Huntsman Chodo: "Before we go much farther I must inform you that I have not been completely honest." "While I have been here hunting for Kheshchal, that is not why I wanted to come back."
"Last time I was here I stumbled on what I think was a bandit camp." "At the same time a squad of warriors from the Blazoned Cresent found and attacked them." "From what I gathered from the shouted challenges, the bandits had stolen the dowry of their clan daughter." "The fighting was furious and the dowry must be significant as neither side tried to negotiate."
"I watched as both sides decimated themselves." "Then something strange happened." "Something invisible started striking down the survivors of both sides." "I left before whatever it was came for me."
Post by greentongue on Jan 12, 2016 13:38:02 GMT -6
Huntsman Chodo: "Recently things have gone against me and what I thought was a sure bet turned out not to be." "Every bet I have made to get my money back has gone against me and now the clan's money I borrowed to cover my losses is also gone." "If I don't repay my debts soon, I was warned that I would be sold into slavery."
"Since the missing dowry is so valuable, if we can recover it, the reward should be enough to change all of our fortunes."
"If you are not interested, we can still hunt for some Kheshchal." "It will not be enough to save me from my fate but it will make your trip worth while."
Huruyan: "I was sure that something was going on with you. Before we decide what we should do can you give us any clue as to what the invisible thing was?"
Post by greentongue on Jan 12, 2016 13:40:18 GMT -6
Huntsman Chodo: "I couldn't get to much detail of what it was because it was invisible but it did walk and not fly." "Seemed to be close to human sized but much stronger since it was able to lift a fulled armed man off their feet easily enough." "After it jabbed them with whatever it used they would go limp and it would drop them." "It sounded and looked like it used normal weapons too so, it may have extra hands."
"It will take about an hour or so to reach the spot where I saw the bandit camp." "There is a small ruin there so it is easy to confirm it is the right place." "It has only been a little over a week so I'm sure I can find it."
Huruyan: "What do you think, Kumahl? Does this sound like anything you have seen or heard of before?"
Kumahl: "As long as it was not the tentacled gas bag from earlier this week, I am certain we can figure something out. Invisible changes things."
"We could cover it in tree sap and clay, make it easier to see. Let us find the sight first. Scout the area. Identify individuals and people. See which way it came and which way it left. The more information, the better we can address it's potential return."
Post by greentongue on Jan 12, 2016 13:41:41 GMT -6
"I think that we should move away from the road before we camp for the evening," suggested Chodo. With that he headed off into the bush with his servant behind him.
Soon after crossing a game trail there was a small group of trees that have cleared the ground under themselves with a thick layer of their leaves.
"This looks like a good place to spend the night as long as we don't need a fire." "I was here last time and wasn't disturbed," said Chodo as he surveyed the leaf covered area.
Huruyan: Huruyan takes a look around,"Looks good to me, however I think that we should take turns on guard."
Kumahl: "With our brothers from the Clan, ourselves and Chodo, we can cover 3 watches. Half the Guardsmen on the first watch. Chodo and Huruyan on the second. My self and the remaining Guardsmen for the third and final watch."
Post by greentongue on Jan 12, 2016 13:42:11 GMT -6
With the watches established everyone ate a cold meal of smoked fish in the middle of a sticky rice ball wrapped in wide leaves. The servants had plain water while the rest had watered down wine.
The Guardsman Lazhato and Chamang kept waking everyone up thinking that there was impending doom. While there was some amount of rustling in the brush all around, nothing could be seen in the moonlight or entered their camping area except small vermin that quickly scampered away.
During Chodo and Huruyan's watch a strong repellent musty odor slowly drifted into the campsite.
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:34:38 GMT -6
Huruyan: "Try to stay still, movement will attract the Giriku."
Kumahl: Kumahl takes from a pack nearby some cloth a square 6 or so feet long by about 6 feet wide. Quickly cutting with boot knife, the fabric into smaller squares, he takes one and folds a triangle and then ties it around his face covering his mouth and nose. The rest of the squares he passes to those awake in the camp. Then he sits still with his staff in hand and waits.
