Session 1 – December 27, 2010
Our very first adventure session began with our players meeting in the town of Emaletl, on the bank of a tributary to the Niagrum river. After spending the night in the local inn (called the Xaun), they began a perilous journey downriver, heading to the jungle metropolis of Tolactaquatl.
Their journey was interrupted when they were assaulted by a huge beast from the water. Flying from the river into the air, the beast capsized their canoe, and they were sent spitting and sputtering into the water. Thousands of smaller creatures jumped from the back of the larger beast into the jungle. Washing up onto the shore, the players found themselves beset on all sides by these spider-like creatures, with 8 legs and two extra appendages that ended in scythe-like blades.
Fighting the creatures off, the characters were stuck. What would they do now? They decided to head downriver, hoping to find their way eastward to the great city. It was slow going, moving through the hot, humid jungle, and they eventually came to an impassable canyon. Several hundred feet deep, with rushing water underneath, they knew that they could not safely cross it. It was then that they saw the bridge, quite a ways down the canyon walls. It had been constructed from solid stone, and led to tunnels on either side. There was a staircase on either side that had their own entrances to the mountain. The players decided this was better than nothing, and so moved down the stairs on their side.
The dark doorway read, in Dwarven, “Welcome to the ”/campaign/uturon/wikis/Halls%20of%20Passage/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Halls of Passage. Here, you will find comfort and shelter." The players took this to be a good sign, and made their way inside, only to find themselves beset by goblins. After fighting off this relatively easy fodder, they slept in the entrance hall.
Moving further into the halls, some gruesome sights greeted the players. The halls had apparently been taken long ago, and the Dwarves destroyed. The characters moved down into the halls, fighting as they went. After three levels of fighting, the players found themselves in the great hall – the massive cave complex that housed “buildings” constructed by the Dwarves. The characters moved about in secret for a short while, before accidentally being spotted (the gnome cast dancing lights, alerting a bunch of hellhounds to their presence).
What ensued was a terrifying chase – a scroll of expeditious retreat that the players had found in Otto’s Magic Shop earlier helped a great deal with this. Running outside, and across the twenty-foot-wide bridge, the players were beset by hellhounds, and a horde of goblins that would have finished them. Torrential rain made footing precarious, and visibility limited. Fortunately, the bridge was old and in a degree of disrepair. A carefully targeted fireball sent a large section careening into the rapids below, and a lot of goblinoids with it. Thankfully, the chase was over, but the adventure was not – the players still had to traverse the second half of the halls.
Using the sewers to pass undetected, the players crept along. They got to the other side of the second great hall, and moved up the stairs. There was a fair amount of infighting among the goblins, which also helped them to sneak by. (The reason for this infighting was never discovered). Moving up the subsequent halls, the PCs encountered little resistance.
Upon reaching the exit, the players found that the rain was too intense for them to leave. So they made camp in the exit halls, and waited.
The players moved out of the halls the following morning, and back into the oppressive humidity of the Niametl jungle. The halls, which had posed so much trouble, were now behind them, and they had made progress toward the city. They encountered an old path, overgrown, which led toward some smoke in the distance. Deciding to take this path, they discovered that their trials were indeed not over. They came upon a town beset by an army of approaching gnolls.
The villagers were more or less holding their own, except that a half-demon gnoll with giant bat wings was tearing them apart in the center. Kodor rushed into combat, and the others soon followed. The after fighting for a little while (and dishing out some major damage), the half-demon flew off, leaving his army to die.
At the end of the fight, the town had been all but decimated. Only four or five villagers remained. The PC’s discovered that the town had been called Thórazu, and that the gnolls that attacked it had been only a smaller branch of a larger horde. There was a much larger branch, they said, headed for a town to the east, known as Lotaq. This was told to them by Kithalya, the hunter.
Not waiting around, the players rushed off to warn the villagers of Lotaq. They arrived successfully, but discovered a small amount of bureaucratic resistance on the part of the mayor. The priest Amartl and the Elven Archer Itiri helped to convince the mayor of his folly, and they asked the PCs to go to a nearby Orc tribe to ask for assistance.
A short while later, the players found themselves speaking to the Orc clan Tooao, and their leader, Chief Da’outo. He was imposing, and the players found the diplomacy more difficult than any fight. Eventually, though, they convinced him that they should fight the gnolls together. After a war dance and painting skulls on the faces of the soldiers, the orcs moved to fight.
The orcs proved to be a very important asset. The players themselves fought not only the same half-demon from before, but yet another half-demon, a cleric. They proved impossibly hard to bring down, and the players certainly had their hands full. Eventually, however, they emerged broken, bloody, but victorious. After a short goodbye, they left once again, headed once and for all to Tolactaquatl.