Session Fourteen: The Lair of the Worm

Session Date: March 1, 2008


A Walk to the Arena
(?10? Azura, TR 720)

A few days after their meeting with Analia, the founders were almost prepared to go out on their mission to parlay with the Ivashu whom Duglan had seen near Taztos, a suspected Elder Brood based on his description and Maban's knowledge. Judyn got a note from Carig of Gundar, the Ulankh (Agrikan priest) from the Shiran temple of the Octagonal Pit, saying that he had an excellent deal for a convict sentenced to death that she could buy. She then headed to the arena, accompanied by Jaroud, Kalrun, and Maban.

However, Jaroud -- who had not been present at that meeting -- has issues with buying a convicted man rather than simply a body. While walking, Jaroud argued that it was wrong and they shouldn't go to the arena at all, and Kalrun supports him (Duel of Wits). Jaroud was convinced to go along, but Judyn agreed to only take the convict if it was a murderer.

In the Arena
(?? Azura, TR 720)

At the arena, they were met by the priest Carig, who showed them the "great deal" he had spoken of -- a 12-year-old boy thrown roughly in a cell. Judyn asked why the boy was there, and the priest -- annoyed -- had to go away to find this out. She also asked about a more expensive option, and he suggested a slave who had killed his master.

While they were waiting, Maban went to see an Ivashu that was being held in the arena. Judyn asked Kalrun to keep an eye on her, which he did, though his sympathies were strongly with her desire to free the Ivashu. They talked their way past the guards and found a creature appearing like a giant centipede some fifteen feet long with colorful spines dripping probable poison. It was kept in a pit that it evidently could not climb. Maban determined that it was actually a a baby of a unique Ivashu type. They considered putting down a ladder to free it, but instead decided to talk the keepers into letting it grow, since it would give a more spectacular show if it were larger.

Meanwhile, Judyn went up to the cell of the slave who had killed his master. She spoke openly to him, at first asking if he had family, but when he said he had none, offering him simply a chance to be out of the pit for a while before dying. He nodded in agreement, though he was unable to answer since his tongue was cut out -- like all arena convicts, it seemed.

When Carig returned, he said he had no records on how the 12-year-old had been brought to them. She then offered to buy both the 12-year-old and the adult, and settled on a price with Carig to be paid on pick-up.

A Fight
(?? Azura, TR 720)

The next day at the games, there was a fight at the arena between Dagnard and the captain of the arena guard. Dagnard was the Telen of the Demon Pameshlu, who was "Master of Beasts" at the Pamesani -- whom Maban had targeted to control, and had prophesized about his impotence and single testicle. Since she had named the guard Garryx (her former lover) as her source, Dagnard had thrashed Garryx thoroughly, and was then challenged to combat by his captain. Maban went to the games with ??, and saw the fight. (Dagnard won?)

Final Preparations
(?? Azura, TR 720)

Judyn was quite concerned at some mystical or physical leak of information after Cranor threatened her in a note -- apparently knowing about their meeting with the Agrikans. She at first suspected Maban, but convinced by Maban's denial she wanted to secure her house more thoroughly. She asked Brother Olrau to consecrate the place, and he agreed to make a consecrated room in the basement. He did this in a ceremony with Judyn and Maban (and both went up in Faith as a result). Olrau also insisted that he should stay in the city to watch after things while the others went after the Ivashu. Kara, meanwhile, was sent off to Shiran again -- accompanied again by Judyn's servant Tesena, a widow of her clan.

The others then picked up the convicts. Judyn left the boy to stay with her mother in the Kuseme house, and they took the other convict with them. They were well-equipped and riding a set of horses provided by Judyn. Their trip was tiring giving inexperienced riders, but uneventful. They pushed to go quickly, especially since autumn was advancing.

Stopping at Taztos
(?? Azura, TR 720)

Several days later, they arrived at the fort of Taztos. It was a strategic military site on the salt road, maintained to guard the border and keep the trade route open. It had a history of battles in the vicinity, and was surrounded by burial mounds of various age.

Resting there, they heard many rumors from the soldiers. There was supposedly a ghost, the "Old Soldier" on a nearby burial mound. They learned some of the history of the place -- soldiers killed in the Salt War, and the soldier's payroll that was buried and then lost. The soldiers also warned them of the dangers of the Tulwyn, rumored to eat human flesh, as well as a Nolah that had been seen in the region. Maban divined on the location of the lost payroll, but didn't find it.

Travel to the Site
(?? Azura TR 720)

They set out from Taztos on a foggy morning. With Kalrun's help, Duglan found his way quite directly to the site of his battle, and then towards the cave where he had seen the Ivashu. As they came close, however, strange feelings seized many of the group. Jaroud rushed ahead, with Maban and Kalrun close behind. Judyn and Duglan hung back, keeping the slave with them.

Judyn had become convinced that Duglan was leading them into a trap, and dropped to her knees in a prayer that the Elder Brood would come save them -- taking Duglan as a sacrifice. She told him, though, that she had prayed for thick fog to cover their escape, and convinced him to tie themselves together to keep track of each other when the mists fell.

Ahead, Jaroud was ambushed by a bow-wielding Tulwyn barbarian, but the first shot glanced off his armor. His wolf flushed the barbarian, and he then wounded it with an arrow and then closed to finish him. Meanwhile, Maban had fled at the sound of the fight, and Kalrun couldn't find her.

Maban had gone back towards where Judyn and Duglan were. Duglan was silently snatched from out of the fog by a creature, and the rope snapped. The bound slave then ran, pulling loose from the line Judyn held. Maban leapt to tackle Judyn, but she ran in the direction where the creature disappeared with Duglan. Kalrun found them as well, and helped track the creature. Maban gave up on her initial plan and went along with them for the moment.

In the Lair
(?? Azura TR 720)

Following a compulsion, Jaroud went to a burial mound with the Tulwyn body and brought it inside. Deep within, he encountered a large snake-man creature, and again feeling a compulsion, he laid the body before it. He was in the process of backing out when a Nolah passed him carrying the body of Duglan. Kalrun, Judyn, and Maban then met him -- having followed the Nolah. They all went back to meet the creature.

Maban then began speaking with it in Ivashu. As she did so, the minds of the others began to clear of its effects. It explained that it collected the souls of creatures to take back to Ilvir -- preferably humans (or rarely, elves). The process was not entirely clear, but Jaroud saw some of what it had done to the Tulwyn body. Maban asked if it would come with them, and it seemed intrigued by the thought of a city with thousands of people. It was wary, and told her that it had been crippled centuries ago when some elves wounded it. However, it was convinced that it wanted to go with them -- and asked them to provide a cart and covertly bring it into the city.

(End of Session)