--- As Kumahl passed out the cloth triangles, the guardsmen started talking among themselves about what the smell was and how dangerous it my be. They also ask if anyone can see anything and where did that creature that ran through the camp go?
There is some rattling as they unlimber their weapons, just in case.
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:35:57 GMT -6
Briefly the light of the green moon was blocked by a shadow passing overhead causing the light of the red one to cast everything in a baleful glow. It was quickly followed by a crash in the brush nearby, in the direction the deer had gone. From the sound, a large creature had landed in the brush and the piteous squeal of its victim told why.
There were sounds of thrashing around from that location for a short time, then silence.
--- Huruyan: "Sounds like the Giriku has found its dinner, so the rest of you who are not on guard duty should try to get some rest." With that Huruyan settled back and resumed guard duty.
--- Craftsman Kumahl, Guardswoman Ninue, and Guardsman Ssiyor are undisturbed by the wildlife and the noises coming from where the deer met its fate.
In the false dawn light Guardsman Ssiyor claims to have briefly seen a reptilian head the size of a man's looking at them from the bushes.
Nobody else saw it but all heard a faint modulated hissing noise from that direction.
With true dawn, everyone rose, took stock of their inventory and discussed if it was safe to go into the bushes alone to use the bathroom.
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:37:44 GMT -6
Huntsman Chodo: "As soon as everyone is ready, we need to get started."
Servant Darakdakin hands Chodo a rolled flat bread with a paste inside.
"The site of the battle is close so keep your eyes open for anything unusual."
Kumahl: "Stealthy creatures, these Giriku. When you said flying reptile, I figured we would at least be able to hear its scales moving or something. Do they only hunt at night?"
Leaning over to Guardsman Ssiyor, "Brother, where did you see the reptile looking at you. Sorry if it seemed that I didn't believe you, it's easier to move about during the daylight hours. Let us see if we have any tracks or indications to prove what you saw." With that he motions for Ssiyor and Ninue to move with him towards the location Ssiyor indicated, very cautiously.
--- Huntsman Chodo confirmed that a Giriku is a night creature that uses its smell to flush out prey.
Kumahl and the guards approached the location of the sighting and Kumahl spotted part of a human sized footprint. Keeping the guards back from stepping on them, Kumahl noticed that the toes of another foot print had claw marks. The footprints lead into the brush.
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:39:46 GMT -6
Kumahl: "There was something here for certain. Brother Chodo, what do you know of that has a human sized footprint and maybe has claws as well?"
Finding a stick two hand lengths long, Kumahl lays the stick along the footprint to get a rough measurement. With the same stick he sticks one tip into the footprint and measures the depth of the impression. Pulling his notes from their oilskin wrappings, he jots down the measurements and then begins a calculation for weight and height.
Huntsman Chodo: Chodo joins Kumahl at the footprints. After an inspection, "Looks like at least one Qol was here."
"They are not uncommon in the Flats and usually stay clear of large parties." "I hear they only attack groups they out number."
After a pause, "I'm not sure we are a large enough group so, it is a good idea to stay alert."
Huruyan: "I have no experience with Qol, could you tell us more about them?"
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:40:48 GMT -6
Huntsman Chodo: "Qol are half-snake people said to have been made from human stock as servants by the Priests of Ksarul." "They look a lot like people except for a slender reptilian neck and a flat, diamond-shaped serpent head."
"They see well in darkness and are said to fear light." "As I mentioned before, they fight with poisoned weapons, and can also bite." "If we don't trap them or stumble into one of their nests, they will leave us alone."
Kumahl: Nodding in understanding, "We stay alert and don't bother them we should be fine."
--- Following Chodo's directions the party soon arrived at the location where the battle between the bandits and the clansmen occurred.
There were the skulls and bare bones of the dead scattered by the scavengers left in the clearing.
It was clear that they were not the first to want to salvage the missing treasure as a beaten path lead from the clearing off into the brush. It was also clear that there had been something of more value than what was left behind.
