Dark Sun Sandbox

Yaramuk, the defiled city

Session 2014-11-01

Alex absent, Cor was played by Jaroen.

…we’ve left the group after the spider fight in the tunnel, they decide that since they’re here, it would make sense to continue towards the end of the tunnel.

Rochus and Cor moves forward trying to be as stealthy as possible, and they get to the end of the tunnel, the tunnel opens in a large, circular chamber, with decorated walls and alcoves along the walls, a raised center stand of sort, maybe there was a statue there or was supposed to be a statue.

Bodies or remaining of bodies are scattered around.

Rochus moves to the left while Hardok moves to the right, Cor takes center position to illuminate the room with a torch. The hall is large and tall, the bodies are certainly of dwarvens, mangled and smashed, the flesh mummified, they are certainly dead by long time, some tools are scattered around. From the remaining of the garments it seems they were the workers that were working at this hall, the carvings in the alcoves are unfinished, some are smeared with dessicated blood.

There are some evidence of some spiders, but it seems the room is clean. Rochus’ friend doesn’t like the place and remain by the entrance hissing loudly.

Hardok and Rochus notices that some of the carving are writing, in common and something else, but the ‘something else’ is abraded, like it got deleted, wiped out from reality. Cor is checking the floor for trapdoors, the floor is roughly finished, still not polished like you could expect by dwarven standard, but there are no evident trapdoors or passages towards lower levels.

Then, while Hardok is looking, the essicated blood smeared on the walls, become fluid again and start to flow, while the bodies begins to shake. Hardok yell a warning and prepare for battle.

..the bodies tends to re-assemble some are missing parts or limbs that are too mangled, but they seems solid enough, 5 zombie-like figures rises from the floor, one visibly larger than the other and produces a gurgling sound “…remember…”, Hardok decides that that one is the most threatening so he moves and attacks trying to pin it down.

The strange creature turns out to be some sort of banshee, whose high-pitch shreak turns everyone that hears it into a berserk that attacks even allies. Anyhow, the battle is resolved in a victory for our heroes and all the zombies are dispatched.

Therai takes a bit of time to check the place and decide that it is some sort of dwarven memorial, dedicated to something, but it was destroyed, and the workers killed, before it was finished, so the dead are left in an un-peaceful state because they couldn’t finish their work. And an un-happy dwarf makes for a very un-happy undead. Hence the call “remember” of the banshee. Some parts of the text that have been left and can still be read are quite puzzling: “to save Athas”, “the enemy of us all”, “to crash the boundaries” and “must not forget”. But with so few details it’s impossible to decipher.

A quick checks of the room doesn’t reveal any other passage or doorways, then, before the undead stirs again, everyone decide it’s time to be somewhere else and the group leaves from the same way they came in.

So the group emerge in the light and notices that some time has passed. After a brief rest to recover a bit, they decide to follow the path back to the main road and see if the caravan has passed.

It seems so, the traces of a large caravan are evident, so the group proceed along the Road of Kings towards east.

After another not-so-restful night, the group takes to the road again, and immediately they spot another large caravan, this time with the Stel insignia. At this point the drill is clear: leave the road, try to stay out of sight and move around. Later, they found something that look like an old riverbed, now dried and dead. By a few landmarks that are reported in their map they manage to find an old road leading north. It has to be the road to Yaramuke!

The old road mostly follow the riverbed, after a while they notice that the bottom of the river looks a bit more moist than before, it’s definitively not water, but it’s not dust either.
The wind is prevalent from the south, so everything ‘nasty’ should be transported the other way and so this part of the road should be safe.

Along the road they encounter an old campsite that seems unused by at least a month, so maybe the road is not completely unused.

Since the day is almost at the end, they decide to stop there and camp for the night. The next day they proceed along the road, and after a while they notice that now there is some mud at the bottom of the river, the place is getting wetter! However, the mud doesn’t look “healty”… it smells bad. More north, they notices that the ‘mud’ now looks like some sort of very dense water, almost gelatine and it ‘flows’ very slowly. It still stinks and doesn’t look very good.

