Apologies for the late posting….the time sink known as “Real Life” has been very hectic of late.
Three gamers met me at the Reaper Game Store on 12/13/2014: Don, playing Barton (Half-elf M-U/THF); Dallas, playing Anallia (Elf CLC/RGR) and Barlyn (Dwarf CLC); and Steven, playing Alex (Half-elf FTR/Acrobat), and Caine (Human M-U); Steven also ran Alex’s henchperson Lamitha (Human THF).
In fact, during this particular episode neither Anallia nor Caine saw any action. Much of the activity was dominated by Barton’s interest in trade. They began by visiting the island of Priya (the third of the Five Sisters) to make contact with the lizard men they had heard were present. The group made contact easily, aided by their associate, Vasily, a lizard man from Jolat. What they learned was that this tribe has been greatly diminished by the pirates’ slaving raids; the population is down to perhaps no more than one million (lizard man mathematics — no one has figured it out yet, but it’s very precise.) They had also been losing some members to a strange creature that caused individuals to die of blood loss. They have asked Vasily to see if his friends could bring them some more male lizard men to help rebuild their villages, as their demographics are out of balance. Vasily thinks between one thousand and eleven hundred would be enough.
Before returning to Jolat to pick up more lizard men, however, the group decided to voyage to Nabor to check in on the former pirate base they were keeping. They found the base in good shape, and then proceeded inland to check on the tribe of barbarians they had befriended in the interior of the island (Hooja’s tribe.) On the way to Hooja’s tribe they were ambushed by a group of saber-toothed tigers! Alex took a few hits from them, but the group took them down without difficulty. (It should be noted at this point that the group had separated, so only Alex, Lamitha, Barton, and Barlyn were on this expedition.) They managed, even without the assistance of a ranger, to backtrack the cats to a clearing, where they found an unusual stone — a highly polished light brown in color with black lines which appeared to form a stylized letter “K.”
At Hooja’s village they were told that Hooja’s people had found a similar stone a couple of days’ journey deeper into the interior, and so, accompanied by Hooja, they set out to investigate. Before finding the stone, however, they heard what sounded like rhythmic thunder. Turning, they found themselves being charged by an extraordinarily large beast with a hide like a rhinoceros but no horns and no trunk. This creature was larger in all dimensions than the largest elephant, and it wasn’t happy. It got a shot in on Alex, and after Lamitha and Barton rushed up into the trees the group was able to bring down the animal and find nearby another stone.
They decided to send Hooja back to his village to bring some people to help skin and butcher this enormous windfall of meat, and set guard. Naturally, a dead animal this large would attract scavengers. It attracted a pack of minotaur lizards. One injured Barton as he and Lamitha climbed onto the body of the huge creature, while the others continued to battle. Barton then attempted to leap onto the back of one of the lizards to stab it from above, but slipped in the gore and fell down onto his back behind the lizard. Before it could turn to snap him up he managed to levitate out of harm’s way and began firing arrows. The lizards were finally dispatched. When Hooja returned with his villagers he confirmed that the minotaur lizards were native to the island, although he and his people had never seen the large creature or the saber-toothed tigers before (with the exception of the old chief, Terkoz, who had been a were-sabers-toothed tiger.)
The group then made some trading arrangements with Hooja and returned to Kajalla to train, reprovision, repair the ship, and do spell research. While there, an assassin failed an assassination attempt on Barlyn, although questioning revealed very little. The group is tentatively planning to finish the Five Sisters next time they go out.
Note: The 12/27 meeting will be skipped due to the holiday.