By Geokhan | 15-May-2022 | Logs
tl:dr: Traveled to DOF to clear a Khendra fort and report on our findings.
Future Adventure Notes: There may be more Khendra Fort that need to be cleared out.
Session Title: Do you know the way?
Session DM: DGM
Session Date: 15 May 2022 @09:00 UTC
Session Risk: 6 Incapacitated is likely, Death is a potential.
Characters (Left to Right):
• Nalkris and Avarace (Took lead in detecting the mysterious radiation)
• Wheeze with Zombie Friend and Breathless (Front liner and support)
• Aldwin (Ever ready with sword and smite)
•Balthier (Dead eye with a bow and a pick lock)
•Lysing (Teleporting Healer)
•Twee (Master of shadows)
The morning was cool and the weather fair that morning we gathered together. After making sure to gather supplies at the cabal we left out from Ruined Oak and arrived at the portal. Twee was leading us on a mission that he had arranged with the Khendra, it seemed we would be traveling under the guise of tourist and embarking to clear out one of the Khendra’s ancient forts and recover some crystals. I was itching to put my mettle to the test once again and could care less what the intent was. However I know that ties between the Khendra and AFK are getting stronger, if only one small step at a time.
The portal travel itself was a mundane matter to experienced adventures such as our selves. However this was not the first time I had dared to enter the Great Desert of Flies. My first time there was most harrowing indeed as I recalled that within the first hours of arrival I had found myself in the condition of being exhausted, nearly blinded, and having lost our party leader Eyesak.
This trip was much different as in the short span of a year or so of that the first trip the portal was cleared of its sand guardian and the Khendra have built a mighty impressive structure around the portal.
I looked out over an area of new construction and the sand went on for miles, it seems that Wheeze was most impressed with the sight. Several commecial skimmer could be seen in the distance flitting here and there
Among the other sights to be were the Dunewalkers. To me they seem to be like cows of the desert as they slowly drift along, what the skimmer captain later had told us, were lay-lines. I had seen them before and despite their size and ominous appearance I now get a peaceful feeling seeing them as they are truly the life lines of this desert.
I must mention as well that upon arrival we were met by Khendra guards. The language barrier proved again to be a hassle, I am glad that some are starting to learn that language back in AFK as I sense it will be most useful in the future. However I digress, they did have a member that could speak the common tongue who went about checking our PIM’s. The process was not long and Balthier even had some time to look for trinkets for his daughter.
We then were directed towards the dock to board the skimmer that would be taking us to our destination. It seem that we were not alone on this mission as there were other passengers as well. What their destination were or business was I was not too concern. However I did notice that the Khendra were going to great lengths to conceal the nature of our parties true purpose to it population and that it was also strange that given their military might and in some ways advanced knowledge that they would rely on outsiders for something that could be so culturally sensitive.
Listening to the stories that the Skimmer Captain told I realized how dangerous and ever present the Khendra’s enemies are. It seems that the flies were not all destroyed in a previous assaults’ and that the fronts with the flies is a very precarious thing. Not to mention the constant danger of Giant Sand Worms. I was glad we did not have any encounter with them along our journey. My mind had drifted back to my Journey with Rig, and how we had fired him like a cannon ball to the interior of one such Giant Worm. It seem the insides are not as tough as the Invincible Rig. Again I digress.
The skimmer itself was a pleasant enough ride, the Khendra had well equipped it with water and provisions. It had both an upper and lower deck and they pilot used a strange device he called a compass to ply along the sands. This had come up as Balthier had asked how they did not get lost in such a featureless landscape. It seem that the Dunewalkers trails, the stars, and the compass device are great tools in this endevor.
Along the way I was once again treated with the sight of the Khendra warship patrolling the desert. It was also a sign that we were reaching our first destination, which was a newer military fort. It seems that tourism is helping to fund the construction of these location. We were not allowed to exit the skimmer at this location. While relations are warming up between our people and the Khendra they are still a weary group. I do not blame them in this and it is to be expected in a land so dangerous as this where, one simple mistake means death. Trust is a slow crop with a rich fruit that I hope to one day achieve.
We rested on the skimmer that night and headed out in the morning. The Khendra had supplied use with medication and scroll of ancient magic which allowed us to detect the strange magic know as radiation. Radiation is similar to Necromancy but as destructive as Evocation so beware.
The location was near the mountains and about a day and a half northwest of the portal as the skimmer travels. The fort itself was constructed in a cliff side with a long winding path that lead up to it. We made our way up and spotted several statues that appeared to be Khendra Generals that were set out as gate keepers. I realize that these were just normal statues but the quality of them was awe inspiring and enough to make some folks thing twice about approaching without good reason to be there. We were also under a time crunch as the medicine that the Khendra had given us only worked for one day. The clock was now ticking.
