Abderaz

Adventure 6: Rock, Tree, and River

The heroes travel four days across open grassland until they reach Dalikan. Here they spend two relatively uneventful days before booking passage on a ferry across the mighty Ganidata river (also known as the Sajuna in some dialects). As they cross the river, they spot a bloated corpse floating in the river and bring it along side. It appears to be the body of a Punjal farmer who’s heart has been cut out. Shir comments that in the stories of Ran there are mentions of a death cult in the Punraji, though he cannot remember the name exactly.

Upon reaching the eastern shore, the group heads north along the river to the village of Nari along the southern edge of the jungle. When they arrive, most of the group heads into town while Shir goes hunting in the jungle. While in the village, the heroes learn that several people have gone missing over the past month. The group decides to investigate, following up leads at two of the farms that have lost family members. At each location they discover hidden fetish dolls, which they identify as being associated with worship of Baka-Gitana, the god of murder. After completing their investigation, they decide to follow the evidence into the jungle at night.

The group gathers, save for Shir, who has not yet returned from his hunt. They head into the jungle in search of the cults meeting place, eventually sneaking up upon a clearing in which masked figures surround a demonic looking stone idol and an altar. Lying on that altar, bound at the hands and feet, is Shir praying to the god Shir for deliverance.

The heroes attack, and as they do Shir slips a concealed knife from his bracers and frees his hand. As the group engages the cultists two imps spring from the bodies of the fallen. Shir notices that each time this happens, the eyes of the statue flash red. After cutting his feet free, Shir grabs his weapons and proceeds to smash the statue. Once the statue was destroyed, the imps stopped springing from the corpses and the tide of the battle turned in the heroes favor. After a difficult battle, the heroes eventually vanquish the cultists.

After a short recuperation period, the heroes travel east on the road to Jangir. A few days out purple lightning strikes from a clear sky, creating a chasm into which the heroes wagon and derbas slide, though the heroes themselves manage to avoid falling in. The heroes pull the damaged wagon free and begin repairs, but shortly after an elemental being of stone crawls from the chasm and attacks them. The heroes manage to bring the creature down, but their wagon suffers irreparable damage during the engagement.

Now on foot and burdened by an extra load, the heroes press on with Bhagram towards Jangir. Two days later, Utog hears a voice on the wind beckoning him north. Compelled to investigate, he detours north an hour or so and encounters a tree with a face that introduces itself as the Keeper of the Ways. He asks Utog to help cleanse the Sanctuary of Odalon of it’s now mad annui.

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Adventure 5: Justice Done

Having defeated the abomination posing as a god, the heroes continue their journey with Bhagram, reaching the town of Banustan four days later. The heroes settle in for what they hope will be a few relaxing days in town while Bhagram concludes his affairs.

Attempting to recover from his painful wounds, Kur-Dan takes refuge in his room, self-medicating with copious quantities of alcohol and generally avoiding getting caught up in his companions hijinks. It is at this time that he first encounters Nikana Ura Sa Siloon, also known as Nika or the beer fairy. Nika was attempting to steal some of Kur-Dan’s beer, but was caught when Kur-Dan awoke at an inopportune moment. The two enjoyed drinks and conversation, during which Kur-Dan learned something about the fae.

Meanwhile, Tima, having discovered alcohol for the first time, is convinced by Shir to aid him in his quest to recover a statue stolen from the local temple. After a somewhat chaotic investigation, the two discover the thief, but fail to recover the statue as it had been melted down.

At the same time, Kazinnar strikes a deal with the local smith to use his forge in exchange for two buckets of mud from a pond just outside the city. After traveling to the pond with Nacu, they find that the pond is being guarded by a grumpy annui, shaped like a giant toad, who tires of the smith harvesting mud from his pond. They eventually come to terms with the annui and bring the mud to the smith.

Having returned the statue, Tima and Shir find themselves in the establishment of the famed Oracle of Banustan. The Oracle, a rotund Punjal with bangles on his arms and legs, greets the pair with his assistant. Shir is convinced the Oracle charges too much and in all likelihood is a charlatan. The argument escalates until Tima drunkenly strikes the assistant. The local authorities banish Shir from town and lock up Tima for the night in jail, after which she too is banished from town.

Near the end of their stay, Bhagram asks the group to free the slaves held by a man named Sanjif Ironbands, a deed for which he is willing to pay. Though slavery is illegal, it is rumored that Sanjif runs illegal slave fights in town. After investigating the matter, and with the assistance of Utog, they discover that Sanjif has structures beneath his manor that may be cells and a fighting arena. After sneaking Tima and Shir back into town, the group breaks into the manor, defeats Sanjif and his guards, and free the slaves.

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Adventure 4: He Who Lies Beneath Part 2

Descending into the tunnels beneath the island in the marsh, the heroes press forward to confront the creature posing as a deity. While making their way through the slimy warrens, they come across a pile of corpses. As the heroes move closer to investigate, creatures that look to be little more than sharp-toothed maws surrounded by flailing tentacles burst forth from the mound of rotting flesh. As the heroes move to engage, horrors are piled upon horrors as a roughly humanoid monstrosity arises from the mound made up of would looks like partial melded parts of bodies. The creatures are dispatched with reasonable alacrity and the heroes press on into what Utog calls the main chamber, based on his wildkin rituals sense of the layout.

The main chambers is made up of roughly hewn rock walls and is partially flooded to about three feet in depth. Small patches of dry earth dot the otherwise water-filled landscape. As the heroes make their way to from island to island, an aberration bursts from the water and attacks Kur-Dan. It is a mass of roughly spherical flesh approximately six feet in diameter covered in malformed mouths and eyes of various shapes and sprouting throughout are long, rubbery tentacles. Several of the heroes flee, momentarily overcome by the horror of the abomination, while the others try to hold the thing off.