Empty containers and fine gilded accouterments were scattered and ignored in the dirt and leaves.
Post by greentongue on Jan 21, 2016 19:42:09 GMT -6
Kumahl: "Should we take these items back first? Maybe we secure these and go after the bigger prize."
Kumahl begins carefully moving through the scrub, checking for signs and tracks and objects discarded. When he is certain of a spot that has no information, he motions the porters to set things down and for two of the guardsmen to follow him in his searching.
Huruyan: As a trained hunter Huruyan began hunting for clues as to who had been here before them and where they came from and where they went.
--- It was clear from the tracks that a number of Qol had been there and were the most likely to have carried away everything of actual value.
All three hunters agreed that the one inhuman set of tracks they found partly covered by the discarded junk were not from the Qol and had been there first.
The impression that was left indicated it was made by someone or something heavier than a human and somewhat larger. The foot prints were insectoid in shape like from a Pe Choi or Hlyss in Chodo's opinion.
Post by greentongue on Jan 30, 2016 13:41:18 GMT -6
Huruyan: Huruyan began looking for useful items. (any useful armor, weapons, food, items of particular value etc.)
"It looks like we need to follow the tracks of the first to arrive, since they most likely have the treasure."
--- Between Huruyan and Kumahl's scrounging in the debris a small pile of usable items were gathered. Most were odds and ends that the previous looters had overlooked. Useful for Kumahl to cobble something together with.
Post by greentongue on Jan 30, 2016 13:42:03 GMT -6
Kumahl: Kumahl takes the items and strings them together and wraps them in the mesh cloth he brought for nets. Then he stashes the items in one of the porter's baskets.
"let us follow the tracks until they diverge and then decide who to follow after that."
--- As Kumahl stashed the items, he noticed the number of found markings indicated many of the dead clansmen were followers of Ksarul. One of the many small items was a small purplish gem. Other things didn't look as clearly valuable.
The insectoid footprints were at least a week old and very hard to follow. They went left away from the Sakbe road where as the Qol tracks were numerous and fresh. The Qol tracks headed off to the right from the Sakbe road.
Chodo said that the right hand direction could lead to the Ruins of Ngala if you went far enough. The left hand direction would lead to the Gulf of Perudana, eventually.
Post by greentongue on Jan 30, 2016 13:43:00 GMT -6
Huntsman Chodo: "I think the insectoid went this way, if you want to try and follow it," said Chodo from the left side of the clearing.
"To have left any trail after this long, it does look like it was carrying some weight."
"I agree with you that it too made several trips so, it may have been carrying whatever treasure there was."
Kumahl: "Brother Chodo, you are always sharp and observant. If we get to the insectoid, it seems that we will have the bulk of what you are looking for. Correct?"
Kumahl takes a few minutes to study the odd purple gem. Purple is a good color, especially with green. As he finishes, Kumahl checks the time of day and asks for recommendations to make camp and pull security.
--- The morning sun has risen towards noon while everyone was searching and gathering.
While a couple of the guards were interested in a drink, everyone was fresh and ready to forge ahead into the brush.
There were a few nervous glances as the tales of danger they had heard were recalled but, no hesitation.
[Private to Kumahl: The gem looks like it had been mounted in some setting and while it has an unusual glow to it, it doesn't look especially precious.]
Post by greentongue on Feb 10, 2016 18:01:13 GMT -6
20:15, Today: GM, for the NPC Huntsman Chodo, rolled 9 using 1d20 ((9)). 20:16, Today: GM, for the NPC Guardsman Lazhato, rolled 20 using 1d20 ((20)). 20:16, Today: GM, for the NPC Guardsman Chamang, rolled 11 using 1d20 ((11)).
Kumahl: Kumahl shouts to get Chodo and the Guardsmen's attention. "The cloth strips from last night. Put them over your faces and tie it tight. Those of you not in the spore cloud, do the same."
