10 April 2015

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 34 - Journey Through the Badlands

This is the thirty-fourth Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

The Badlands are a strange place and, in this version of Barsaive, very poorly understood. They are terrible and broken, but not just because of the corruption. This is something which will be explored more as this arc continues, but the fundamental wrongness of the Badlands and how it warps everything is important to the events which take place there.

Horrors remain in the Badlands not just because of how they have twisted it, but because of how it continues their work. There is an awareness and malevolence to the very land itself. It has an insidious influence on those who venture into clutches and it is very reluctant to let anyone go. Many will return time and again, never realizing they have fallen into its sway.

Adventure Log – 034 Journey Through the Badlands

Written By: Bongani Kreskas

Date: 17 Sollus – 19 Sollus, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Warrior
Ting the Swordmaster

We head into the Badlands, seeking the Hidden City(1). Elmod summoned an earth elemental to help us, but he was not forthcoming with assistance. On the second day we find a lone obsidiman. It is Physt! He is attempting to make a flower grow in this lifeless place(2). How strange he is!

Physt warns of the terrible creatures in the Badlands. We wish him well and continue on our way, leaving to his work of purifying the land. We will meet again, I am sure.

The Badlands stretch endlessly in all directions. It is beautiful in a bleak, desperate sort of way. I would not want to live here, but it has been a fascinating visit.

We come across a site of slaughter. Five men killed by a Horror attack, three days ago(3). They then moved west, the same direction we were headed. We found food, but left it, as it might have been tainted. in the carnage, we find a small green crystal with runes carved into it. A strange curio to say the least. Their equipment is interesting, but the astral pollution prevents us from making a detailed investigation.

We find a different spot to camp, though it is not as distant as we might like. As the night sets in, a creature of swirling wings and fangs fell upon the camp. Ting was on watch and charged to meet the creature. The swarms are devious and relentless, latching onto Ting with ravenous hunger. The creatures are like krilworms, but more vicious and enormous. They also stink intensely(4), so we wisely move camp.

The next day we come across another scene of horror. An ork was gruesomely displayed on a long speak with a flapping pennant. I consulted with Elmod and Honeysuckle and determined that the Horror that killed those men was a gestalt Horror - many small creatures forming into a big, dangerous one(5). After discussion, we decide that Elmod should cast a spell to re-live the final moment of one of the poor wretches' life(6).

The dwarf saw a swarm of horrifying children. They merge together to form a massive beast. He fights bravely with his friends, but is overcome by the creature. The biting faces that cover its body snap and snarled. The Horror grew knives for fingers and tore the dwarf apart(7).

The Horror apparently knows us, as it spoke to us by Name in his vision. The Horror claimed that it would continue to kill travelers until we find and confront him(8). Our duty is clear - we must locate and kill this fiend. I found his tracks and we continued southwest.

At night we made camp.(9)

*     *     *
(1) So this is what they are doing - chasing after a hidden city. Great.
(2) There is something incredibly endearing about this. Foolish, utterly foolish, but endearing.
(3) This doesn't sound like the work of a Horror, though there are enough of them out there.
(4) Reason 587 to never go to the Badlands.
(5) So this sounds more like a Horror, though like nothing even Zamrica has heard of before.
(6) I will never understand why every Nethermancer seems to think this is a good idea.
(7) No sleep for me tonight.
(8) We need to keep an eye on this situation. 
(9) Received and edited by Ela Pono

This session continued the setup from the previous session, increasing the tension and sense of foreboding. There was also some foreshadowing for a few different plots. It's going to get dark and its going to get weird.

Since this plot is still happening, I'm going to leave it there for now.

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