of those big power tree in here!
Hardok – you mean there are more of them?
Fox – Oh sure! They are very useful! If you burn them up you can blow up stuff very good!

After a bit of discussion about how can somebody remove the entire tree, is clear that the fox doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about how the tree works.

Therai decides to sit down a bit and meditate on this, trying to reach out with his psionic power.

After a while, the fox jumps up.

Fox – Oh! I know! You can push energy into this thing!
Therai – And you have energy?
Fox – Well, yeah, from here I could drain the energy of surrounding fields and power this place up.
Hardok – That doesn’t sound very nice.
Fox – Well… You could use a bit of your own energy and that would also work for a bit.

After some discussion, the group realize that what the fox is trying to say is that the room and the tree were built to channel psionic energy from a large group of people into the bowel of the tower where it could be used for… something. But now there isn’t enough energy around, so the Fox suggest to reverse the functionality and push life energy instead of psionic, this should provide some power to wathever the tower do.

The group decide to sacrifice some of their own energy in the effort, as they focus their energy, the channels and the inscription on the wall begins to glow, faintly but clearly. So they quickly return to the basement and they can see that now in the shaft there is a faint, shimmering disk suspended in there. Hardok tries carefully, but it seems the disk has no trouble sustaining his weight.

Everybody steps in, and Therai manage to activate the contraption that slowly in the beginning and then faster, moves down, after a while, the group find itself a lot lower.

A short corridor connect to a pentagonal chamber. Hardok asks aloud what is with this people and pentagonal rooms. The room is decorated (if you can say so) with strange “painting”, sort of markings made with really dark ink. There are 2 passages on the opposit
side but one of them is collapsed. Therai looks a bit at the painting, but they makes no sense, like strange ink blot deformed into weird shapes, but he can only feel a faint psionic echo.

On the opposite end of the room there are the remaining of a statue, broken stones and traces. Looking at the parts, it looks like the statue had the shape of a skull, there are bits that looks like tentacles, and other bits that reminds of long theet.

Therai wonder why having a statue down here where nobody could see it…

Hardok checks the collapsed passage and conclude that it was probably collapsed on purpose and whoever did it did a very good job.

The other door leads to a storage area full with ritualistic stuff: brazier, remaining of clothes, and the like.

Hardok wonders why leaving all this stuff down here, unless the other room was a lot more important…

Some poking around reveals a forgotten bottle half-full of a liquid fluid, Therai smells it and
almost faint, he suggest that the liquid was used in some kind of ritual. More empty bottles can be seen around, some of them have been smashed. Therai pocket the bottle.

Irann suggests to move upstairs and try to look out the big windows, since the place is “powered” maybe it will have some effect. So everybody piles on the levitating disk and moves up, with relief from Hardok that comment that “he prefers stairs”.

A short time later, the whole group is back in the window room, looking around again, Therai
notices some spaces around that suggest peoples were standing around the bell.

So Therai suggest everyone stands around trying to concentrate and focus on the sight.

After a while, everyone can sort-of feel some sort of “sphere of awareness”, that expands and give a sense of sharpness, and they can ‘expand’ it by concentrating and it can reach more or less the entire tower and almost the entire monastery. In this range everyone has a reasonable awareness of what is going on. They can perceive all the creatures, like the kanks, scattering about.

Therai can quickly perceive the presence of the Kanks, some Cilops and then the Caravan that was left behind in the stable area. And he also realize that the guards are acting frantically and one of the Crodlu is missing. And then he realize that the guards are attempting to keep the door closed while a Cilop outside is trying to push them open! The caravan is under attack!

Therai jumps up shouting and everyone quickly run down the stairs towards the entrance.

When the group reaches the stable area they can ear the shouting coming from the inside of the stable, there is one cilop on top of the stable that is trying to chew his way into it, another one is pushing the door from the front and a few kanks are sort-of ‘helping’ the Cilops.

The group approaches the stable from behind.

The Cilop that is trying to open the door, manages to push the door open, so the unlucky guard on the other side find himself looking in the big eye of the cilop, so he swing his axe at it but in the panic he misses and chops a bit of wood from the door, the other guard swings his axe and manage to hit!

Therai rushes towards the barn, sees the commotion on the roof and in the front and aim a psionic blast at the roof, blasting a couple of kank workers.

As a response to the attack, the Cilop on the door opens his eye and attacks the guard, blooding him.
The cilop on the roof tries to force his way into the barn but the barn is surprisingly strong and resist.
Hardok rushes in, charging the kank soldier in front of the barn and hitting it with his sword, in the hope of distracting it from the barn.
Cor runs and climb onto the barn.
The Kank soldier, turns around and slashes with his mandibles at Hardok but misses, however Hardok notices another soldier entering the area.
Irann quickly reaches the front of the barn and smack the kank soldier so hard that he backs onto the cilop and flail it with his mandibles, but doesn’t do much.
Varnag approaches and tosses a projectile to the Cilop but misses. The Cilop on the roof finally manages to break through, and falls into the barn. The small kanks and Cor remains on the roof.

