Spartan IV

17. In need of help..cont
Who needs religion?

game date: +10 days,
characters: Tarak, Ichonni
npcs:

Shahdaz, a monk.

Whilst at the depository:

unknown as the player have not been there.

Meanwhile:

Tarak, Ichonni and Shahdaz the Monk debated a plan for tackling the mercenaries.

The attack against the seven mercenaries was to be at night, with the full moon and some cloud cover.

Shahdaz was to lead the camels with the dead mercenaries from the ambush, close to the occupied buildings where he would abandon the camels and hide. With the mercenaries distracted Tarak and Ichonni would approach undetected from the opposite side.

The plan was successful up until Shahdaz, possessed with revenge, charged directly into the alert mercenaries. He was soon knocked unconscious. By now Tarak was now on the roof of the southern building and Ichonni at its base.

Ichonni despatched two of the mercenaries; one by severing his hand and the other by opening up his chest. Tarak had a more measured approach to removing his enemies. He also had to negotiate fighting on the roof top and ducking shots from an archer atop the roof of the building opposite.

The fighting was continuous and the mercenaries were eventually all put down except for one who had surrendered. The monk regained consciousness and the three members of the cult of the black-hand were released.

Interrogating the black-hand’s leader Urdok and the Mercenary prisoner, gleaned that the gang were paid to rescue the cult members and then wait for the arrival of the oracle. The consensus of option; they should wait for the arrival of the oracle. (black-hand’s history)

A week went by, during which, the mercenary bodies were buried, however one was missing. Nobody had checked the corpses at the end of the combat to see if they had all been killed.

It was during the second week an entourage consisting of a single mercenary riding a camel, a sudan chair, 10 eunuch guards and four slaves arrived. They set up camp a short distance from the Monk’s two buildings. Once the tents were erected the black-hand leader was invited for supper with the oracle’s female representative, Cybella .

Cybella presented a offer to the leader of the black-hand, that he could not refuse. Money , support and protection. In return that they should set up a shrine to cult’s self-made God Al-Terrashi Urdok agreed and was presented with a small chest to seal the deal.

The following day the Tarak’s and Ichonni’s captured mercenary was ransomed back to the decamping entourage. Once Cybella had left with her camp followers, Tarak and Iconni’s talk turned to what they were going to do with the three members of the Cult of the Black-hand.

The heroes had knowledge and rumours: the oracle was being influenced by a demon; a victorious Noble House has growing religious support; and the most recent a blessing upon an emerging cult. Ichonni had enough evidence.

The following morning, with the help of Tarak there were three more kerns next to the ones of the mercenaries. Inside the cults wooden chest they found a glass bowl crafted with a pouring lip, a flask containing ink and two cuff-bracelets engraved with a symbol of an Egyptian eye.

Shahdaz was only pleased to have his two buildings back in his possession and cared not for what the characters had done. He had enough food to last him a couple of months and would stay a while. Tarak and Ichonni decided to head back to the town of Kishtar to find more information on the progress of the Army of Abranul and the potential seige of Faradesh

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16. In need of help

game date: +10 days to Kishtar, +3 days,
characters: Tarak, Ichonni
npcs met:

Shahdaz, a monk.

Whilst at the depository:

The six rescued librarians have gone on a trip to visit the library in Dishamarsi. Four guards from the Beryclus octan have gone with them as protection.

Ichonni has his 50sp pension arrive.

Information: As a result of the victory over the House of Armis, another shrine to the Rising Sun has appeared.

A couple of Templars are expressing unease at the increase in deity worship.

Another pigeon arrives with the message:
“VRR*LUYSRLIGEAEGEELE*LEFDBRN*AINNNOLAOPUH*AEDNATAEJHEA*BRMTASS*HDLENOTNNCRDRDODCCAURTOOIUTSOASDNEETNISRME”

( I’d like to think the players enjoy the challenge of this stuff. However, I am called all sorts of expletives when it is handed out.)

Meanwhile:

After withdrawing from their attack on Al-Serradin’s camp the party made their way back to the oasis town of Al-mer-Rabi. Tarak collected his stallion and they learned that the adulterous horse-trader was sold into slavery.

From Al-mer-Rabi the characters travelled on to the Depository, where, on their arrival, they enjoyed clean clothes and food that wasn’t trail rations.

