Kandaja (Donna Winston) - Balam Galacean Thief
Pekkar the Strong (David Winston) - Cimmerian Pirate
Salali (Kendall Scott) - Tamarac Adventurer
10th Simanu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
Recovering from their dizziness, the player Heroes open their eyes and rise from the ground to find themselves in a temperate forest, near a small cave. Taking their bearings, the Balam Galacean thief, Kandaja, says that she's been to this area before; she thinks they're somewhere near the Draconean or Aragana border, perhaps in the region of Otesium. As the Heroes debate what to do, after checking their items and belongings, a snuffling from the cave brings out a defensive boar which attacks them. The Cimmerian, Pekkar the Strong, tells the two women to leave it to him, and shortly the Heroes have meat to roast over the fire, with some herbs and vegetables gathered by Salali. Over the meal, Kandaja explains to them some of the geography and lore that she knows of the Aragana/Draconea/Otesium region. The three agree it is not safe to be where they are. The Heroes can't reach an agreement on where they should travel to, though the Balam suggests heading for her Galacean home.
The Heroes spend the night in the area, and wake the next morning somewhat refreshed. After a bit more discussion, the Heroes set out to the south, heading for the Otesium shores, Pekkar leading the way. As they travel, they talk about their recent shipwreck, and then move on. They are distracted by what appears to be the cries of people and the savage growls and hissing of some sort of creature. While Salali implore them with her eyes not to go towards the fighting, her Heroic nature wins out. The Heroes arrive on the edge of an overgrown meadow to see a horrific sight - a massive half-snake, half-cat creature writhing and coiling as it attacks a group of fair-haired, fair-skinned warriors wearing fur skins and wielding spears and stone maces. Pekkar wades in immediately, coming to the assistance of the natives (Otesi), while Kandaja uses her athletic prowess to serve her well in the fight, and Salali tries to avoid fighting the beast altogether. The Heroes suffer several severe wounds, but the creature is driven off and retreats into the forest.
Checking their own wounds and those of the primitives, the Heroes find only one still alive, barely. With his last breath, he points to the north and west, muttering "Shulak", and then breathes his last. Feeling somewhat feverish, Pekkar leads Kandaja and Salali in the direction the native pointed, stating it must be a community of some sort. Or perhaps a person, points out Salali. The Heroes eventually arrive at the site of what turns out to be a mud and brick small village, with a wooden wall/fence of sorts. There is a lot of commotion, and the Heroes can see that a section of the wooden fence has been demolished. Even as they debate how to approach the natives, several thickset, wiry haired dogs burst out of the area towards the characters, barking raucously. Kandaja is able to use her animal handling abilities to calm the animals down, though Pekkar's first reaction is to kill them.
Once the Heroes make themselves understood to the natives, and explain what has happened they are welcomed into the village. The Heroes learn they are indeed in Otesium, and are introduced to Nestor, the village leader, and Kolete, the village healer. Nestor says their arrival is a godsend, as they desperately need some help. He explains the village, called Shulak, has been attacked several times in recent months by the creature they fought in the meadow, that they call Acor-Domaras ["Madcoil"](in hushed tones). Several of the adults and a couple of children have been poisoned by the creature during its most recent attack, and they are dying; when she asks, Salali is told that there is but one cure for the venom of Acor-Domaras, a small shrub-like plant with silver green shoots, dark green stem, and brilliant purple flowers with light purple berries (known as Weldberry). A potion made from the berries administered to the victim can cure the toxin's effects, but only if ingested within five days of being attacked by the venom. Before his two companions can say anything, Pekkar tells Nestor and Kolete that he and his friends will acquire the herb they need to effect the cure. Kolete thanks them, warning them that there are terrible creatures between them and the source of the magical plant, which is located only near the ruins of an ancient temple of some sort rumoured to have terrible creatures and may be a source of "those from beyond the grave". Pekkar quiets Kandaja, telling her they will discuss matters once they are on their way.
Nestor tells them that the village is poor, so they cannot offer them much, but Kolete offers to use her healing talents, such as they are, to ease and treat the wounds suffered by the characters in the battle with Acor-Domaras. Once she has treated the player Heroes' injuries to the best of her abilities, Pekkar leads the two women out of the village, north and west, towards the border with Draconea.
Last night's game session of Atlantis: The Second Age went very well, as far as I was concerned. I don't really have a lot to add to the comments I made earlier today in this blog entry, other than to say a few things. Donna, David, and Kendall are starting to get the hang of their characters, and the interactions among them are starting to become clear. The Heroes' compassion won out for the moment against their more mercenary nature for the most part, though looting the ruined temple was brought up several times, notably the Balam Kandaja bringing it up towards the end several times. The players are rather enjoying themselves, and David told me that it's been fun to get to play face-to-face at the gaming table. Kendall said that she's missed this kind of gaming, and is glad Donna talked her back into it.
We won't be playing again until the week after next, but I can assure folks that I'm quite looking forward to it. Hope folks are looking forward to the next LJ entry on the Wednesday night play. :)