Along the road, the group sees something that looks like a farm, at least a wooden constructions with a fenced area that house some crodlu that are slowly grazing on the sparse vegetation. The building doesn’t look pristine, but is certainly functional. Rochus and Cor proceed on foot and gets closer, they notices some equipment attached to the side of the barn that looks like saddles and other implements used to ride crodlu, there are some sacks that are stored there. The place looks like is inhabited. But by who? Who is so crazy to live there?

Nearby the farm, Rochus sees a figure sitting in meditation on a pile of rocks, from stories, he recognize the creature as a Braxat

{the Braxat is a huge reptilian-like biped, with an armored carapace and horned head, those creature have been created by warping magic, they are not particularly friendly but are not stupid either. }

The group, and especially Therai, is intrigued by the presence of this creature here, so they decide to set camp on the other side of the river, in a spot where they can see the farm without being in plain sight and see what happens. The answer to that is “not much”. The Braxat sits on his rocks for quite a while, then it moves and feed the animals, checks a juvenile Crodlu in the enclosure, then he enters the barn (scraping the top of the door with his horns) and emerges a moment later with a couple of buckets that he fill with the foul water of the river and then brings back to the barn, from the chimney of which smokes pours a moment later.

…what the hell is going on here?

Therai is really curious now.

Taking the opportunity when the Braxat is going away with a couple more buckets, Rochus dashes towards the barn and looks inside, besides more farming implement, some sacks (supplies probably) and a few other amenities, something like a huge alembic stand center, referring the discovery to the other, Therai identify the device as a distillation mean. The Braxat is purifying the foul water of the river maybe?

Anyhow, Varnag and Hardok argues that the Braxat could also be not so friendly towards strangers, and the Crodlu could be the ones of other fools that went in to say “hi”. So the best thing to do is to press forward towards Yaramuke and maybe, on the way back to Urik stop by to see what’s going on. Reluctantly Therai concede the point and the group pack up and keep moving towards north.

The “water” in the river now looks like some sort of sludge, and Therai begin to sense the defiling in the air and in the distance, they can begin to see a silhouette of a city. Yaramuke is in view.
The vegetation is becoming sparse and is mostly dead.

The territory around is obviously old farmland, now mostly dead, the group has reached the outskirt of the city, there are skeleton of farm animals and ruin of farms around. Nearby the road there are the ruins of such a farm and something seems to be a bit weird about it, Cor and Rochus again approach to check, walking around they notices that the shadow are not right, it seems that something like a powerful light coming from Yaramuke as ‘etched’ the shadow in the ground and in the walls. There are also arrows, sticking in the walls and in the ground. It seems the farm has been pillaged before the defiling toke place.

The group continues and they notices that a lot of the houses (now ruined) are outside the walls of the city itself. It seems that part of the population were living outside.

The ‘water’ is now very evident and it seems to ‘flow’ with the consistence of dense oil, and there are also ‘things’ moving through it. The river goes in the direction of the city and into it, passing under the walls.

Therai can sense that the defiling is not consistent, there are patches, spots where the defiling forces are stronger and other parts where it’s weaker or totally absent.

The crodlu now begins to refuse to advance, sensing that something is wrong. The group decide to leave them in one of the less-decadent fences and continue on foot.
The “river” is the only thing that moves.

Looking around for any sign of life, they can’t find anything and they don’t even sense any sort of ‘natural spirit’ around the place. They decide to follow the river towards the city, avoiding the patches of defiling energy, and they also notices that is getting dark already, but is not late enough to be dark, it looks like even the light inside the city is defiled. Therai thinks that the only way to find something is follow the river into the old wall of Yaramuke, deep in the hart of the defiled city.

XP 13150 – level up!

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jrjflick

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