The characters then spend the next few days deciphering the [message]. and contemplating their next adventure. During this time a monk arrived seeking the two horsemen. Tarak was now the only horseman; recognising the monk, he invited him to tell his story (Shahdaz).
In light of the decrypted message and a monk who needed their help to fight the mercenaries, Tarak and Ichonni did not need much persuading. They prepared themselves and their horses for a trip to the familiar town of Kishtar. The monk was to guide their way.

Tarak and Ichonni settled into their daily routine on their journey to Kishtar, arriving some ten days later. Making enquiries around town, Tarak even sneaking a quick word with one of the Armis slaves on public display, the following was gleaned.
The Sanjar’s children were believed to be still alive.
A couple of soldiers of Kishtar had emerged as heroes: One posessing a hopilite helm; another a shield with a bird-in-flight motif. Iflay, the original worshiper of the sun god, again, was noted for his prowess in combat.
The House of Abranul had issued a reward for the location of Sanjar’s children.

During their spying, To his surprise Ichonni almost bumped into three of the mercenaries. Skilfully and unnoticed he started to trail them, as he had successfully done with Al-Serradin in Hadreem. The mercenaries went shopping for provisions and eventually settled for the night at an inn.

Ichonni returned to Tarak and Shahdaz. They decided they would ambush the three mercenaries. An attack in town was too risky, however, the monk knew the path they would have to take to get to his monastery. Perfect for an ambush. To be ahead of the mercenaries and have time to prepare, they chose to leave town immediately.

About three days from Kishtar and one from the monastery. The ambush was organised. Riding their camels, the three veteran mercenaries made their way along the hill trail. One became suspicious and unslung his bow. The party remained hidden.

“There!” shouted one of the mercs and pointed to the now conspicuous monk. Tarak and Ichonni burst from their hiding places. Ichonni attacked the mercenary bowman with falcion and shield. With bow drawn Tarak was ready to loose an arrow at one of the others.

Tarak’s arrow flew wide of the mark, but Ichonni’s swift combination of attacks sent the merc bowman tumbling from his camel. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Of the remaining two mercenaries; One charged Shahdaz whilst the other took on Tarak.

Slinging his bow and drawing his short-sword and shield, Tarak braced himself against the mounted mercenary’s attack.

Shahdaz had also survived the first onslaught of his enemy, but slipped on the uneven ground. The camels hooves nearly trampled him to death; instead he was only knocked unconscious.

Ichonni now had joined Tarak. Although wounded, the mercenary put up a solid but desperate defence. He did not survive and was soon lying lifeless at the feet of his camel.

The remaining mercenary who had attacked the monk, turned away and headed in the direction of the monastery. Unable to give chase, Tarak and Ichonni turned their attention to the monk. They checked him for serious wounds, applied first aid and decided to wait a few hours while he recovered.

The adventure continues..

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15. Revenge
..best served six months later

date:
game date: + 13 days to Al-mer-Rabi; +7 days to Hadreem; +15 days back to Depository.
characters: Tarak, Greko, Ichonni
npcs met:

female horse trader and husband
Al-Serradin: Bandit-trader.

Whilst at the depository:

Two octans of soldiers (16 total) from the House of Beryclus commanded by captain Fedrum arrives and makes camp outside the Depository.

A pigeon sent from Katapesh arrives in the loft with a message: “Request 21 × 5 crates. Stack floor to celling. Reed downwards. Contents to follow. RM” Characters unsure of the meaning of the message.

Information: The House of Abranul has routed the Army of Armis. Its leader Aref Sanjar was killed and his equipment, family heirlooms, have been taken by the victors.

Information: 60 enslaved soldiers from the defeated army of Armis have been paraded in the town of Kishtar.

Information: The Abranul army is now heading, unopposed, for the Armis’ home city of Fahradesh.

Information: A group of mercenaries attacked and freed 3 prisoners from the Eastern citadel in the town of Asharhn. 5 city guard were killed along with 3 mercenaries.

Meanwhile:
A bored Greko arrives back at the Depository. He was fed up guarding the miners (see last adventure). His friend the engineer has decided to stay on to learn some new skills and help out if he can.

The party decides to leave the cursed Samshi, the now bright sceptre of ascension and the shadows at the Depository while they head south-westwards to track down the bandit-trader Al-Serradin. Al-Serradin (pre adventure log) killed one of the starting characters, sold Greko into slavery and stole equipment from them, especially a rare compound bow.

