City in the Dust

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The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

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Origin Story
Gunga Mai

Drudgery. One step after another. My world, my vision, my consciousness barely extends beyond myself. I am locked in an endless rhythm of step after step, I stare at the dusty ground in front of me as one sandaled foot after the other enters my line of site only to retract again like a wave crashing on the shore and hastily retreating. My head full of cobwebs, I can’t maintain a single coherent thought. Grasping at the thoughts, memories, and reveries that enter my consciousness but then recede as quickly as that. Desperate to hold them. Desperate to maintain them. Whispers, faces, smells, and sounds from another lifetime. And just like that they vanish. I let out a howl of frustration. Or I think it was my voice. Who am I? What am I doing here? Walking? I’ve no concept of time. I’ve no concept of anything at all other than the rhythm of one blurry sandaled foot after another. The howl. There it is again. A cry … an anguished and desperate cry for something. Mai. Gunga Mai. Gunga Mai? There is something so familiar about that sound … that phrase. And why or rather how can I remember anything other than the endless steps and the dust? Gunga Mai I shout. That’s it. That is my name. Gunga Mai.

Slowly my vision clears and I am able to hold onto a thought. I look up; something I haven’t done for a very long time it seems. I see a city wall or gate or something. Have the Gods cursed me? Where am I? I have an unslakeable thirst. It seems consciousness has its price. “Water!” I yell as I collapse in front of the gate. I see a face. An angry face. Or is that concern? I know not which. Rough hands pick me up and load me onto a cart and I can barely make out buildings as they pass slowly by. A city of dust. A city in the dust. And then blackness.

Character crunch: Gunga Mai is a 4th level eldritch knight. He is an unremarkable height of 5’8” and weighs 175 pounds; with brown eyes and dark brown hair when his head is not completely shaved bald. He hails from the horse people of the grasslands. A nomadic people who live in Yurts off the land. They breed and trade horses of the best variety. I visualize him to be Mongolian so to speak. He has the military discipline of a soldier and is quite quiet and soft spoken.

He has wandered in the wastes for many weeks in a stupor. He is almost catatonic until he awakens. He has done something wrong; something very wrong. It is slowly coming back to him. He has murdered someone, someone prominent, and was exiled out into the wastelands to wander and die. Forsaken, cold, thirsty and alone he has stumbled though the dust.

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Waking up
Kainen Awakens

Kainen awoke in a strange place, in a strange body, but somehow he recognized Truman…

My thinking is that this world may be an afterlife and that even Kev has died and moved on… tho his experience with the transition seems quite different than my own. It is interesting that I find myself in a half-human body… and I can’t help but think that perhaps the cycle of reincarnation has been a reflection of the life I lived. I must not have been been on the true path, and now find myself tainted with blood of a lesser race. Is this a punishment?

The eyeless sage speaks in riddles but one thing is clear, this next life is as I suspected, a balance between forces of good and evil, life and death, just as the last one was. He speaks of gods with no names and books, and keys, and I can’t help but think that perhaps I have been awakened here to continue a journey of spirit more so than a physical one. It has been shown to me that death is not an ending, and so, while I do not want to die, I do not fear it. I believe that this place, where ever it is in the miltiverse, is where I belong, and I will continue to follow the path laid out before me.

So when I saw those goblins in and around the buildings and called forth the magic of the land to erupt and bring the building down atop them, and I felt the magic energies building around me, I did not fear. Even when Kev was calling out to limit our magic, I felt a need to stay true to who and what I am.

I was aware of Truman charging into the one building that remained standing, but in the chaos of battle I lost track of the other two. I could feel the magic surrounding me, building, but I also knew that more enemies were coming. So I called forth lightning from the skies and struck down the remaining goblins.

And that’s when the magic burst, the energies that had been building surging around me and conjuring a group of magma mephits. I thought at first that perhaps they were under my control, but this proved to be incorrect as they quickly attacked. Cursing this new turn of events, I quickly put up a cold fire shield that would protect me from their attacks.

The rest of the battle was a blur of chaotic action… more goblins came at us, Kev and my combined magics again summoned a creature, this time a mighty slaad, which seems hell bent on eating everything that moved. Even when Kev put a group of goblins to sleep for it to feast on, it still chose to attack Truman! But together we brought it down with sword and lightning.

This cambion creature was an interesting encounter. He seemed focused on Kev and for a short time took control of his mind, but luckily a well placed lightning strike snapped him out of that… is there anything that lightning doesn’t solve?

