Dark Sun: Spirit Champions

Booyah Achieved!

...and taking names!

Location: Great Alluvial Sand Wastes (approximately)

Campaign Date, Session 10: Scorch 8, 190 Kings Age

Holding Patterns
The party spent the rest of the day performing a variety of activities. Some trained, some studied, some went over the gear and weapons and survival days necessary to ensure the trip through the hot deserts of Athas were as safe as possible. Tearyn prepared her edrlu to act as a pack mount. That night the party stayed on the farm and some members made a point to hide Razspark’s wineskins so he wouldn’t get too drunk and sleep the next day away. The next morning the party packed everything up and headed into the desert.

Campaign Date: Scorch 9, 190 Kings Age

Zyx informed them that she had been given a Vision during the night and knew the party should head in a mostly north and somewhat east direction. The party marched the directions that Zyx suggested. The winds of the desert were bitter and the rising temperatures put a strain on the party since everyone had been living pretty easily as of late. It took two days of hard marching before the party finally found many signs of riders and located the bandit encampment.

Lets Go Camping
A recon of the area turned up a few sparsly placed scouts, but also turned up a large encampment in a relatively flat area among the many sand dunes that littered these wastes. They were perhaps half a days hard walk from the major trade road to the east that was known to run between Try and Raam, as well as other cities and villages.

The camp had 12 very large tents, a few smaller ones and a large set of pens filled with erdlu. There was quite a bit of activity in the camp, especially with what appeared to be the cook tent. The party observered for a little while and then retreated back to a safe spot at the bottom of a nearby sand dune and began to plan.

Razspark did his best to disguise himself and made his way into the camp. He brought with him two small kegs of Demontouch wine. He was stopped by the camp sentries. He explained he was a new recruit who had been deliberately left out to prove himself before he was promised a place in the camp. The sentries kept an eye on him as Thrule was brought out of his tent, followed by a robed man carrying a rune-carved staff.

Razspark explained his story again and offered them a taste of the wine, after tasting it himself first of course. Thrule tried it and seemed satisfied with his story. It wasn’t uncommon for new recruits to be forced to prove themselves before actually being allowed to join the band. Razspark had one more surprise though.

He explained that there was a caravan about two days ride out and that is where he got the kegs of wine and it was apparent they had quite a bit more. He futher explained that he had managed to travel with them for a couple of days until he felt he could make a break for it and get here with relative safety. Not being one to pass up easy loot, Thrule had a scout dispatched to one of the two roving bands that was currently out and had them diverted to find the caravan based on what Razspark had told them.

DM FUN FACT
The original plan had been for them to get part of the bandits in camp to leave. That failed. It turned out that it saved the party though. Had their plan worked, when they were actually in the middle of the attack, one of the groups would have returned and caught them all unaware and from behind.

Razspark was told to get some food, take an empty bunk and resupply, as he’d likely be sent out with the next group to leave tomorrow. With that in mind, Razspark made his way around the camp. He continued to appear to drink and get drunk and kept looking for the latrine as he slowly check out most of the tents in the camp to determine what was stored in them.

He found a variety of things. Most were troop tents, but there was a cooking tent, a storage tent, a supply tent, the leader’s tent and the shaman’s tent. He noticed some of the commanders shared tent space with the other men and didn’t have their own specific tent. He spent quite a bit of time until dusk. He also determined that there were around 30-40 total enemy in the camp.

…When a Plan Comes Together
Once dusk hit, he slipped away and made his way back to the party. The party changed their plans slightly and split up as Razspark went back into the camp so he could be in place as Reoth snuck around behind the cook tent. He began to use the party’s flasks of oil and spread it on the tent as well as to each tent on either side of the cook tent. He uses the last bits of the flasks to splash oil on those tents as well. Once it was all done, he lit the cook tent and slipped away.

Tearyn had let Marax assume his human shape and he used his abilities of manipulating the fires and slowly spread them up the cook tent and along the oil trails to the other tents. Though he couldn’t resist making dragon shapes in the fires as they spread through the oil lines, it was obvious the subtle flourishes of his magic were lost the various members of the party who just scowled at him when they noticed it didn’t quite look like normal flames following oil trails.

Alarm was raised in the camp as people burst out of tents and began to gather sand to put out the flames along the three tents. Thrule burst out demanding explainations, the shaman stepped out and of course, the mage was lurking in the background. Other soldiers spread out according to their protocols in case it was an ambush. The cook tent had caught fire before, so no one was really paying as much attention as they should have.