The journey to the large oasis town of Al-mer-Rabi was uneventful. The Depository’s Haruspex suggested they start looking for Al-Serradin in this un-walled town. Camp was set up near the encampments of other travellers.

Tarak, Greko and Ichonni started to make their enquiries; no information was forthcoming. Greko remembered, from his weeks of captivity, that Al-Serradin would talk of trading camels and horses. Perhaps a lead could be found at the horse auction. Tarak said that he would use the visit to purchase a stallion if the right one was for sale.

The following day at the auction Tarak successfully bid on a stallion and Greko seduced a female horse trader called Sophos. She knew Al-Serradin – but was too busy selling her horses to be sociable. She agreed, however, to meet him that evening in his tent.

The evening arrived and Greko’s seduction of Sophos continued. The application of food and fornication produced the location of Al-Serradin. Unfortunately for Greko, Sophos’ husband and three associates found their way to his tent to teach him a lesson.

A brawl started. Greko was happily out numbered four to one, he was going to enjoy this. Tarak and Ichonni, who were away from the camp, rushed to help. Tarak cut the guy-ropes of the tent whilst Ichonni threatened the associates saying that the dispute was between the Husband and Greko. This evened the odds, but it wasn’t to last.

With fists flying the associates piled in to the brawl. Tarak and Ichonni instantly joining in to even the odds. The fight finished soon afterwards. The husband and one of the associates were unconscious and were carried away by the remaining two provocateurs. An adulterous Sophos, sheepishly followed to a fate unknown.

Greko smiled. In his opinion it had been a very good evening. And tomorrow they would be heading for Hadreem.

Seven unnoteworthy days travelling, the group arrive in Hadreem. A rough town where the guards extort money for entering through the gates, and more money for crossing ward (district) boundaries.

Greko’s information was good. In no time at all, Ichonni with his trailing skills, had Al-Serradin under observation. The mark stopped at a couple of stalls and a bar for a drink before heading out of town through the south-eastern gate. Outside the city walls Al-Serradin unaware he was being followed by Ichonni and the others, headed for his encampment. From a distance and without attracting attention the party scouted his tented quarters; 5 tents and 1 central gazebo, Approximately 12 men within.

As the party were leaving the area they noticed a middle-aged man arriving at Al-Serradin’s tent. They waited. A short while later the man left and headed back to town, the party trailing behind. Soon after passing back through the South-eastern gate, the stranger’s trail went cold. Ichonni and Greko deduced that he must be a local, whilst Tarak complained bitterly about how expensive it was to be going back and forwards through the gates.

They had their quarry, Al-Serradin. The party planned for an stealth attack that night to maximise surprise.

The stealthy attack on Al-Serradin’s encampment unravelled right from the outset. The party’s approach was noisy and clumsy. The alerted guards started to wake the other bandit-traders. Realising that surprise had been lost, Greko and Ichonni burst through the back of a tent to engage three of the bandit-traders. Meanwhile Tarak circled around the tents in order to provide some cover fire with his bow.

The sleepy bandit-traders took a few moments to understand the situation, thus giving Greko and Ichonni precious minutes to consolidate their position by despatching their enemy.

A poor shot from Tarak caused a light wound on one of the guards forcing him to take cover. Unfortunately Tarak was spotted by the last group of bandit-traders. They charged. Retreating, Tarak drew them away from the main battle; A bloody and brutal combat in and around the first tent.

Greko, the professional battlefield soldier, stood his ground in the entrance of the first tent. Another hole was cut in the tent’s side to get access to Greko but he continued to hold his ground killing one of the bandit-traders with his short-sword. Meanwhile, Ichonni killed the last of his current opponents, shouting to Greko that his tally was now three. Looking to gain a tactical advantage by skirting around the outside of the tent, he left through the back tear, only to encounter two more bandit-traders who were attempting a similar action.

After exchanging bow fire with one of the enemy, Tarak was eventually caught by the chasing bandit-traders. This was now blade on blade with two aggressive attackers and one more looking to press home the advantage. An exchange of blows; Tarak wounded one forcing him to retire, giving Tarak time and space to break from combat and join the savage combat around tent one.

Ichonni finished off his two opponents with a combination of falchion and shield bash. He then made his way around to the front of the tent to attack more of the enemy. Greko was still there and was now engaged with Al-Serradin himself.

