The Night Wars

In the dark
** GM Update **

Sometime around the 14th day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Spider, Star of the Cock

After climbing the apparent lift, they have begun exploring the new level. After some searching of mostly empty rooms, they have entered a room and are attcked by giant shiny green beetles. Both White and Christiana are nearly killed, Asuka give into a beneficial, but dangerous frenzy, and she has a confrontation with Masayasu.

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Tragedy strikes
** GM Update **

Sometime around the 10th day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Spider, Star of the Cock

Following the encounter with the demon spider, they are suffused with darkness, and from this darkness a barrel chested iron and bronze creation attacked. It was incredible stong, and fast. It killed Uschi, rupturing several organs that Masayasu could not repair. his drove Askuka to a frenzy, but it beat her to death as well. White pulled her away, and the creation did not follow for some reason. Fortuneately, Masayasu could repair her body enough to keep her soul from departing. They retreated back to the farm. Following several hours of rest, they continued through the massive underground chamber, finding a maze of hexagon rooms, a room with a srange rotted wood floor, an apparent alchmichal lab, and a temple to the Horder. Unfortuneately they also came upon some ghouls, causing both Asuka and White to flee in terror.

They returned to the room with the slide, finding it seeping oil. Christiana climbed it, but to no avail.

Calendar fix, previous dates are not correct. Will fix time permitting

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Beyond a gate
** GM Update **

7th day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Speder, Star of the Cock

After spending several hours recovering in one of the small chambers, they head back out, meeting something that White calls a Demon Child which strikes a massive blow to Asuka, but is rather handily defeated otherwise. THey then come to another, but different, “farm” Beyond that, they are attacked by some sort of demon spider.

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In the deep dark
** GM Update **

Near the end of the 6th day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

THey have discovered the Iron Halls, but fell down an oiled slide, deep in the mountain. Here they have found storage rooms and Giant spiders, a mine and skeletons, zombies and deep chasms. They have found enough food to keep them fed for a long time as well as oil and tools. They burned the wooden fram of a portcullis, and have ascended into a massive chamber filled with many small two level chambers, and strange glowing pillars. They have been attacked by venomous skulls slithering on spines, defeating them handily but suffering a few serious injuries.

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A Glorious moment in sunlight...
Nakamura Asuka Eudahl, Hammer of the Sunrider

Still delving, still lost, still utilizing left hand on the wall… however, we now have food and water enough to keep the five of us, and Taki if he will deign to eat mushrooms and legumes, pretty much for the rest of our lives. So, being lost isn’t quite so bad as it had been when we were facing short rations and no relief in sight… but the journey to this underground farm was not easy. Not without its own pain and doubt…

From our barrel room we continued onward discovering a storage area full of various lighting devices… however, beyond that the corridor became ensnared in web. Starting thinly it quickly became thick and labyrinthine, effectively blocking our forward movement. Happy to switch our lanterns out for the newly acquired torches we began to burn away the obstructions, only to anger the inhabitants. Two very large, very juicy spiders came skittering out to protect their territory, and Ushi I were making relatively quick work of them… but then the tables turned as we discovered, as the momma put in an appearance, that the large spiders we were fighting were babies. This thing was huge. Its abdomen was nearly as wide as the corridor. It was ugly. It was hard. The thing got me good and my sword arm felt as if it had been ripped from my shoulder. I was forced to move back and allow someone else to move up and finish. I have been hurt before, but this hurt more than I can remember anything ever hurting, and the horrible, wet tearing sound I heard within my skin as the spider struck me frightened me more than anything else in living memory. Masiyasu healed what he could, but some injuries are beyond his or my skills, so we bound my arm across my stomach and slipped me back to the middle of the group.

Slowly we burned our way through the intricate webs, discovering pods of spider eggs, desiccated and skeletal bodies. A few noteworthy bits and bobs were a leather shirt, still supple and pliant, worked with silver filigree and then a tankard also worked with silver filigree, some beautiful cloudy blue stones set into the designs… but all in all we were glad to find a four way cross roads, turn left and leave the webs behind us.

Onwards we went. Left hand on the wall, finding work rooms with cauldrons, storage rooms with long decayed boxes of useless supplies, a compost room (which, looking back, should have given us a clue to where we were headed, but confused us when we encountered it) and its mate a little further along the corridor which lead us into a narrower, natural passage, worked here and there to widen it in places. This narrow passage took us out into a huge cavern. Standing on what appeared to be a paved landing we looked out into the dark and wondered where it might end… and what could be the source of a dim glow ahead and to our left? Keeping the wall in sight and at our left shoulder we carefully made our way across the rough floor to discover our farm.

The cavern we find ourselves in now is very much like the inside of a bubble. There are mounds of dirt growing mushrooms scattered around the middle, side by side with holes filled with dirt and a very odd worm/snake/thing that burrows and appears to eat the dirt. Terraces along the walls are home for beans and runners and other veg. At the back, and ingenious pulley system pulls barrels up out of the pool of water at its base and up the wall and beyond to hydrate the plants. Glowing puffballs spread across the farm are the glow we followed. Happy for a fresh drink and to fill our stomachs we rested, everyone actually getting a full “night” of sleep. The rest is gorgeous, leaving us feeling as if we can actually conquer this place and return to the outside world. Especially after my dawn prayers (for it was, indeed just after dawn) we could see sunlight peeking through cracks in the roof of the large cavern beyond. Heartened and stuffed, we made packets of food from the veg that would travel and hold well and headed back out into the large cavern, left hand on the wall to see if we could find a way to actually reach that sunlight.