Motioning for everyone not in the cloud to carefully step back, retracing their steps, Kumahl goes to the porters. From one of the baskets he pulls another length of cloth out. Handing one end to one porter and another to another porter, Kumahl demonstrates how to force air towards their trapped friends by means of sweeping around in a circle and then pulling the edges away from each other. Kumahl has the porters take turns between every three sweeps they make.
Huruyan: Huruyan quickly fastens his cloth around his face.
Post by greentongue on Feb 10, 2016 18:01:40 GMT -6
Unable to breathe, Huntsman Chodo staggered back from the reddish brown fungal patch and collapsed. Within minutes he was dead as his throat and lungs filled with sprouting spores.
Kumahl's fast thinking and cloth masks saved the others. After a fit of severe coughing by Guardsman Chamang, he was able to breathe again.
The fungus rapidly sprouted and grew into all wet cloth and leather it touched. It was able to be wiped from chlen hide but the cloth and leather items were quickly ruined. The affected chlen hide was left with a faint red sheen where the fungus touched.
The two Guardsmen and Huruyan were reduced to loincloths after the ravages of the fungus.
Post by greentongue on Feb 10, 2016 18:06:07 GMT -6
Kumahl: Kumahl grabs the sides of his head in an order to dull the rupturing headache. "So fickle. So fickle.'
Huruyan: "Oh, Kumahl, you knew that the chance of a positive outcome was very slim. I guess you had to try though. What should we do with Chodo's body?"
Kumahl: "Wrap it in something dry and water resistant, if we have anything like that. Hopefully the spores don't trigger anything else."
"The real question is whether we continue on or not."
Huruyan: "I think Chodo would want us to continue. But, how are you, do you feel up to it?"
Kumahl: Rubbing his head, Kumahl struggles to understand the fickleness of the Gods. "It would seem that relying on the gods can sometimes be a futile effort. We have lost a good man and I am not satisfied with this kind of "justice"."
"Let us move ahead. There are many unknowns ahead with caution."
--- Doing the best he could with palm fronds, Kumahl helped the bearers carefully wrap Chodo's body and tie it up.
After further examination, Huruyan found where Chodo had gone off the trail of the insectoid.
Moving forward as carefully as possible Huruyan led the party deeper into the scrub.
Soon a faint sound of buzzes and clicks could be heard just ahead.
[Private to Huruyan: Peeping through the bushes you can see a clearing with several insectoids posed over a pile of humanoid bodies, As you watch, two that look the same pick up each end of a body while a third that looks different watches and buzzes.]
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:21:29 GMT -6
Huruyan: Backing slightly and turning, Huruyan whispers to Kumahl and the guardsmen, "There are several of the insectoids in a clearing just ahead."
Kumahl: "How many, rough guess."
Huruyan: "I only saw 3 in my quick glance, but there is room in the clearing for many more. I need to look again, more carefully." Suiting actions to words Huruyan turns and very carefully peers through the bushes.
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:21:43 GMT -6
Huruyan carefully works his way through the brush to a position where he could see what was in the clearing. After a short time he quietly worked his way back to where the party waited.
[Private to Huruyan: As he watched, the two insectiods with the body between them entered a hexagonal portal and disappeared. From his angle it was hard to make out clear details but it looked like a window into another clearing much like this one.
The portal itself looked like what Kumahl said the one in the shrine looked like. The rods that form the portal looked much the same as the ones Kumahl carried back to the temples.
While he watched, the remaining insectoid turned towards the right side of the clearing and the limp body of another Qol "floated" into the clearing. This body landed on the ground beside the remaining Qol bodies still there.
Huruyan was sure that he saw a distortion about the size of an insectoid behind the floating body. He was also sure he heard some buzzing and clicking between this distortion and the remaining insectoid.]
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:42:00 GMT -6
Huruyan: " It appears that there are 2 insectoid workers that are carrying Qol through a portal much like the on that was in the temple. There is also some kind of supervisor telling them what to do. Then there is the strange thing, there seems to be an invisible insectoid as well, you can't see it but there seems to be just a little distortion so you can possible tell where it is. It would appear that we could handle what is here on this side of the portal, however if we don't close the portal somehow an unknown but probably large number could come through from the other side. What do you think Kumahl, should we proceed?"