The combat was ferocious and confusing. Although Al-Serradin was down and his life bleeding away, his minions continued to fight on. Tarak had been wounded but he remained on his feet. Not for long. Had it not been for his skill, the vicious attack would have severed his hand at the wrist, instead it knocked him to the ground unconscious.

With a man down Greko and Ichonni battled on, slowly gaining the upper hand and ultimately forcing the remaining four bandits to flee.

There was no time to rest.

Before a search could start Tarak was revived using first aid and healing herbs. The party looked for their missing equipment, especially the composite bow. Some of Greko’s equipment came to light, but not his prized helm. The composite bow could not be found and suspicion fell on one of the bandit-traders who had escaped. He had now routed in the direction of the town.

The party decided that compensation was in order, so gold and treasure was looted from the remains of Al-Serradin’s camp.

The party made haste their eascape, using Al-Serradin’s own camels to help cover their tracks. The camels were then released after a few hours.

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14. The Enchiridion continued...

game date: 5 days back + 10 days to Kishtarh +10 days back
characters: Tarak, Ichonni
npcs met:

Nobody new to mention

Whilst at the depository

The giant skeleton has had part of the scaffolding removed from around it.

Meanwhile:

. . .With the retreat of the occupants, Tarak and Ichonni crept into the temple, through the large hall into a common area. The pair sensed an ambush from two separate rooms by a hidden enemy. Tarak and Ichonni immediately attacked one of the ambushing groups. The other group, lead by a magi, burst out from the second hiding place.

The first group of four ambushers were finished off with some brutal fighting. Ichonni survived two consecutive spells to reduce his combat effectiveness. The magi and the second group of ambushers, seeing the fight was going against them, retreated.

Tarak using his tracking skills cautiously followed the group down into a dungeon under the shrine.

Once in the dungeon, one of the magi’s bodyguards and three ogres attempted to prevent further intrusion. Tarak and Ichonni put down the guard and with a tactic of retreat and counter attack, out-manoeuvred the ogres, eventually killing them all; Tarak slew a wounded ogre with a single arrow shot to the neck.

After a brief exploration of a few dungeon rooms Tarak and Ichonni found the guard they had put down earlier. He was conscious, wounded, and relaxing with a drink. He was in no mood for another fight. The bodyguard attempted bravado, but eventually gave in to lead Tarak and Ichonni to the Enchiridion and the captured miners.

The miners were returned to their fellows outside the dungeon. They then debated whether to continue mining. Some guards where promised to be sent from the Depository. (Greko and “The engineer”).

Tarak and Ichonni returned to the Depository in anticipation that the Enchiridion would reveal how to release the shadows from their obsession of the dark sceptre. They were not disappointed; it would be in the form of a ceremony.

After some discussion it was decided that they would go to Kishtar to see the curate of the Shrine of the rising Sun (He owed them a favour), to borrow the use of the shrine and holy symbol. Along with the dark sceptre of ascension plus the three shadows, they took with them: the elf, to read the dedication; holy water; some candles; and Samshi the cursed traveller with his items. Once in Kishtar they would visit a scribe, who was known to the party, to write some words appropriate for the occasion.

The journey to Kishtar was uneventful. Once they had arrived, the Shrine was secured (the curate did not want to stay), and a circle of protection, dressed with candles, was drawn on the floor. Inside the circle: the dark sceptre and the three shadows (which do not leave its side); Samshi with his cursed items. Outside the circle: the elf, holding a parchment, ready to read the words of separation; Ichonni to observe and start proceedings with a blast on his signalling horn..

Tarak, of a nomadic horse-tribe background, was just outside the town walls, preparing to sacrifice a horse at Ichonni’s signal.

With the candles lit, the ceremony started on the sound of Ichonni’s horn. The horse was sacrificed and the words of separation were read by the elf. The darkness left the sceptre. The shrine grew cold and the darkness formed itself into a creature intent on destruction.

Ichonni leapt into combat, using his shield to bash the creature whilst signalling help from Tarak. The elf threw the remains of the holy water with little accuracy. Samshi was rooted to the spot in surprise. The freed shadows retreated into a corner.

The dark creature ordered one of the shadows to break the circle and was now slowly making its way to the door of the shrine. The outside world beckoned along with a town ripe for a feasting. The combat was one of attrition and containment. Ichonni scored hits with his magical shield. Samshi and the Elf entered the melee in an attempt to stop the creature escaping. Ordinary weapons were having no effect. Tarak arrived, and joined the affray, using the shrine’s holy symbol as a weapon.