Razspark slowly closed the distance between himself and Thrule and used his duster to suddenly bring a swirling cloud of dust in the middle of the camp. He shifted the colors of his coat to make himself harder to hit. He summoned his ghost protector at the entrance to the cook tent where it reached out and ripped the life out of a nearby bandit. At this time, the party erupted from the darkness at the edges of the camp and rushed in, engaging the enemy, who were slightly confused with everything going on.

Tearyn charged and engaged one of the commanders. Zyx brought forth her spirit companion and had it appear near Tearyn and she moved, able to get an idea of where Razspark was, she summoned a scion of stone near him to aid him since he was otherwise alone and flanked. Reoth jumped in, assaulting a bandit, Crystaliss fired an acid blast into the group of shaman and Thrule. Elsha unleased empowered psychic attacks against the shaman and Thrule as well.

The bandits, for their part, recovered very well. Thrule hit Razspark with a crushing blow that left his teeth rattling in his head and surely broke a rib. The shaman summoned their spirit companions and cast a series of healing spells on themselves and Thrule. The mage tried to counter the dust storm, but failed. Other bandits attacked and closed against the party, quickly out numbering them, despite a few still working on the tents to calm the fires.

Razspark raged against Thrule, damaging him with powerful attacks while Elsha went for broke and amped up her psionic attacks, frying the brains of two of the shaman, hurting Thrule and then she focused her most powerful ability on him and his body crumpled like a crushed puppet. She swayed and leaned heavily on her staff from the great effort.

Seeing an opportunity, Razspark quickly sliced the head off the leader, banished his dust storm and held it up, bellowing as loudly as he could as he moved, “This was your leader, I have killed him! There is no need for the rest of you to die! surrender! We will negotiate!”

The mage vanished in a cloud of smoke and the four commanders ordered everyone to stop fighting and lay down arms while there was a negotiation. They quickly discussed everything with Razspark. They settled on allowing the party to reclaim the remaining stolen animals, a small portion of food stuffs and a small portion of equipment. Razspark also had a few of their casks of broy turned into Demontouch wine and promised another cask later.

Booyah!
The party was allowed to gather their portion of the booty in peace and allowed to depart with the herd of erdlu. They noticed the four commanders splitting the rest of the camp men, equipment and everything else up between them. There was some idle speculation as to what would happen when the two out riding groups returned to find the camp gone. Everyone got a good chuckle out of that. It seemed the bandits were pretty pragmatic and were really held together in fear by the half-giant that they killed.

The party rode to the caravan trail. Here they had to split up. Tearyn and Zyx would go with a few of the animals and trade in Raam, selling the majority of the gear and equipment they had procured from the bandits. The rest of the party would return to Tyr and turn the animals over to the two farms and rub it in th face of the herd broker that they had recovered some of the animals, just none of his.

The party also took the food stuffs they had gotten and would leave them on Crystaliss’ farm and those supplies would be used to initially stock Razspark’s inn/tavern/brothel once it was built. After that was done, they party in Tyr would head to the ruins marked on their hand drawn map which showed an area of ruins they wanted to investigate as a place for the undead. Tearyn and Zyx would meet them, as Raam was much closer to that location then Tyr.

They roughly planned further. If that was a good location for the undead, they would then go to Raam, as Razspark had some business there all associated with what he was doing and then they would head back to Tyr and begin the process of getting the undead moved. Razspark also needed to follow up on his proposals and deal with getting new buildings in place of the ones that were currently there. Hopefully the ruins would have treasures to plunder, since money was now somewhat of an issue among the party.

DM NOTE: BOOKKEEPING
Tyr → Raam is roughly 320 miles (or 110 hours of travel time). Roughly 10 days away with travel by foot. Make that around 8 days by a hard march, assuming other road conditions and encounters are minimal or nil. The party marched 2 hard days to get to the bandits. Reoth, Elsha, Razspark and Crystaliss will take 4 days to get back with the herd and rest a day and take 6 days of marching/hard marching to get to the ruins. Tearyn and Zyx will hard march/ride to Raam. They make it in 5 days, will take 3 days to sell everything and rest and 3 days to get to the ruins. Everyone will meet up at the Delnar Ruins on Scorch 22. Razspark has until Scorth 29 or he becomes undeadified. The bandits were the major threat and the weather somewhat tame at this time, so for at least two weeks, travel will be not too dangerous.

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