So now, we once again have a quest and the road set out before us. I would be a liar if I did not admit that this strange new place feels completely foreign to me, but I also feel that it is where I need to be.

Now to find a focus so that this wild magic doesn’t kill us all. If I didn’t know any better I’d say there was some strange power out there that has something against spell casters…

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Leaving the City in the Dust

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A pdf of this is in the Media Library and is called tripmap. It may be a better image to download, etc.

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I Am Aleksej
From the Journals of Aleksej Kirikdan - Entry 1

Aleksej. Aleksej Kirikdan. I remember my name. And with comes the nightmares. The flames. The screams. The vicious hordes. The death. So much death. I am remembering, and I am here, the City in the Dust. I have no recollection of arriving, only of searching. But now I am remembering. I am aware.
Another notices that I am aware, and takes me gently to clean up and go see the master. I will finally meet the Eyeless Sage of Tanalore. But others are with him. Strangers. One bears a blue boar in ink upon his chest, he is Trueman. Another, just arrived in the city, clad in winter furs, an elf is named Kevquarim. The third is also a half-elf named Kainen. They all knew each other in another life. The old man says there are to be two others. He speaks with knowledge beyond what we understand, but we know he speaks truth. This is no longer just my story, this is now our story, and the Eyeless Sage calls us saviours. And in his assistant Leashem’s eyes I see hope. All I can think of is vengeance.
I am Aleksej and I am from Auren, in the fallen kingdoms. My City fell, and now the City in the Dust stands to fall as well. As we spoke with Leashem, who lead us to an armory to outfit ourselves. I learned that I am always armed. As we picked our gear, the bells began to ring. The City was under attack. This City can not fall. I will not let it. The others gathered their supplies and we left. Dust Goblins were attacking. We gathered on the front steps and met Cuthbert, the captain of the guard. The Eyeless Master shielded the shrine with old magics from his Dragonbone staff. and we met the enemy. As Kevquarum and Kainen started plying their magics strange things began to happen. The air began to vibrate. We began to make short work of the waves of Dust Goblins but then the magic air vibration popped and small fiery creaters popped into being. We later learned them to be Magma Mephits. They too attacked. Kev yelled for us to use no magic, but we became sorely pressed by goblins,Hounds of Hell, and by a winged man, a Cambion who began to do us great harm. The Cambion went after Kev, and at one point took his mind. We were hard pressed, because the magics had once more collided and popped, and a fierce creature of the outer realms appeared and lay waste. We learned it was a Grey Slaad. Kainen pulled lightning and healed Trueman, who hew and smote, as I blasted with my internal magics the dread beast. Eventually we laid it low and sought to help Kev. The Cambion had been demanding the book and the key, artefacts that protect the city. They must not fall in his hands. He was defeated, but not vanquished, and he opened the very earth and descended into its depths. We were sorely pressed, but we four survived. I survived. I am Aleksej Kirikdan. It is still new to say it.
With the crisis over, for now, we rested, and learned more from the Eyeless Master. We learned that for our magic to work without detriment, we need foci. The Etheric Thresholds react without a foci. Then we learned it was time for us to journey into the wastes and seek out Sir Gregor Brood, agent of the Argent Quill. He is to be in Kingrave to the south. We are given a map and information, and there we must go.

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The Diagram

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This much we know. What it means we do not.

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A good place to camp

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On the trek to the Samsarran Bridge. This is where a blue dragon was encountered, and humiliated.

It proved to be a good place to camp and rest, but sadly no treasure was found.
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Sand Hag and Salt Demon

There was a lot to occupy Kev’quarim’s thoughts as they drudged through the desert, along the path that Crassier set them upon. He was positive that he was more comfortable in the frozen wastes of Taladore’s Dragon Kingdoms than he currently was in this curséd, arid place. His thoughts were difficult to maintain through the grit and the heat and the thirst that was brought with each step. There was a lot to ponder; this bag of teeth and blood soaked book, the new arrival to the party and his intentions, the aetheric limitations imposed by this places that were further complicated by this Druid that seemed to revel in the chaos it brought.

Some time to study and think to try and put all of the pieces together then come up with a decisive course of action to remedy some part of this, or at least just to ensure their next course of action would see them properly prepared for their next challenge, not to mention a bath to wash the dust out his nether regions would be most welcome.