Under a rain of blows the creature continued to press toward the door. Slowly it became weaker; the final blow came from Ichonni and his magical shield. The darkness dissipated and the shrine’s temperature returned to normal.

The party cleared away the remains of the ceremony. Two of the three shadows happily returned to the chest with the now normal looking sceptre. The third shadow, for reasons unknown, made its self comfortable in the shadow of the shrine’s alter.

Pleased with the release of the shadows and now in possession of a cleansed sceptre, the party returned to the Depository; a trip that was uneventful.

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13. The Enchiridion

game date: + 5 days
characters: Tarak, Ichonni
npcs met:

Samshi
Mining team

Whilst at the depository:

The Giant skeleton has been erected.

Samshi arrives by camel. He believes he is cursed.

The Kobold has located the position of another Depository item; Gabrd’s Enchiridion of Ghosts and Wraiths.

Meanwhile:

Tarak and Ichonni arrived back at the depository after a successfully retrieving the light-sabre from the Efreeti and his earth elemental.

Ichonni returned the light-sabre to its rightful owner, the elf. However, with the elf being of a subservient nature, anybody could request the light-sabre from him. So using a bit of logic of ownership, Ichonni explained that he (Ichonni) was now the owner of the light-sabre and was now giving it to him (the elf) to use and guard with his life.

The new arrival, Samshi, explained his situation (Back-story). He was hoping that the depository might be able to help in some way. Unfortunately, those there were unable offer a solution. In the meantime, Mendril invited Samshi to stay at the depository while they did some investigating on his behalf.

The location of the Enchiridion was good news as it presented a chance to release the shadows from their obsession for the Black sceptre. Tarak and Ichonni made preparations to leave the following day.

A five day journey to the mountains east of the Depository resulted in a meeting with some miners leaving the area. The miners explained that they had been attacked by ex-slavers. The miners had two killed and three captured from their group.

Ichonni persuaded the miners to guide them into the mountains. Ahead of the miners, Tarak and Ichonni set up their own small camp and prepared an ambush. Early the following morning some ex-slaves came close, observed the camp and then withdrew. Tarak and Ichonni stealthily trailed the ex-slaves back to their base; an old temple-like building.

In their attempt to climb on to the roof of the temple Tarak and Ichonni alerted the occupants. Combat ensued, Tarak and Ichonni having the high ground and missile weapons, drew first blood. With two men down and one wounded the ex-slaves retreated into the temple under the cover of a magically created screen of fog.

The adventure continues. . .

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12. The Long Bow of the Demons

game date: unknown
characters: Tarak, Ichonni El Fatwa
npcs met:

Azide
Astrologer
Efeeti
Ichonni El Fatwa (new PC)

Whilst at the depository:

Scaffolding has been erected for the construction of the Giant skeleton monument.

New PC, Ichonni El Fatwa, arrives looking for work as a guard. (Notices were posted around towns)

A troupe arrive for a couple of nights

Meanwhile:

During the previous adventure Greko had left a man behind. He had turned his back on a fallen comrade, a brother in arms, without a silver piece to pay the ferryman. Greko was now wandering around the Depository with a feeling of remorse. He did, however, cheer himself up by sleeping with the troupe’s belly-dancer.

The haruspex provided the location for one of the missing depository items, The Longbow of the Demons. The bow is linked to the women with the red hair.

Karish, who was staying at the Depository and a good friend of Greko, explained that the guards of the city of Sannatay are women and have red hair. (He had delivered two slaves there). He also gave them the name of an astrologer who he had befriended him.

Packing up their horses for at least a month of travelling, Tarak and his new companion Ichonni set off South east ward. First stop Kishtar.

After a brief stop over in Kishtar, the next two weeks to Sanantay were uneventful. Arriving in Sannatay Tarak and Ichonni immediately noticed that the guards were female and had red hair. The presence of the guards, equipped with a spear and two short swords, commanded respect. The locals would nod their heads in politeness to them.

After finding an Inn to stay, Tarak and Ichonni started looking for their contact. “If he was any good then he would know we were coming!” quipped Ichonni. By the end of a long day the home of the astrologer was found, along with some rumours that travellers had gone missing in an area the south of the city.

The following day, with the astrologer’s information backing up the city’s rumours, Tarak and Ichonni were on the road heading southwards. After a few hours travelling, they met up with a squad of town guards heading back to Sannatay. The guards explained that while were investigating a cantina, bathhouse and grocer, they were attacked. A form of Greek fire was used killing two of their team.

