Session Four Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 4, July 22 2020
The party has found their way back through the labyrinth and spoken with Keliha, Montoa's shaman, about their vision. They plan to leave the morning of the 4th of Tenrilden with the refugees to protect them on their journey home ...
It is the morning of the 4th of Tenrilden.
We gather our gear and organize the Montoans for the journey to the village of Montoa. 17 children (all mobile), 20 men, 7 warriors (amazons), and their shaman Keliha.
Kauri asks Tik Tok about being a counter, and he complains that it seem unnatural, he'll wait until he has something to countdown.
We put water from the blessed healing pool on Tik Tok and it has no effect. We lock him up in the chest.
We head down the mountain and follow the trail, Alea one of the amazons walks with Rallion to direct the way. The men and children are in the middle of the line of march, with members of the party in front and behind with the other 6 amazons guarding the rear.
There is a heavy rain but we make decent time. We come to a fork in the trail and the right fork heads West towards Montoa. The left fork goes to a cleft in the rock with a totem of the Matriarchs outside.
We go to investigate and meet the cleric of the Ark, Felix who is from Vargen. He is fleeing the undead and a few days ago, the end of magic added to his issues.
We make offering at the totem and enter and shelter the group out of the rain. There are more totems. We follow them back and find a green area that looks cared for but is now overgrown.
There is a pool and a collection of timbers from a fallen simple hut. Next to the pool is a small altar with signs of blood sacrifice and a stone below the altar with a depression for collecting blood. It has been a long time since the last sacrifice. Keliha prays and Peronel's ears perk up as it is ancient common. Peronel said that she said something like, "May the road be good to us."
There are bones of small animals under the altar. The collapsed hut holds the bones of someone who appears to have been laid to rest and at some point the hut collapsed. There is a crude gold necklace in the neck area. There are squares that hold runes that spell out in ancient common, "Praise The Matriarchs." Keliha says that her former senior shaman had one like that.
Laris keeps searching and finds a scroll case. He notices that it has a spiked trap. He could open it without setting off the trap, but tries to disarm it but fails. Inside are rolled up papers of very old paper. Some fall to pieces on removal, but enough is left that is legible that allows Laris and Peronel to determine that it is some sort of screed against the other shamen of Montoa who have turned from the old ways. She will keep the old ways. Keliha is not sure of the details of the old ways, but from what the elders once said it was akin to necromancy. It was forbidden with the new magic. So either at the time of the arrival of the dragons or the dwarves, we suspect that the Montoans quit the use of blood magic. Keliha says that is not the way of the Matriarchs. (Later she said that maybe it is something that Cerida might do.)
Bavmorda collects ingredients to make poison antidotes and divides them among the clerics. Kauri collects herbs for alchemical ingredients, and both Kauri and Oskar collect cooking herbs.
Rallion detected a flying creature approaching and avoided being surprised, and got off a shot with his bow, but the others did little in response to his warning. The song of the harpy caused half the party to start climbing the walls of the grotto. Rallion and the others not charmed did minor damage to it. Vikram went up and punched it and it fell dead into the pool.
Rallion drug the harpy out of the pool. Kauri put it on the altar and bled it, and with his mask could see a faint light. He found he could draw tendrils forth, and a bit more with a few drops of his own blood. He cut himself more seriously and the volume of blood had more bluish glow. Kauri tried to cast light on his dagger, it started to glow, then shake, and he dropped it and it exploded. Vikram only saw the cutting, bleeding, and shattering. Next Kauri and Laris mingled their blood and Kauri tried to cast light on a gold piece. It began to glow and grow hot. Laris dropped it and it melted. Vikram only saw it change state.
This blood sacrifice bothered the shaman Keliha and the amazon Alea. Kauri thinks there is something missing. He tried wearing the amulet, saying the phrase from the amulet, "Praise the Matriarchs," etc. We don't seem to have enough information to crack this. Rallion is against blood magic.
It was late afternoon by the time all this was done, so rather than travel and risk spending the night in the rain, we just set camp here. we set 4 watches with two on each watch, one at the cleft in the rock and one watching the sky over the grotto. Laris saw a lion during second watch, but it eventually passed. In the last watch, Felix saw it rushing him and backed away calling for help.
We all rushed in to help and did a bit of damage here and there. Laris got in the killing blow from an advantageous position.
We butchered the lion and have enough meat to feed the entire group for the day.
It is now the morning of the 5th of Tenrildon and we are preparing to continue our march West to Montoa.