G77: Basilisk, Dragon, Mandrake

This session was played on April 14, 2011, attended by Martin le Black, Richard Loubeau, Charlie Darrowkin, Ja'Tubis and Hanna Darrowkin. They were accompanied by Anya Darrowkin.

Summary

Following the events of the last session, the party was protecting their river sailors transporting the two barge-rafts past the first cataract of the Broken Lands when a large snake creature slithered from the rocks to assault them. They moved into position, as they would any encounter… before noting its hellish glowing eyes. It was a basilisk.

Martin took a brave point, fishing a mirror from his pack while slashing valiantly, leaving Hanna to rush down its unprotected length, where she hit it several times. The rest hacked and shot arrows, all managing to avoid its petrifying vision. In time they laid it low, a sack was blindly shuttered around its decapitated head, and Richard set to skinning it while the halflings and short Martin went into its low-ceilinged caverns, warily, discovering no hazards but a number of treasures, including a fearsome bone wand and a silver raven figurine.

The next night along the river, a watch had heard a winged figure prey on one of the party's mules in the darkness, but did not see the thing itself.

A following day, a massive green-skinned dragon swooped down on the party. Whatever its designs were, it was charmed by a clever Ja'Tubis quip and dragged him off through the air, far above the shocked party. They had little else to do but take the great beast at its word — it wanted some entertainment for a few days. Thankfully, three days later it flapped back, hovered sky-high, and dropped the cleric from great height. Apparently it had done so several times in the journey, after discovering Ja's armor gave him the lilting, light grace of a dandelion while falling.

The last two cataracts and the rest of the journey left the party unmolested. Thankfully. They did encounter a large troop of merchant's men protecting a large convoy for trade, but they stood aside and exchanged pleasantries. A moment close to drowning scared Richard, but he managed to sputter to the surface.

They found Corunglain, the sprawling, malodorous, fascinating trade city inside Darokin's borders. Hot baths, warm food, soft beds awaited. They sold the second barge and soft goods, the baby roc, and sundries, and paid excise duties. They gave their sailors a hefty bonus for seeing them through the dangers. The city was indifferent to their being Glantrians - it appeared they were safe from border squabbles and the touch of the war.

In Corunglain, Richard sought out the merchant house- House Frange- whose men the company had encountered on the river. Citing their honest and just character, he relayed to them a warning of basilisks on the river, and presented them with the head of the basilisk as evidence, and for safe disposal. His gestures were very well received (13!), and the House presented him with a 400gp gratuity. Richard thanked them, and politely refused half the sum to demonstrate his company's good intentions.

id'ing and spell studies

Mandrakes and Bandits

Enjoying the safety and comforts of a large city, healed and salved, the party nibbles at the request of a decrepit priest of Ja'Tubis's faith, Ha'pacrapis, to discover what happened to a horticultural party gone outside the city to look for mandrake roots, a source of healing power. The party heads out, sans Martin, with wax clumps to stick in their ears against the awful shrieks of a disturbed tuber.

Approaching the mandrake grove over hill and dale, they sniff danger, and see a long hidden rope hanging loose from a hill face, likely to yank the root and kill intruders unaware. Heads are seen up above. Two arrow strikes manage to sever the rope — Richard's fine shooting.

Charlie and Hanna approach the root, but are subjected to withering bow fire, the largest bandits trucking down a sinuous path for an assault. Spells and phantasms transform some into noncombattants, but the numbers are still staggering. It is unlikely the pincushioned halflings can hold the line.

In a fit of sibling heroism, both Charlie and Hanna rush to pull the mandrake root, banking on the bandits heading in without ocular protection. They are right! But they nearly kill themselves in the process. Hanna, in particular, is horribly hurt, head pounding, blood trickling from her ears.

Richard mounts the summit to loot the bodies, but does not return for some time. A cautious approach… and there he is, kidnapped via sorcerous charm, by a bandit magic-user! Or, a magic-user who claims to have been a captive. A tense stand-off continues, with some of the party wanting to slay the mage, and Richard wishing to protect him. Eventually they make it back to town with him in tow, despite another, smaller ambush on the path back, and they have successfully brought a mandrake root back to the temple.

quoting from the email I sent LoBo

we sold basically everything. One of the boats. A bunch of
armor and weapons. The roc feathers, the roc parts, the cargo, and
(ahem) Pebbles (who was, apparently, barely alive only due to Ja's
ministrations). We sold it all. Basilisk head? Sold. Cask of salt?
Sold. Boxes of raisins? Sold. We kept as much of the jewelry as we
could, and distributed that among the folks who were there for part of
last night's session (since it's more portable). We spent almost an
hour doing bookkeeping for all the river sessions. We paid taxes on
all the goods we imported. We paid the crew a good chunk of coin,
since we presumed we were going further on the river. And we made
nice with Ja's little church, and with a fairly powerful (I think)
merchant house, so hopefully we have a couple of social resources down
here.

We got everything ID'd: Ja's hammer is +2 to hit, +1 damage in bright
light, +3 damage in darkness. Robert's staff has some fancy combat
enchantment that Quendalon made up, and didn't have his notes for. The
little silver statuette transforms in a raven that will relay messages
for the owner. We have a scroll of protection from elementals, and
what appears to be a treasure map (buried in Trintan). The bone wand
we couldn't sort the function of, but Richard and the scribe spent
(this all takes about a month) some time puzzling the command word out
from the runes. So we don't know what it does, but we know it's
chaotic, and how to activate it. This was all actually kind of
expensive.

After all that business, we tromped off into the hills on an errand
for Ja's church- that's how we almost got killed amongst the mandrakes by bandits.

At one point, Quendalon suggested that while we were only about a quarter
of the distance to the Isles of Pearl, we were halfway though the
danger of the journey. Take that as you will. I think we should try
to hire on with a trade caravan south to the coast.

Despite my best efforts, there's some numbers that don't jibe in my calculations from last night: Glacier was shorted, and there's some missing cash (ie, not all the cash seems to have been distributed). I'll get them fixed as soon as I can.

TIME: It took us 7 days to fight the basilisk, negotiate with Sathrax the dragon, humbly evade the caravan from House Frange, and get to Corunglain. It took us 30 days to sell goods, pay taxes, identify treasures, appraise jewels, and study. At the end of that time we spent a day in the hills fighting bandits, and had an interview with Tomas at the church of Hippocrapus (?) the following day. 7 + 30 + 2 = 39 days in this session.

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