One of the guards, Azide, volunteered to take the Tarak and Ichonni to the Cantina.

The group scouted the three buildings and decided to take the bath house first. The one guard was killed quickly without a fight. Investigation of the rooms found to be be some demonic rituals being committed. The party decided to lie in wait in the bathhouse until morning.

The morning arrived and so did the human enemy fully prepared for an ambush. The party were outnumbered. Close fierce fighting broke out in the reception room of the bathhouse. A monk was the only one holding a bow. Having tried to use the bow unsuccessfully he again attempted to use it. It broke. Demonic flame briefly engulfed him. The scorched monk survived, only to be cut down moments later.

Pressing forward in to the frenzied humans, Azide was the first of the party to be downed; unconscious and bleeding, but alive. Ichonni and Tarak had no choice but to fight back to back. Ichonni was the next to be knocked to the ground. Tarak although bruised and wounded fought alone with all his skill. He killed those around him; two of the enemy had already fled.

Tarak made his companions comfortable, applied bandages, and then kept watch while he waited for them to recover.

Once Ichonni and Azide had recovered, a cautious search of the cantina was organised. Nothing additional was found. As the party were leaving a troop of Sannatay guards arrived and took control of the buildings.

Time to move on, leaving Azide with the troop of guards, Tarak and Ichonni headed back to Sannatay for a well deserved rest before continuing onward to Kishtar.

Three days out of Kishtar a strange sight beheld the two riders. A creature vaguely humanoid , about nine feet tall and made of earth, was striding through the countryside followed by a excited puppy. The creature stopped when it heard the sound of Ichonni’s horn. After short while it continued its journey, ignoring the gems that had been thrown at its feet (?).

Tarak and Ichonni tried to keep up with the creature but it kept going on through the night. They resorted to following the disrupted earth trial the creature had left behind and to wondering if it and the puppy were heading to the Depository.

The trail did lead to the Depository. Miraculous the building was still standing. Mendril, head of the Depository, explained that the puppy had spoken, demanding the light-sabre and if it wasn’t handed over the earth elemental would tear the place down. Mendril had no choice, the light-sabre was handed over and the creature and the puppy left.

The pair stabled their horses, cleaned themselves and prepared to continue to follow after the earth elemental and the speaking puppy. Lacking a horse Tarak bemoaned riding apon the genie’s whirlwind

The elemental’s obvious trail headed away to the North west. After about a week of travelling a meteor was seen in the sky. Tarak predicted that the impact was less than half a days travel away in the vicinity of the Shrine of Minos.

Using the shrine as cover the three crept to get a better view. It was a sight like no other. There, no more that fifty yards away was a starship. Guarding the open cargo bay were three watchful Thri-kreen. Two others were bringing a chest down the cargo ramp. Opposite them, not far away, was an immobile earth elemental and in place of the puppy an efreeti holding a light-sabre.

Not waiting for any exchange to take place the Tarak and Ichonni broke cover heading for the efreeti.

The efreeti magicked a wall of fire. The genie carried the pair over it. Ichonni read a protection scroll and Tarak took herbs of fire protection. The efreeti made for the Thri-keen,

Ichonni closed to forced combat to distract the efreeti. Tarak followed up and snatched the Light-sabre from the genie and ran.

The chase was on. Tucking the light-sabre away Tarak ran into the shrine of Minos, and out through a broken window at the back. The efreeti was close behind; Ichonni following the efreeti. Tarak’s potion of levitation took him to the roof, where he hid. Arriving at the roof the efreeti paused, before detecting Tarak’s magic.
The chase was on again. Tarak levitated back down the outside of the shrine, back past the broken window were he handed the light-sabre to Ichonni inside the shrine, saying “Take this, I’ll lead it away”

Tarak and Ichonni race off in different directions; Ichonni to a hiding place and Tarak sprinted away to the cover of nearby trees. The Efreeti gave chase to Tarak. Sprinting and swerving Tarak managed to loose the chasing Efreeti.

A short time later, once the efreeti had given up the chase, Tarak and Ichonni met up again and on the back of the Genie’s whirlwind returned to the sanctuary of the Depository.

