Sahauviia the Green (Kathy) - Atlantean Sorceress
Koomara Hadansi (Angela) - Galacean Scavenger
Orgaskemisqak (DavidM) - Lemurian Craftsman
Melucene Palleremos (Ellie) - Hesperian Priestess-in-Training
Vaino the One-Eyed (Mark) - Cimmerian Adventurer
2nd Ululu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
It has been several days since the player Heroes dealt with the demon at the logging community, but as Melucene Palleremos pointed out to Sahauviia the Green, the demon seemed to have nothing to do with the missing shipment of wine and cheese from Iceford. And so several days later, the Heroes find themselves travelling along the Vril road established between Kabir and Mneseopolis as they head towards the Atlas Mountains and the small community of Iceford. The Heroes break off from the Vril road, and head through the lightly forested region west towards the mountains and Iceford.
As the Heroes travel, they come upon what appears to be the remains of a caravan near a small bridge crossing, and the sharp-eyed Vaino the One-Eyed spots what appear to be scavenging wolves among the wagons' wreckage. Cautiously approaching, the Heroes manage to drive off the wolves, Vaino seriously injuring one of them, and the Heroes are free to explore the wagon remains. Orgaskemisqak the Metalworker and Koomara Hadansi wander the various wrecked carvans, exploring and looking things over, Vaino and Sahauviia checking out several of the bodies, most of which have been eaten by scavenging animals, while Melucene stands guard. Sahauviia calls Vaino over to a body that she's been examining, and the Cimmerian tells her that the wounds that killed the guard were caused by a heavy axe blade of some sort. This was no animal attack, the merchant and his wagoneers were killed in an ambush. Sahauviia, who did her research in Kabir, tells the others that the wagons definitely originated in Iceford, as they bear that town's Merchant Guild mark, but the others conclude that most of the valuables and foodstuffs have been taken by the attackers. Koomara scavenges among the remains, and finds a small white crystal necklace (+1 Treasure value) and a small pouch of 50 coins.
The Heroes travel onwards, following the trail left by the passing merchant caravan [which had not crossed the bridge] and Koomara finds that the caravan was shadowed by at least half a dozen wild animals of some sort. The trail leads from the relative cover of the forest and meadows into a hilly area of scrub and brush that offers little hope of game (in both Vaino's and Koomara's opinions). It is only the instincts of both Koomara and Sahauviia that alerts the characters to an ambush, as a group of fur-clad men and women carrying wooden axes (three of the men with battleaxes) charge the group on foot.
The player Heroes are hard pressed by the fur-clad savages, though Vaino and Orga are able to deal with their opponents quickly. Koomara goes down with a serious axe wound [suffering two blows of 12 and 10 points of damage, respectively, and using Hero Points to help out] and Sahauviia and Melucene do their best to protect her (taking several injuries in the process) until Orga and Vaino are able to drive their attackers off. Sahauviia discerns that the men and women were likely Gadirean tribal folk from one of the mountain communities, or perhaps a group of miners, but Orga points out the sheer ferocity of their attackers and their sheer brazenness. Melucene uses her healing abilities to treat Koomara, while the others go about their business. Examining the body of Orga's victim, Vaino says that there is a strange, green substance on his skin, and that his eyes are "odd". The Cimmerian is hesitant to look closer, due to his superstitions. When comparing notes, none of the Heroes noticed such oddities about the slaughtered caravan folk. Sahauviia attempts to use her magic to learn more about the strange elements of their attackers, but all she iis able to discern is that there is magic involved of some sort. She tells the others that she thought they might be undead, but her arcane knowledge and instincts tell her this is not true.
Melucene tells the others that Koomara will recover from her injuries, but that she needs rest at the moment. Orga says they should travel on, and seek shelter for the night, Vaino adding that a small rocky area with an abutment would serve them well for defense against whatever the night throws at them. Helping the weak Koomara, the player Heroes travel on until the sun begins to descend in the sky, and Vaino spots exactly the sort of camp site they're looking for. Koomara experiences some delirium during the night, and Melucene does her best to keep her scavenger friend from wandering off during the night. The Heroes keep a close watch during the night, and while there are wolves that attempt to menace them, the Heroes use fire brands to keep them at bay until the wolves depart at dawn.
The next morning, the weather turns colder as the Heroes head deeper into the hills, the mountains visible now as well in the clear, crisp air. The group are pleased to see that Koomara seems to be on the proper road to health once more, though Melucene admits that it was touch and go the previous night. Vaino tells the others that he almost feels at home again, and the Heroes each don fur cloaks and leggings for protection and warmth. After breaking camp, the Heroes continue their travels, Vaino leading the way with Orga bringing up the rear. As several hours go by, the Heroes suddenly feel the temperatures drop...and then it begins to snow. Koomara comments to Sahauviia that she doesn't know that much about the Atlas Mountains, but the Atlantean sorceress says that from what she remembers of her lore, only one thing makes it snow in various parts of the Atlases during seasons other than winter.
There is a hideous roar, and a monstrosity in the form of a snow-covered humanoid rises out of the snow, its fangs glinting horriby white even by the light of the day. It starts to shamble towards the player Heroes...
Friday night's game session of Atlantis: The Second Age was quite enjoyable, and had some bits and bobs in it that kept the players on their toes, and their characters quite alert. A couple of conflict-filled encounters occurred, but the close call that Angela's Koomara Hadansi had was a bit of a surprise for all concerned. The players enjoyed the game session, and I had a pretty good time of it to, letting the players and their characters go through their paces, and the roleplaying parts of the game session were quite good, too. As Kathy said after we finished last night, "There's something weird going on here." :) And then there's the encounter they had at the end that leads to a nice cliffhanger. I've been rather enjoying some of the character play and the way Mark's Vaino the One-Eyed has fit in, too.
Looking forward to next week's session of Atlantis: The Second Age. Can't wait! :)