Kumahl: "The easiest thing would be to push the portal over on its face."
Thinking a moment and looking behind him at the spore patch, "As to that invisible insectoid, if we can draw them into the fungus behind us, dowse them with water and then fan the spores on them, we should have quite the advantage. It would require us to surround the patch to draw them in."
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:42:36 GMT -6
Huruyan: "The trouble that I see with that is they may call for reinforcements instead of just trying to attack us by themselves. I think attacking just after the 2 workers step through the portal and knocking it down on it's face only leaves the supervisor and the invisible 1 to deal with and with 4 of us we outnumber them 2 to 1."
Kumahl: "Very true. Odds in our favor, is always better."
Kumahl does a quick head count, then double checks the surroundings for a good place to have the porters hold up.
"Huruyan, we need access to the rear or backside of the portal. Will you find us a route, please?"
Kumahl carefully retraces his steps to the fungus field. Without touching anything, he begins investigating the fungus in an effort to determine how it works. Comparing details from the spore attack earlier and his investigations now, Kumahl wants to know if he can remove the fungus without releasing the spores. He continues his investigation by checking his supplies for a dry container that is sealable.
Thinking maybe he could use a basket, lined with palm leaves, and sand for weight. Kumahl attempts to design a grenade or bomb to cover the insectoids, specifically the invisible bug. His second design, is to rig a couple of spare waterskins with loose corks, that will explode and spray water on contact.
He double checks that everyone has their cloth masks, and then speaks with Huruyan.
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:42:58 GMT -6
Kumahl's investigation of the fungus reveals that as it grows it builds up pressure inside to the point that like a soap bubble, any little disturbance will cause it to explode. He determines that water on it may give the surface a slight bit more flexibility so that it is a little less likely to rupture.
The fungus is grown into what it is on so, scraping it off will certainly cause it to rupture. From the experience of the "attack", the spores will cling to whatever they touch so capturing them in a bag will give a rapidly decaying bag. That would allow a patch of growing fungus to be placed somewhere else.
Assuming there are no obstacles, Huruyan can easily lead everyone around the clearing without being seen.
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:44:26 GMT -6
So palm leaves lining the basket wouldn't slow down the decay of the basket?
What is the composition of the soil or dirt around here? Could I get baskets of mud that I might use to reveal the invisible insectoid?
--- Yes, palm leaves lining the basket would slow down the decay of the basket, but not the palm leaves.
The soil is sandy with sparce weeds and grasses covered by scattered dead leaves. The exceptions are marshy areas where water stands and more weeds grow thickly. There are also a few reddish purple streaks of strange low vines with spiky leaves and thorns.
Post by greentongue on Feb 14, 2016 18:45:18 GMT -6
Kumahl: "Please stay away from those red vines with thorns. There will be time after this to find out how venomous they are."
Assuring that everyone has a functional mask, Kumahl gathers a couple of smaller baskets from the porters. Pulling palm leaves from the trees, he weaves two smaller baskets that he fits inside the other two baskets. When Huruyan is assured of the distance to the insectoids, Kumahl will spritz the pods with water. Carefully removing the fungus at its base he inserts them into the baskets and puts the lids on them.
Nodding to the two other guardsmen, "Brethren, you will push the gate down. Huruyan," Kumahl hands the rigged waterskins to Huruyan, "hit the insectoids, specifically the invisible one, with these."
Pointing to the baskets at his feet, "I will try and get these as close to the wet bugs as possible. Use your spears, the spores are vicious and wwe want them to do the killing."
Huruyan: "Got it Kumahl. I will position the guardsmen in the right place." Turning to the guardsmen Huruyan carefully explains to them that they are to first run out and push the gate over after Huruyan and Kumahl give the signal and start running out into the clearing. After pushing the gate over they should try to assist in the battle against the insectoids. Huruyan leads the guardsmen around to the point that all they will have to do is run and push the gate over,then he goes back around to where Kumahl and the supplies are. "The guardsmen are in place and ready."