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11. The Genie
and the recovery of a stolen staff

game date: unknown
characters: Greko, Machn
npcs met:

15 mercenaries
Genie and his lamp carrier

Whilst at the depository

The depository’s haruspex was put to work to find another source of knowledge to release the shadows from the dark sceptre of ascension.

Rumours from travelling merchants

The House of Abranul had a narrow victory in a military encounter over the House of Armis.
The House of Dizzuka and Pamutali are squabbling over apprentice magi.

The bars for the windows are nearly complete.

Meanwhile:

Machn and Tarak returned to the depository after their escape from captivity. Tarak decided that he was too much of a risk and decided to take himself away from the depository until all the fuss from the town of Asharhn had blown over.

A group of 15 men arrived and made camp a short distance from the depository. Greko, having been a regular soldier, recognised them for what they were – mercenaries, not any old mercenaries, but mercenaries who were tough and more than capable of taking on the dirtiest of jobs. In Greko’s words “Not very honourable.” They kept themselves to themselves and caused no trouble during their stay.

A few days later after the mercenaries had decamped, a lone traveller with his slave arrived. He wanted to speak with the head of the depository, Mendril. A meeting was arranged for the following day.

At the meeting the old traveller produced a lamp and rubbed it. Almost instantaneously a genie filled the room much to the surprise of the depository members. Once they had all calmed down, the genie introduced himself as Xshantes (Xshantes) and asked if they could retrieve his staff from a magi named Lydas. Lydas had not only stolen his staff but had imprisoned him in the lamp. Machn, having also been imprisoned as a slave, said that no payment would be required.

Using his skill of finding objects, Machn held the hands of the genie and was immediately impressed that the staff was in the city of Katapesh.

During the next day, with the lamp in hand, Machn and Greko boarded the Xshantes’s whirlwind and set-off southwards for Katapesh.

The characters having dispensed with the whirlwind, arrived on foot at Katapesh a large sprawling city on the coast. They settled on a discrete inn from which to start their search for Lydas. Talk at the inn was rife of the impending conflict with the House of Dizzuka.

A couple of days of enquiry provide the location for Lydas’s villa which was south of the city over-looking the ocean. The pair reconnoitred the villa from land and sea, and gleaned that the place was guarded by at least four members of the city guard.

A plan was formulated. It was going to be one of bluff, nerve and during breakfast. Using the Xshantes’s ability to create illusion, Greko was transformed into a captain of the city’s guard.

At dawn the party arrived at the front gate. With one of the guards distracted with magic, Greko using his leadership skill commanded the other to take them to Lydas. To the surprise of the party the order was obeyed.

Greko and Machn were escorted into Lydas’s villa and upstairs to the dinning room, where they were introduced to Lydas who was about to start breakfast. There next to him, propped against the table, was an ornate staff. Greko dismissed the guard. The unsuspecting Lydas thought it was a security check in advance of an expected visit from a Prince of the House of Pamutali. Lydas went on to invite his guests to share his morning meal with him.

Machn made his move. Around behind Lydas to snatch the staff, but Lydas had the edge and grabbed the staff first. A guard, who had been standing quietly, unnoticed, in the corner of the room, attempted to stop Machn with a grapple attack. Machn managed to slipped his grip.

Weapons were drawn.

Lydas was wounded, but successfully cast his armour spell; Improving his chance of surviving further attacks. With Lydas in his sights Machn tried to manoeuvre to a better position, slipping he fell prone at the feet of the guard. “Run. . . run!” was Machn’s call to Greko. The guard, without hesitation, dispatched Machn with a single blow to the head.

Greko seeing that he was out numbered, the combat going against him, and with Machn’s words in his ears, ran. Down the stairs, across the reception room, to the courtyard outside where he composed himself and calmly walked past the guards at the gate as a captain of the city guard. Once out of view of the villa the illusion was removed and Greko made his escape back to the Depository on the genie’s whirlwind.

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10. The Transaction

game date: unknown
characters: Tarak, Machn
npcs met:

Asharhn’s town guard
Lawyer
Member of the thieves guild (?)

Whilst at the depository

A merchant stopped for a few days. He was travelling from Muradean to Dizzuka via Al-Mer-Rabi.

The iron security bars have been completed for a number of windows.

Meanwhile:

Tarak and Machn pressed onward into the Gith-like’s cavern. They were then held up by some enemy slingers and spearmen on the other-side of a stream. After a flurry of missile fire and having lost two of their own, the Gith-likes retreated.