Long and slow we worked our way around, finding a jagged pit down to the depths, and an acid gray pool of viscous “something” that reached out and slapped Christiana for stepping on it. When we reached the far end of the cavern full shafts of light were streaming down and I lifted my face to the strongest, letting the feeble warmth that reached me revive my soul and renew my faith. Once again certain of my world we continued on, discovering hand holds leading up the wall to a small ledge and an opening. Much debate ensued and we were almost down to drawing straws to see who would be climbing them to scout the route when Druson suddenly asked me to shine my light up, and then, in an instant he was standing on the ledge. Before we could even really register that he had somehow moved without moving he was jumping back down… and landing very badly, flat on his back. We ran to help and hold and keep him still as he gasped like a landed fish, trying desperately to get air back into his lungs. Broken bones, torn muscles, Druson was a mess… I should have been more worried, but the word he was gasping with each breath had my heart in a cold, hard grip. Zombies. There are zombies in the corridor above.

Masiyasu has healed Druson and is now healing himself and resting. We have retraced our steps back to the farm and are once again waiting to be fit to travel again. The beams of sunlight are gone now, their weak warmth only a memory and completely overshadowed by the knowledge of foul undead shambling around nearby.

Zombies.

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Lost... but not without hope
Nakamura Asuka Eudahl, Hammer of the Sunrider

This. Has been a long, frustrating journey. From the recovery of a book, to the recovery of stolen children we have traipsed back and forth between the Dawn Caves and Naru, ventured into the camps of the Hill Folk for answers and back again to Naru. We missed the arrival of supply ships and The Lord General of the Armies. We weathered some severe storms and nursed each other back to health. Druson and I have become fast friends, shield mates, lovers. We were slaves ourselves for a very brief breath of time. We have grown, we have learned, we have seen ghosts and manticore, giants mining rocks and Lamass sunning themselves on top of huge rock formations. We have traipsed through mountains on ancient Dwarven roads beautifully carved in the living rock, scrambled down scree slopes even a goat would think twice about… even seen a sailing ship grounded in a small inland creej…. all of that, on the hunt of slavers and their mysterious, robed buyer… has lead us to where we are now. In the belly of the Iron Halls, wounded, weary, unprovisioned and lost.

And here we sit. In a room full of oil barrels, entrances leading to other store rooms and the mining tunnels themselves, battered, bruised, weary and I say again… lost. Oh, the trail here was rather straight forward. In the slaver’s camp, after I killed all that stood and fought, we found tools of their trade, the poison they were using to control their charges and a map. A much better map than the scrap of rice paper we found in the debris of their camp within the Dawn Caves that had lead us to their next camp. This one showed the route we followed to get to the large holding camp, and then a trail continuing on along the base of the mountains. Still a bit vague and more of a strip map than anything, but with very distinct landmarks for charting one’s path… which ended at a drawn pair of doors labeled Iron Halls. Which we followed with relative ease. Sometimes we found evidence of the slave train passing, but mostly we just found the landmarks… and wound up facing huge doors set into the side of a cliff face, wide, short steps leading up to the landing, magical lights casting a golden glow over them during the night hours. There was no evidence of the passage of feet, but, no dust or dirt for a track to be left in. There was nowhere else the map could have lead to. No other choice but to go in.

That is where the “lost” part happens.

The main entrance chamber is interesting and very empty. We have a slight scare from three dwarven skeletons set to guard what appears to be a caved in hallway…. they don’t move. After an entire winter of fighting undead things and skeletons such as these we all breathe a sigh of relief and leave them to their vigilance. Stashing most of our goods inside the doors as it is too much to carry and loosely tethering the mule outside we adopt the proven Dwarven method for underground delving…. left hand on the wall. We find ourselves in a corridor that actually gives us reason to believe it has been traveled by numerous feet relatively recently, but then, the rule of left hand on the wall takes us into a small side room, and finds us twisting the handle of a lovely wooden door. Our second mistake. Our first being not preparing and carrying more supplies, but, we don’t realize that is a mistake until the floor tilts beneath our feet, dropping us onto an oiled slide. Down into the darkness we go, all in a tumble. It might have been fun if I hadn’t been thinking about some of the adventurer’s stories my father had told me about traps such as this with spikes at the bottom waiting to impale us… and then… my lantern broke as I fell, igniting the oil. So I look down past my feet into the dark, waiting for the first feel of sharp death, and then back up, above my head to the fire traveling down the slide behind us… gaining… To my relief we splash down into some pungent liquid instead of being speared by imagined spikes, until I realize that the liquid is actually several inches of the same oil that coats the slide. Scrambling I gather my party, getting them out of the room, through a narrow opening and into a short hallway, Christiana, Ushishiga, Masiyasu, Druson… safe… I send Taki through, who is not happy in the slightest about the whole thing but get caught in the whumpf of flame as the lake of oil ignites before I can follow. Covered in oil, I am now burning. All I can think is to get out of the oil and drop to the ground to roll. Shouting I push past everyone and dive… only to discover the hallway ends in a fifteen foot drop… into water. I’m drowning now…. I had no warning, took no air into my lungs. I am wearing a chain shirt, a sword and a mattock across my back… I flounder and struggle for air, but I am happy that I am no longer on fire. At the point where I was certain I would give in and breathe water my foot touched bottom. Planting it firmly I pushed off the bottom with all my might… only to stand up in chest deep water. I cannot help but laugh. I’m sure it was a bit hysterical, but I didn’t care. I was not drowned and I was not on fire. Brushing my hair back out of my face, I looked up and could see everyone standing at the top of the cliff, a silhouette against the orange glow of the fire behind them… Druson’s voice carrying down to me, concerned. After many assurances and a brief investigation everyone joined me on the beach of this cold, dark subterranean lake.