Our eyes then beheld what had been large gates to the complex. The door to the gates lay scattered and broken reveling that they had been violently destroyed most likely with a battering ram or other such item or magic. We wasted no time in moving out and scouting the area. Twee took the lead and soon noticed sounds of talking on the other side of an intact door. We did not have to wait long until we were met by the Orc Invaders. They were formable in their own right, however we clearly outmatched them. With well placed arrows from Twee and Balthier along with a handy haste spell on Aldwin, the orc’s were defeated in less than a minute.
However as it turned out the orc’s were not the biggest challenge that we were yet to face. As we traveled down the dark passage ways and stairs it was very obvious that some great battle had taken place within these halls. Mighty doors had to be overcome that seem like great bulkheads designed to halt any would be invader. It took the combined efforts of Twee and Balthier to overcome them. The place was also littered with traps and the bones of the its defenders, as Wheeze fell victim to a magical book. it took several hours for him to recover, I too found one of the traps of the hallway and almost lost a few toes, luckily I was still able to limp about.
As we descended down another flight of stairs Nalkris came across a strange glyph or sigil on the floor. Nalkris had said it had displayed some words I think, then when Nalkris said something it changed from the Blue to the Red. I think we displayed our PIM’s and the symbol went away. I will need to revisit with Nalkris for more details.
While we were searching with Nalkris keeping a good look out for the radiation magic, we came across some ledger with the names of some of the original defenders in them. This proved useful later.
The next thing we encountered was a strange pile of coins that were scattered about in a large room. It turned out that the coins were covered in some sort of greasy non flammable oil that consumed everything that was not magical. it halted us a moment as we finally managed a way around or misty stepped to the other side. some lost their pants that day but I was glad they were not coin mimics.
After overcoming a few more bulkheads, we finally encounter something other than bones and cobwebs. Twee stumbled upon a room containing the undead of the defenders. A very tense moment indeed as we were not sure what to do for a few seconds. Where they friend or foe?
The creatures were not immediately hostile and someone in the party I believe it was Twee, showed them his PIM’s this got the creatures to talking. However it was in Khendra so we were having a hard time communication. I then used my last scroll of comprehend language, it was not perfect however it did serve well enough to get some meaning across.
They told us that something had changed and that metal would not save us. We gathered that the change must of happen with the coins. He told us not to go into the cave system and I could sense that there must be something very dangerous waiting in those confined spaces. We heeded Tarik words and did not travel there. Tarik and the guards were also very fascinated with Wheeze as they had never encountered such a race, they also bantered among themselves as to how much time had passed and what changes had taken on the outside. One important thing they told use was that there are teleportation circles at the bottom of each of the forts, as a means to move troops and resources. After talking with them for about an hour Tarik cast Death Ward on a few of us. We also left him with gifts, a bead of force and a scroll of mage armor before we left.
From here on out it became more dangerous, as we had to overcome several barricades and travel even deeper down. We finally came to the level where Nalkris began detecting the strange radiation magic. It was coming from a large pile of broken glass which must have been jars or vials that had contained some strange material. At this point we began to move very cautiously and finally discovered the chamber with the crystals. Nalkris entered the room but in just the matter of seconds retreated with strange burns and I think some of his skin was peeling away as well as also suffering from a very bad headache. Through some trial and experiments we discovered that this strange radiation magic also effected the undead. However with enough bones around Wheezer managed to make a skeleton that was able to retrieve a crystal and put in a chest that the Kendra had entrusted us with.
We had recovered the crystal and then proceeded to find the teleportation circle. That is when they found us. A creature as massive as a Troll struck out with a great chained club and began slamming Breathless around. It turned out that there were two of them and that they also had a leader that was a powerful spell caster. The battle was hard and I found myself having to teleport between various party member to revive them with potions. Aldwin began pressing the large creatures, but they were very smart and keep going after our casters. I took one blow from the creatures chain club and was glad that I had buffed myself with false life or else I too may have suffered the fate of Nalkris who was batter relentlessly until they broke his body again the stone walls. We were also suffering from more than just the muscle brutality of the chained club, the caster had fried our minds with a debilitating attack, even dominating Balthier for a moment. In the end we managed to prevail, and through foresight Twee had a scroll of Revivify that was used to bring Nalkris back to us.
Now that the creatures were dealt with Wheeze scouted ahead and found the teleportation circle. I thunder stepped to the other side of the radiation zone and recorded the circles sequence. This might come in handy later.
We then recovered as best we could from our wounds and made our way back to the top. We stopped by and informed Tarik that the mutant like creature below had been dealt with by displaying the creatures removed head. We then travel to the outside and waited for the skimmer to return. This time the skimmer was filled with military Khendra and not tourist. They debriefed us and we recounted all that happened. Then the Khendra leader used a strange spell after crushing a diamond with his armored fist. This spell removed the taint of radiation from us, he used the spell again on Nalkris as it seems Nalkris had more issues than the rest of us.
They then washed us down, and took our cloths, while giving us new ones. It seems this radiation magic has a way of lingering on things. very strange indeed. Afterwards it was a peaceful and pleasant trip back to the portal.