One of the librarians was found to be dead in the stream. Whilst investigating the body, a large lobster creature hidden below the surface of the water manage to knock a surprised Tarak into the stream. Luckily he was rescued as he floated past Machn.

After manoeuvring around the lobster creature, the intrepid heroes attempted stealth into a large cavern, (Tarak was squelching too loudly) where they were ambushed by the remaining Gith-likes. Machn was forced to beat a hasty retreat dragging an unconscious Tarak back to the bank of the stream. Some quick first aid to revive Tarak followed by a hide in shadows before the arrival of the chasing Gith-likes. The sharp eyed pursuers spotted the hidden characters. Machn and Tarak fought aggressively in defence of their corner which drove the Gith-likes to retreat, yet again, to the large cavern.

Cautiously the pair re-entered the cavern only to be confronted by a chest. The Gith-like nowhere to be seen, having retreated into a dead-end corridor. A verbal exchange with the Gith-like determined that the librarians, who Machn and Tarak had been following, were sold to slavers the previous night. Accepting the chest as a gift the pair left the remaining Gith-like cowering together in the back of their cavern.

The party tracked the slavers over the next couple of days. Attacked at night, killing a guard and wounding another; Escaping with the 5 librarians.

With the Zolo’s daughter, a chest of gold and other goodies, the party journeyed back to the Depository.

After a few days R & R at the depository, the pair headed to the town of Asharhn carrying the Black-hand’s gauntlet, an idol of a chaos God (recovered depository item), some holy water (recovered depository item) , a brass holy symbol in the shape of a phoenix, the dark sceptre of ascension (recovered depository item) and three indifferent shadows (from another world) who never let it out of their sight.

Arriving at Asharhn Tarak and Machn went to visit the location of the cult of the Black-hand looking for the Architect who was being held by them. There was an expectation to exchange him for the gauntlet. After watching the Black hand’s warehouse for a day; nothing. A follow up investigation of the warehouse and the cult’s dungeon rooms revealed that the place had been raided.

During the stakeout 200gp protection money was paid to a man, possibly representing the thieves guild. He also passed on information that the cult of the black-hand had been arrested and taken to the East Citadel.

A trip to the East Citadel was in order. After talking to the Citadels administrator and meeting with the imprisoned Architect, the Machn and Tarak employed a lawyer to advocate on behalf of their Architect. The cult of the Black-hand had been accused (correctly) of sacificing an Elven slave.

During their visit to the East Citadel one of the guards thought he recognised Tarak from an incident a number of months back. An incident in which the head of the basket weavers guild and his family were brutally murdered.

Later that day the guard and a couple of accomplices came looking for Tarak, who narrowly avoided being accosted.

The following day the Architect was freed with the skill of the advocate. Tarak, Machn, along with the Architect, left Asharhn heading for the Depository.

Three days out from Asharhn, a large posse of five guards, (the three who had been suspicious of Tarak) and eight others consisting of mercenary guards and towns folk, had tracked the party down. The posse attacked immediately.

The party was over whelmed. The Architect was killed. And Machn and Tarak were captured.

During the following day the two characters, hand-bound on the back of horses, planned their escape. Waiting until the right moment, they broke free from their surprised captors. As Tarak and Machn galloped away, Tarak, using his natural horse skills, was able to snatch the reins of the horse carrying both their equipment and took it with him.

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9. Chaos Idol Recovered

game date: unknown
characters: Tarak, Machn, Grecko
npcs met:

Whilst at The Depository: Nothing happened to write about

Meanwhile:

The two surviving centaurs and two bandits were left in the library along with four days food and a rope and grappling hook.

With Zolos’ daughter in tow, and the recovered Black-hand gauntlet and the Bronze idol of a Chaos god, the party returned to the camp of the 6 remaining librarians, only to find they had been captured. Following the trail from the camp-site the party encountered a large group (16) of Gith like creatures. The Gith-like were prepared to sell their new librarian slaves for 75gps each and some food.
The party was unable to afford the price for the slaves. So, with Machn declaring “I’ve done my bit for a peaceful conclusion” combat ensued.
The party got a sound beating and retreated, deciding to attack the Gith-like whilst they were in their lair.

A sneak attack on the Gith-like guards at the lair entrance failed miserably. One of the three enemy guards escaped to warn the rest of the clan.

The session ended with the party eventually defeating another four guards and are now anticipating a long next session with an organised clan defending their lair.

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