The chitinous staircase and the dried out giant wasps’ nest clearly reflected the warnings and ramblings of the Eyless Sage; this world was most certainly dying. From the limited understanding of insects that he had, the giant husks should have been more likely found in a tropical, humid environment. The wasps, also likely, though he was not as confident in that.

After investigating the wasp hive and getting no further indication of what dessimated their colony, it was marching on though the sand and rock.

He was not sure which brought him the most surprise, the suddenness of the oasis’s appearance or the fact that it was able to exist in this place at all. Kev’quarum and his comrades approached cautiously, wary of an independent wattering hole, given their most recent experiences and, he assumed, as most desert dwellers would be. Their presence was spotted by a lone woman, dressed in the plain, loose-fitting robes to be worn in the desert.desert_shelter_2.jpg

“Welcome travellers! Come, rest a while, journeying through these parts is wearying work,” she said and bade them toward the water.

The four travellers approached close enough to be asked and introduced themselves. The woman’s reaction revealed her true intent. “He said you would be coming, the salt demon is here.” With that, her guise fell away, revealing the form of an ugly, hag-like woman.
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The party reacted instantly, with Trueman glancing about ensuring there was no demon and rushed to engage the newly revealed villain. The rest of the party members were equally as swift to step to the hag for battle. Her response was to let a jet of hot sand at Trueman, slicing and blinding him.

Kev’quarum felt his stomach lurch as the sand moved at his feet. Rising up from a buried hiding place was a demon, immediately levelling two scimitar blows at the wizard. The blades cut into his abjuration shielding, thus the wizard avoided any damage to his person. Necrotic power oozed off of the vile creature, encouraging Kev to put some distance between them.

Bat-like undead appeared and flew down from the gulley walls to enter the battle, one of which found Alekej and wrapped him up, effectively taking him out of the entire fight.

The entire scene was sand filled mayhem. The only real tool that seemed to be working for the wizard was the magic missiles from his wand, which was responsible for finishing the hag as she reappeared from hiding buried in the sand.

The salt demon preferred to fight in the darkness he created, which complicated matters for Trueman and the Druid in bear form, especially as the paladin was hit with a powerful blast that tested his faith and resistance to disease.

The group’s mettle was tested and they proved victorious. However, not long after the demon was felled, the familiar flapping of wings could be heard and lightning ripped through the Druid and paladin, felling the latter.

Blasts, magic missiles and summoned giant vultures brought the blue dragon within sight of death, once again. Once again, the blue dragon managed to escape with his life by flying out of the gulley.

The oasis faded as the hag and demon died and a cave was revealed, offering up the hag’s treasure, which included a couple of nice items, including a ring of warmth and, more interesting to the wizard, a scroll of dream.

As the part moved on after a rest, the end of the gulley and the desert opened up before them. A few hundred yards from the gulley was an open sarcophagus. Apparently, the dragon wanted us to use it as a repository for our valuables for him to allow the party safe crossing across the desert.

After much debate on how the group could lure the greedy beast out to finish the fight once and for all. Listening into the party’s plans the entire time, in response to a request to parley, the scaleykin revealed himself from underneath the sand and flew off again with the final statement of “So it has been decided!”

Kev’quarum sighed, and turned back to face the desert expanse that he hope promised them the town of Kingrave.

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Sandwyrms to Gnoll Camps
Feb 22 and March 1 Adventure logs

Feb 22
Out into a gully and down on to the desert. Far across the rock desert and scrub, dust bowl there are rocky peaks. Some scrub blue grass, and marks from Carnsir. Spirited debate in the hut at rest time. Afternoon walk we spot a sandstorm two days off. Some small lizard like creatures scurrying through bone piles. Night time brings the cold.
Day two, much the same. Mid morning, we spot two, 18 foot tall, bone spur covered creatures. The are undead mo strontium, not covered in bones but broken weapons. It was a tough fight, and twice the Druid got knocked out of the bear. I dropped the both with Eldritch Blasts. The battle was over.

We walked for an hour, rested, and walked on. It was sandier again, but not, hot enough we have trouble regulating our water. We see great piles of bones. Up ahead lies a massive set of ribs rising out of the sand, with a bone pedestal, with something shiny on it. Turns out to be a trap with a sandwyrm laying in wait. The Druid was restrained, and it shifted into a bear, only to have the Druid stung out of the bear with the tail stinger. I put it to sleep and Trueman killed it. We summoned the hut and camped for the night.