After an extended battle with the creature, it’s mass falls into the water, having suffered many grievous wounds. But alas, the true monster then bursts forth from the corpse to continue the fight. Resembling a pig-fleshed stingray, the creature slashes at the party with hit-and-run tactics. The fight is long, as the heroes struggle to compensate for the creatures speed in the water, but eventually they bring it down. The price is high, however, as Kur-Dan is left suffering several grievous wounds that will haunt him for weeks to come.

In the creatures lair the heroes find the second piece of the famed Vel Blade and a crystallized shard of necrotic energy. Taking these prizes, they escort Chandi back to her family and are celebrated as champions.

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Adventure 3: He Who Lies Beneath

As the smoke clears from the explosion, the heroes are confronted by a group of Dar-Guhal and more Wazafti (war grimstak). Only Kaz and Rashanu recognize these as their fellows from the Syriam and during the fight they learn that their entire class has been dispatched to kill them in order to restore their honor. The heroes are victorious, but the non-Dar-Guhal members begin to wonder at the connection between Kaz/Rashanu and the attacks.

One day down the road, the group takes shelter from a storm in the barn of a local farmer named Atrama Shan.

The heroes travel a further three days, eventually reaching the town of Bishwara, where Bhagram indicates they will be staying two days for some trading. During their stay, the locals hold their annual celebrating on Punmeda, a festival dedicated to the goddess Urdu. The group participates in prana (wrestling), bidram (a gambling game involving dice), rona (foot race) and kunar-sota (cow jumping). Winners received an asabra wreath as a prize.

Three days on the road to Nagupta, the group finds a flier that reads: Praise to he who lies beneath, his shadow stretches over you. Keep his covenant and he will reward you with boundless gifts. Leave the path and he shall remove his countenance from you.

When the group arrives at Nagupta, two of their number have come down with a tropical flu. The group takes rooms in Nagupta while Bhagram trades, and the sickened members get some rest. Tima encounters a crying girl named Nari, who says her sister Chandi was given to he who lies beneath. Tima encourages the group to rescue the sister.

After doing some investigation in town, the group learns that a priest named Jarshen started a cult worshiping something in the swamp. The group makes their way to the altar at the edge of the swamp and ambushes Jarshen and his acolytes. Jarshen appears to have supernatural powers similar to death magic.

After slaying the priest, they make their way into the Shankra swamp by borrowing boats from the locals. Utog, using a ritual of the wildkin, detects the corruption and guides the heroes to it. As they travel the waterways, they are attacked by zombie-like creatures with veins and skin permeated by moss and mold and whose touch causes necrosis. After a hard-fought battle, the group dispatches the creatures.

Eventually they make their way to an island with walls made of thick foliage and a narrow path. Inside they hear the crying of a girl, so they forge into the center, only to find the path has sealed itself. The creature known as he who lies beneath attacks them with tentacle-like vines that come up through the ground and then screeching corpses that come out of the walls, and finally a great maw made of roots. Once these have been defeated, they cut Chandi free from the back wall, but Utog indicates that the corruption remains somewhere below, and so they descend through a hole left by the destruction of the maw.

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Adventure 2: In the Footsteps of Legends

Having signed-on with Bhagram, the heroes begin their long journey to Jangir. A few days outside of town the group is attacked by a pack of red-furred Grimstak. Kaz and Rashanu recognize the creatures as Wazafti, Dar-Guhal War Grimstak. The party notices that the creatures seem to focus their attacks on Kaz and Rashanu, but not much is said about it.

A few more days along the trail the heroes encounter a troupe of harlequins (aryashi) and share their camp with them for the evening. The heroes make a good impression, in particular Kaz befriends them, and the two groups part ways.

Another day down the road Tima scouts a group of armed Rapput blocking the road east. When she describes the symbols worn by the soldiers, Bhagram indicates he may have had a misunderstanding with the Svarda who these men serve. With some convincing, he leads them to a secret path through the jungle in an attempt to bypass the blockade.

In the jungles they encounter the Vigiri (preservers), who had forbidden Bhagram from using this path. After some mediation, the preservers bring the group back to their camp located in a Trangyar ruins. On the site are two large statues, one of Ran and one of Sun. The heroes learn that this is where Ran and Sun were slain in a fight against a living god. Jura could not bring them back, suggesting they had finally found peace and fulfilled their destiny.

After the Vigiri decide to let the group go, they encounter bandits several days down the path. The bandits are disposed of with little trouble.

Several days later the group encounters the annui Jixxel at his sacred pool. Some accept his challenge of a riddle, with one hero guessing correctly and another having to pay the price in the form of a future trick to be played on him.

A few days later the group exists the jungle and the session comes to a close with a large explosion knocking down the lead members of the group.

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Adventure 1: The First Step

Having trained at Jura’s Sanctuary on the island of Lahar, Jura sends forth the heroes to travel the world and rally them against the coming Nezuran threat. After boarding the Sea Snail, a vessel the heroes suspect may not be a simple merchantman, they run across a merchant ship being attacked by pirates. The heroes convince the reluctant Captain Jarishi to come to the merchant’s aid, at which time the Sea Snail bears it’s teeth in the form of a concealed cannon of Tanathan make.

After rescuing the merchant, the heroes eventually arrive at the great port city of Kvajapur. Seeking opportunity, they begin to look for work that will carry them eastward. While traveling in the merchant distract, they stumble across two merchants bickering, one of which seems to have brought mercenaries to make his point. When a fight ensues, the heroes side with the overwhelmed merchant, eventually defeating the aggressor. The thankful merchant introduces himself as Bhagram Bhish, a seller of rare and exotic herbs.

The heroes accept an offer to work as bodyguards for Bhagram, who is traveling to Jangir to peddle his wares.

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