Kandaja (Donna Winston) - Balam Galacean Thief
Pekkar the Strong (David Winston) - Cimmerian Pirate
Salali (Kendall Scott) - Tamarac Adventurer
9th Simanu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
...and then several hands reach down to assist the three Heroes over the top of the cliff face. Kandaja (Donna), Pekkar the Strong (David), and Salali (Kendall) find themselves face-to-face with a group of dark-skinned medium build natives wearing deep green clothes with a dash of colour to them and armed with stone spears, knives, and the like. One of the men, Kaleo, appears to be their leader (Kandaja notices he wears a seashell necklace, and none of the others sport such gear), and addresses the Heroes in marginal Atlantean. He asks who the characters are, and when Pekkar tells them that they have been shipwrecked, the native, who calls his people the Ogaramango, welcomes the Heroes.
As the two groups prepare to head back inland, Kaleo introduces the other members of his hunting and fishing group, including the two female members and three other men. He warns the characters that it is a good thing that they came upon him and his hunters, as they are on a field of demongrass. He instructs them on how to negotiate it, saying that they will travel to the sacred obelisk, near which they are camped for the night. Kaleo says that they are on a small island, Tumuou, located north and slightly east of Ogaramango, and that he's not sure how they can leave the island.
As the character travel with the Ogata tribesfolk, Pekkar gets to talking to one of the attractive, athletic females, Suumi, and though neither speak a language in common, they manage to communicate quite well. Kandaja devotes herself to Kaleo, and learns a little bit about his people. As they travel through a series of maracao trees, Salali's sharp ears pick up a high-pitched buzzing sound. Kaleo tells everyone to prepare themselves, as they're about to be attacked.
The Heroes and the native Ogaramango come under attack by what are about 1-metre, gold, green, and red flying snakes! The battle is hard fought, as the Heroes and their new allies must deal with the speed of the creatures, called Koumias, and Suumi warns the Heroes through Kaleo that the bite of the creatures is deadly. The Heroes win the battle along with their allies, though Salali takes a couple of serious wounds, and one of the other Ogata tribefolk, a herbalist and healer named Maleko, says that she has been poisoned. They need to get her back to the encampment that the Ogata have established quickly.
The Ogata hunting party and the Heroes reach the place where the encampment is rather hurriedly, Salali growing weaker every moment, and while the other seven Ogata are surprised at the strangers' presence, Kaleo reassures them of their intentions. Maleko quickly sets to work and fashions the poison cure for Salali. While he works, both Kandaja and Pekkar speak with the rest of the Ogata and learn a bit about them and the island of Tumuou. The Balam thief is intrigued to learn of a glass and shiny metal [silver] pyramidal structure on the island that seems to have magical properties, though she doesn't know what it might be, though Pekkar tells her that he's seen one of these "obelisks", and that it should be investigated. After the cure for Salali proves effective, of course. Several hours later, Salali starts to respond to the Koumias venom cure, and the rest of the Heroes relax somewhat. Invited to join the Ogata for the evening, the Heroes take full advantage of the respite after the shipwreck and all, and Pekkar and Suumi enjoy a raucous night of passion (much to the amusement of the Ogata).
The next morning, the Heroes and an Ogata group including Kaleo and Suumi head for the glass and shiny metal structure. Kaleo informs them, when the recovered Salali asks why they are taking so many armed men and women with them, that there is a possibility that they could run into some Manuans. Fierce fighters and sea-warriors, the Manuans lay claim to all that they can reach, and their arrogance leads to their claiming the small island and the glass/metal pyramid theirs. If there are Manuans near the object, they may have to fight to achieve their goal this day.
As the Heroes and the Ogata travel through the warmth of the early morning, they enter a dark, lush jungle-like area. Kaleo informs them that the glass/metal pyramid lies within, but they must be careful. Large, lizard creatures are found on the island, and there is always a chance of running into a Manuan foot patrol if they are currently present on Tumuou. Kaleo leads the Heroes and the other Ogata towards the obelisk, cautioning stealth as they travel. Several of the Ogata tribesmen return, telling of a patrol of Manuans wearing the shark-based armour that they favour, and the Heroes cautiously continue on. As they come upon the patrol, it is Salali's clumsiness that gives the Heroes and the Ogata away, and the two groups engage in battle, the Heroes seeing a manic gleam of madness in the eyes of the Manuan attackers...
While this is only the second time that I've GMed during the month of July, I have to say that I had a pretty good time with the game last night. Atlantis: The Second Age has really started to gel well in my head, though there are still some problems of rules interpretation that crop up for me, but the game system runs pretty smoothly otherwise. Donna, David, and Kendall had a good time, from what they told me, when we stopped around 10:00 pm last night, and they don't seem to be too deterred by the "unusual" rules system (David's words, not mine) of Atlantis. He said he rather likes these rules, as they're so simple and straightforward for the most part. All three players love the Hero Point mechanics, even if there are times they forget what they can do with them! David finally wised up and made some notes on that! :) Kendall's Salali is turning out to be an interesting character, as she's playing the character as a bit of a prude (despite the fact she's got a mate back home), and the others had a bit of good-natured teasing going on last night. Everybody was pretty satisfied with the story, and hated it when I stopped on the cliffhanger. <g>
In any event, we won't be playing for another couple of weeks or so, so I'm kind of looking forward to the next session with some anticipation.