Day three. The sandstorm is much less, but it is windy. Visibility is low. Mid day break is uneventful. After break we are walking through a very sandy area, then the Druid yells out stop. He spotted a blue dragon in the sky. And cacti that came to life and attacked. Things looked dire. But after we got out of close range we blasted them to bits. The dragon flew off to the southwest, the very direction that we want to go. There was some treasure to be had. We rested for the night.

Day four. Sand blowing, it sucks. Part way threw the morning, as the dunes shift in front of us. We see five centaurs, the shevreth. We spoke with Gorifoross, the Elder, and learned things were worse than we feared. The Blue Dragon has raised the southern tribes against us. The young of Gorifoross’s tribe, those not taken by the demons of the Oasis of the dog have turned to evil and declared war on all. Human and Dogheaded demon men atop wyverns ride the wastes killing and taking what they want. The Baradi in the hills have also stirred but have not taken sides.

We decided to avoid the camp.

We stopped there.

March 1
Two days away after we circle the camp. We hit the loose rock and start climbing out of the low desert. The terrain is inclined and with stunted trees. Carnsir has joined us. We are good for water, but we are low on food. We sleep in the hut. It is a silent and awkward night as usual.
We are a day and a half away. The Druid is hesitant to use magic to summon us food. He eventually does. We head out, and hope to forage. There is some success. We get 12 pounds of jack-rabbit, and an antelope and 13 gallons of water.
At a rocky plateau we find we have wandered into an old ruined city. We are set upon by Gnolls, two riding dinosaurs. Shortly into the fight, Kainen breaks the Etheric Threshold and ends up with a Blue Slaad on him. The fey that were summoned, were actually of no help at all. In fact they made the fight harder. The fight, though seeing much magic from us, was a tough slog, despite numerous Gnolls being stunned. The fight went on, the Slaad was killed, Carnsir was dropped, the fight raged one, but eventually we prevailed. Trueman brought Carnsir back. There was treasure.
We walk on for a bit. We make it to the end of the day. We overuse the water that we had. We had 43 gallons. We now have 19.
We had a full nights rest. We grill the new guy, his name is Gunga and he is a sleeper that has awoken. He was a slave of the Shevereth and then captured by the gnolls. He has now awoken.
Carnsir makes more water in the morning. Then We walked on, we mid-day rest. In the afternoon, we slow and try and be stealthy. Part way through, as we wind down in the hills, and in the distance one hill looks like a skull, on top of which sits a building. Around the building are out buildings and a corral. In the pens are Shevereth and moving around are gnolls and humans. There are heaped mounds of skulls, with sentries on watch.
We hunker down to plan. Once more we get into the debate about causing chaos and whether it will help or not. I stand watch.

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Treasure Log
From Feb 22 and March 1

Treasure from last two adventures
Feb 22
90pp
3200gp
2 potions – oil of slipperiness,
potion of greater healing (Trueman)
Iron crown with zirconium gems
leather bag with 1000sp in it
Boots of Elvenkind (Kainen)
Javelin of Lightning (Trueman)
Wand of Web (Kev’quarim)
Light Hammer of iron and steel (Trueman)

Mar 1
31sp
250gp
Jade Armband
Spellbook = Telekinesis, Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, Greater Invisibility, Counter Spell, Fireball, Fly, Animate Dead, Misty Step, Suggestion, Detect Magic, Mage Armour, Shield, Magic Missile, Find Familiar, Light, Prestidigitation, Firebolt, Mage Hand
120 arrows, (not sure who grabbed how many?)
1 dagger (Gunga),
1 Slaad Nut
Left behind: 7 suits of Hide Armour, 8 spears, 8 longbows, 8 wooden shields

Math (remember I am an English Teacher so you best check it over.) Feb 22 was divided between the 4 of us, and March 1 between the 6 of us. Gems, and what not not included. Earlier Treasure from Feb 8 also not included at this point in time (coming soon). Aleksej is holding on to the non divided up treasure (like the armband and crown), and you let him because he is charismatic as all hell.
Kev – 22pp, 841gp, 255sp
Kainen – 22 pp, 841g, 255sp
Trueman – 22 pp, 841 gp, 255sp
Alexsej – 22pp, 846gp, 256sp
Carnsir – 2 pp, 41gp, 5sp
Gunga, 41gp, 5sp

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