Adric’s Arcane Journal (Session 1)
5 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age
Rhotan Vor came to me today and offered me another job. I would have turned it down outright, but he seemed to want to keep the details a secret, so I suspected this task would be lower profile than the last.
My suspicions were confirmed as he told me that Ka’tho’s fame from our last mission had made him too high profile for this task, yet another reason for me to remain inconspicuous in my dealings; along with fame comes the eyes of the masses, and that kind of scrutiny I cannot afford, for many reasons.
Vor had assembled a team, comprised of two humans, a pit fighter and a dirty hermit; a tiefling, redder and less fair than Alia; and an elven dancer. I didn’t care much for any of them, the elf least of all, but I’ve spent my life working with those I despised, so this was still a step up.
Vor told us that we were looking for a psion of House Wavir who had gone missing with some other group, and that he had chosen unknowns because he didn’t want to give the appearance that the house was weak. The most important task however was to complete his mission. There is some kind of psionic disturbance in the desert that Vor said was “bad for business”, that he wants us to shut down. We all accepted his terms and began to leave Altaruk.
Before we departed however, some crazy hag came and began gibbering nonsense at the hermit, Grikk. I didn’t make it all out, but the thing that stood out to me was, “the screaming key”.
The desert was harsh and traveling there was difficult, particulary for the tiefling, who I discovered was named Ea Synnaridia. The pit fighter, who called himself “Tall Sam” helped Ea along, while the Elf, Lothlaure, scouted ahead to find the most hospitable path. I walked alone mostly, enduring the elements, but occasionally taking the brunt of a desert wind by taking point. Grikk was more durable than I would have guessed, and scambled around the desert and would occasionally rub us with herbs he had found growing on cacti or beneath the odd rock. It was off-putting, but it seemed to help.
During a lull in the storm, we were attacked by silt runners. They seemed eager to take my supplies, but the team was able to pull together and kill most of them, and send the others scrambling. I was knocked unconscious by a stray poison dart as I pursued, but I came to with Lothlaure kicking sand in my face.
It was during that fight that I learned that we had one more companion I was unaware of. During the fight a shimmering human spirit coalesced beside me, then jumped into my body to empower my attack.
I was so surprised by the act that I nearly dropped my blade, clearly missing my swing.
Afterwards we came upon the oasis we had been told about by Vor. We decided to rest for the night, then have Ea lead us to the beacon in the morning.
Our rest was cut short though as a human woman rode in on a crodlu and identified Sam as a former slave and demanded that we surrender him into her custody. Having spent my life as a slave, I was not going to allow this human to enslave anyone, let alone someone who is part of my group, so I proudly stood beside him, expecting the others to follow.
Grikk sauntered up, mumbling as he does. As clear an indication of his support as anything else he’s done. Ea was hesitant, but chose to stand with the party. Lothlaure however, dissented. She claimed that if Sam wanted her help, he would owe her. Sam’s disgust was clear, and Lothlaure initially claimed she wouldn’t help. In the end, she fought with us, but it was clear she did not stand with us.
The fight ended quickly, I used my eldritch powers to pull the woman from her mount, and Lothlaure assailed her viciously. She called elven archers to aid her, but Ea made short work of them, using one as a projectile to cut through each of them, and then to send him spiraling through the crodlu, killing them both.
We searched through the remains, I found an amethyst on the human, which I held onto. The rest of the group found each of the elves had a purse with an equal number of coins in their possession, likely their payment for their services; all of them that is, except the one that Lothlaure checked.
I immediately recognized that she had palmed some of the coins and called her out. She tried to give them back but the number was still off. Maybe she wasn’t lying about that, but all the same, I suggested that the rest of the coin we found would be split between the rest of us, causing further divide.
The others sleep as I write this, I wonder if they sleep as uneasily as I do, knowing trust will not come easy with this party.
6 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age
Travel came with much greater difficulty today. Ea again taking it the hardest as she followed some sort of psionic signal. I attempted to help her, but only ended up growing weaker myself in the process. Sam began shouting and urging us to move on, which gave us a bit of momentum. Lothlaure had greater difficulty navigating the wastes, and couldn’t find a safe passage for us. Even Grikk seemed to be having a harder time enduring the elements.
Eventually we came upon a great hollow that appeared to be blown out of the sand, and at it’s center was a massive pyramid. As we neared the pyramid we spotted a tattooed man clawing madly at the great stone door, his skin being shredded against the rough surface, leaving streaks of crimson across it’s face.
Nearby, in a pit of bones, greedily chewing on them, was a large black lizard. Sam and I looked at each other with knowing glances; this was an Id Fiend. Known for it’s highly-priced organs and even better known for its terrible powers of mind control, this was a beast to be feared.
Ea and Sam pressed toward it, and Sam fired a shot from his crossbow, but the creature stopped them dead in their tracks, I charged at the beast slicing into it in a rage. Lothlaure crept around to the back of it attacking it in a mad fury.
The fiend repaid her in kind, attacking her fiercely. The rest of us did all we could, unleashing a torrent of attacks on the creature, but it was too late. The Fiend closed its massive jaws around the elf, her blood dancing on the sand as he ripped her in half.
It only savored its kill for a moment. Sam took the opportunity to imbed his weapon into the id fiend’s guts, and tear the beast apart.
If Lothlaure’s death was mourned at all, it was not apparent. Perhaps that could be a lesson to us all. If you only look out for yourself, you ensure that you’re the only one who looks out for you at all.
Grikk dove into the guts of the beast to recover Lothlaure’s supplies, much as I had with the scout Wulfgar’s two days prior.
We also searched the bone pit and rifled through the tattered supplies of what we can only assume, was the House Wavir party that accompanied the psion we were sent to find.
The elf’s death must have triggered something in the man at the door, as he seemed to come to his senses just after her passing. He identified himself as Naraxis Flamewill, Vor’s pet psion, and told us that the door was sealed psionically and magically, and the only way through would be with a mixture of the two powers.
Up to this point, I had been able to keep the source of my powers a secret. These people were just begin to trust me. I didn’t want to end up dead in the desert. So I crafted a lie. Pulling the bone dagger from my satchel, I infused it with Eldritch energy. I stated that it was sold to me by an elven witch in a market. Though they seemed confused at my mention of “preservation magic”, they seemed to understand when I explained this was a tool to combat magic, not empower it.
Just then, Ka’Tho arrived on a crodlu. I explained my ruse to him, and he offered to take the wounded psion back to Altaruk, which left us standing alone at the door of the pyramid.