One of the kank worker actually spits some acid at Cor, and hits. The other workers realize that the soldier is under attack, so they decide to help him out, one of them spits on Irann, but she ducks and avoid the hit. The guard inside the barn now realize that another cilop is inside! So he tries again to attack the one in front of him but it misses again, so he moves a bit away from the cilop. The other guard decide to goes all defenses and hope for the best.

Therai is still on the street, and doesn’t have a good view of the action, he can see Cor on the roof, but the cilop is now inside so it’s invisible. So he decide to cast a Force Hammer on the roof trying to hit the kanks and succed, the kanks are hit and disoriented.

The cilop inside the barn attacks and hit the guard that was on the defense, smacking him down. The second cilop, the one that arrived from the roof, attacks the first guard but misses. The third Cilop reaches Irann and attack with his psionic sight, and then with his antennae. The hit leave her immobilized for a moment.
Hardok decides that the thing are going tough, so he call forth his Forms of Mountain Thunder, turning into a wirlwind of thunders and lightning, then he tries to attack the kank warrior but the blade bounces on the carapace.

Cor at this point grab his sword and jump down the roof directly on top of the cilop, smashing it onto the ground.

The Kank soldier again attempt to attack the wirlwind of thunder, but it misses again. The second soldier is running up trying to join the fight. Irann is immobilized and dazed, so she opts for a Fallen Hammer attack trying to push the Cilop away, but she fails. Varnag attacks the Cilop with his trickal, blooding it. Then he uses his healing power on Irann. The Kank Workers on the roof spits at Therai and the acid spit burns his flesh. The guard in the stable, decide that the other cilop is a better target so he slams it with his axe and manages to kill it! And then he moves sideway. The other guard is still on the ground so he doesn’t do much. Therai try another psionic attacks against the kanks on the roof.

The cilop finally enter the Barn, and fixes his gaze on Cor, then tries to attack him with his pinchers but misses.

Hardok moves a bit forward and marks both of the creatures, then tries to attack the Kank soldier but misses again. Cor tumbles around the barn and manage to get the Cilop in the back, attacking it with his blade, the Cilops is badly slashed.
The Kank Soldier tries to pinch Hardok but misses. Irann decides to call forward her psionic power to conceal herself in a wirlwind of dust and hits the Kank soldier that was already wounded. Varnag moves forward and incite Hardok to attack, the hit is enough and the kank is dispatched.

The Kank on the roof keeps spitting at Therai.

The guards in the barn attacks the Cilop and finally hits. Therai decides to attack the cilops and paralizes it, then he swing it agains the Kank soldier nearby. The Cilop itself goes after Cor, but is not enough. So he moves forward into the barn The other one is immobilized and pushed around, so it can’t do much. Hardok moves forward, placing his mark to both the cilop and the kank. And then he attacks with his Thunder Blade the Kank, messing it a lot. The cilops also get some damage. Cor attempts to attack the cilop but he misses.

The Kank Soldiers reaches and grabs Hardok with his mandibles. Irann tries to attack the Kank but she misses, so she decide to move away. Varnag attempt an attack but it misses.

The Kanks Workers keep spitting on Therai…

The guard in the barn moves in flankging position and attempt to chop the tail of the Cilop’s off. It succed but the Cilop isn’t dead. Therai attempts an attack against the kank and kills it, the cilop is also hit but it survives. The Cilop goes again after Cor and hits.
The other cilop goes after Hardok but misses. Hardok in response tries to attack and he also misses. At this point Cor unleash a nasty attacks and kills the cilop. Varnag decides to spend an healing power to heal the guard in the barn.

The Kanks Workers keep spitting on Therai…

The Guard inside the barn, being very happy about the death of the cilop, climb up to the roof and then shoot a dart at the kank with his crossbow and he actually kills it!
Therai is also very happy about it, so he decides to heal himself and then unleash a psionic attacks against the kank workers.

The last of the Cilop is still immobilized and can’t do much, but concentrate against Irann. Hardok moves forward and smak him and finally kills it. The last two kank workers, having lost the warriors, are simply shoed away. The group recollect a bit, reorganize and try to patch up the barn better. And they begin to think to where they can hole up for the night. Since the Cilops can climb walls and they also seems able to chew through wall or roof.

XP – 5700
And with this the group has leveled up and reach a milestone (so 1 action point).

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DavideBianchi

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