19 August 2016

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 43 - Little Bear Went Over the Mountain

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

Adventure Log – 043 Little Bear Went Over the Mountains

Written By: Honeysuckle of Glenwood Deep

Date:  03 Doddul - 21 Doddul, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

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

Beware the sandstorms! Believe it or not, the Badlands can actually get worse(1). The sandstorm rages on without an end in sight. It's almost like the sandstorm is alive and starts to speak to you(2). About seven days into this part of our journey, we managed to make our way out of the storm to overlook a glistening lake with a large mountain rising above it(3). In this ever worsening wasteland, you wonder if it's a mirage.

Making our way off the cliff's edge so we can investigate this mountain is going to be a challenge. Elmod has summoned an earth elemental that takes the shape of a sandstorm, fitting for this place. Elmod successfully negotiates with the elemental for it to take us to the bottom of the cliff. We continue toward the mountain and the Badlands keeps putting obstacles in our way. Tonight there was no twilight. Just a change from the blistering heat to darkness(4).

Three days walking toward the mountain and we encounter large bones lain into the ground. Bongani seems to think they are cave troll bones. Elmod claims the bones are part of a spell pattern. Elmod says this is not just the largest bone circle he's ever heard of, but this is also a Named spell. We have stumbled on something of legend(5).

The bones begin to shift and come together. We send Elmod forward in the hopes of speaking the spirit of this bone circle(6). This plan does not seem to be going our way as five cave trolls made of bone come up from the ground to attack.

Skeletal cave trolls proved to be no match for Ting and I as we disposed of them.

Taking stock of our options and resting a bit leaves us with the question of going around the circle, or through it.

Going around the circle, it takes three days and looking ahead, it appears we will be walking into the sandstorm again.

We have decided to leave the investigation at this place for another time and continue looking for the keys to the disappearing city.

It takes another seven days to clear the other half of the sandstorm.

You wouldn't think that the scrub of the Badlands would be a welcome sight, but it was after the time in the desert.

Looking for the keys to the city takes us to this odd shape on the map. Even stranger is the physical features of the land match the shape on the map. We head to the center and find a giant that isn't a rock. It's the entrance to a kaer(7)!

We descend into the first outer room. The pillars are massive stone warriors and the room is huge - so large that Ting starts great leaping around and lands on the shoulders of a stone warrior who then turns to look at Ting. The other warriors turn to look at Ting...(8)

*     *     *
(1) I believe it. Things can always get worse. They usually do.
(2) That's a bad sign no matter where you are. In the Badlands, it's even worse. Basically, it's a miracle this log ever made it back to me.
(3) What? I think there are some other accounts that make mention of something like this. If this is what I think it might be, this could change the political landscape of Barsaive. The Eye needs to know about it. 
(4) That's not a good sign. I think I'm right.
(5) My knowledge of Nethermancy is only cursory, but this could be a Named spell withing a Named bone circle, using it to power the nether breach... thing. They "keys" the group is chasing are probably the pattern items to at least one of these Named spells and can be used to dispel it, them, whatever. This needs to be run by some people who know more about such things. Just cannot let Fastoon or Mestoph get wind of it.
(6) Of all the stupid-!
(7) This could either be the first unbreached kaer from the Badlands, or very, very bad things.
(8) Received and reluctantly edited by Ela Pono

In many ways, this was a payoff session. Not a payoff in the sense of treasure, but the pieces of their adventure starting to come together. A glimpse at the larger pattern at work and how to progress. While the woods are lovely, dark and deep, they still have promises to keep, and miles to go before they sleep.

Since I'm not inclined to reveal much more about the events of the session, instead I'll give the stats for what they fought (which kinda makes this like a bonus Anatomy of a Creature). The petrified cave trolls were made by combining cave trolls with one of the skeletal templates (clearly, the petrified template). I have to admit, these templates make creating custom and varied encounters so much easier.

Petrified Cave Trolls

Challenge: Journeyman (Seventh Circle)
DEX: 8       Initiative:                7       Unconsciousness:    NA
STR: 14     Physical Defense: 16     Death Rating:             75
TOU: 10    Mystic Defense:    16      Wound Threshold:  15
PER: 5        Social Defense:     9       Knockdown:                16
WIL: 6       Physical Armor:   8       Recovery Tests:          2
CHA: 2       Mystic Armor:       5
Movement: 14
Actions: 2; Cave Axe: 18 (24)
Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Heat Sight
Fury (2)
Resist Pain (4)
Special Maneuvers:
Brittle (Opponent, Blunt Weapon): Opponents attacking the gaunt ape with a blunt weapon gain an additional success on a successful Attack test.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

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