There was nothing to do but move forward. A crevasse twisted and turned its way along, eventually opening up into a large natural cavern. In the center of the floor was a hole several feet across, upon inspection we found hand holds carved into the side of the hole. As there were no other exits from the cavern, we opted for down, even though a lowered light showed us scurrying figures in the receding darkness below. No sooner than we were all down than we were set upon by a pack of troglodytes. Six of them there were. Four of good size with makeshift clubs but two of them were huge and had actual weapons. It wasn’t an easy fight, but it was a fun one, and served to warm our muscles enough to remove the chill that had set in from the water above. However, Ushishiga had a bone in her leg broken so we opted to barricade a corner of the large, irregular chamber we now found ourselves in and rest so that Masiyasu could heal her.

From that chamber led four different exits. One was the hole the last two trogs ran down, another, almost directly across the room was ragged and natural and curved away into the darkness. The last two were the hopeful ones and were side by side. Several feet into the passageways the living rock gave way to worked stone. In our minds, worked stone was good. We all desperately wanted to find out way back into the Dwarven dwelling and back out to our supplies. Exploring both of those brought us to rubble piles that had once been walls, blocking off these natural caverns from worked hallways. Worked hallways are good. Discovering that both passageways let out onto the same hallway we stopped for a moment to take stock and figure out which direction we needed to go. Surmising which way the main doors were…. up and behind us… we headed down the corridor to the left, which, after several turns has brought us here. To a store room full of barrels of oil… injured by strange, giant mosquito things whose probosces can poke through chain mail and Masiyasu calls Steig. There is one more door to check before we turn around and head back down the corridor the other way because I honestly don’t think that going into an abandoned mine is really a smart thing that will lead us to the “out” we desire.

Everyone rests. Taki and I keep watch. Hopefully we heal. I cannot feel the sun from where I sit, but I KNOW that the Sun Rider still drives his fiery chariot across the sky whether I can see it or not. I have faith that with perseverance and discipline (perhaps a little luck thrown in as well) I will survive to honor the Sun as He makes His inevitable journey across the sky once again.

What I wouldn’t give to get this oil out of my hair….

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Onward from the Slavers
** GM Update **

5th day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Following the discovery of an escaped slave boy, they were captured during the search for him, by way of magic. THey were held for a while, inspected and threatened by the slavers and a man in a dark robe with puffs or clouds embroidered on his shoulders. They escaped, killing several of the slavers, but most of the slaves, the ring leader and the odd man were gone.

They discovered a much clearer map, leading to a place called “Iron Hills.” Suspecting that that was where the slavers went, they returned to Naru with the 4 remaining slaves, gathered 3 sell-swords, and went in search of “Iron Halls.” After a fairly long journey, they found what appeared to be a Fortress of the Mountain Folk…but it appeared abandon. THey journeyed in…quite surprised by what they find…

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Slaver Encounter
** GM Update **

11th day of the Moon of the Goat,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

While camping, a young man, maybe 10 years old, with cut hands and feet, a bruise arround his wrists, wearing a filthy night shirt comes upon the camp. He says that he became sick with “the bread” and that the left the others who had…

Just after dawn, members at the camp discover him missing and begin looking. They hide the boy, and engage the searchers. Eventually, during a 7 to 2 battle, they are enspelled, and wake tied and bound. They are led to a hut, and threatened, and offered bread and water. near the evening, a man in black robes is brought to examine them…Shortly after that, they escape, and, in a berserk rage, Asukadefeats them, except one who fled, but she has a tendon in her leg slashed…

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Beyond the Dawn Cave
** GM Update **

10th day of the Moon of the Goat,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Haveing found the caves deserted, they explore places they had not gone, eventually finding signs of ancient dwarven habitation…and then coming out on the eastern side of the mountains, territory mostly given to the Hill Folk. On the descent, they encounter a manticore…

Later, they find a stone building inhabited by a single man, perhaps of hill stock. Then, while travelling further down a path along the front of the cliff faces, possibbly following a very vauge map, they come to an unwelcoming camp…

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The Dawn Caves - part 3
Nakamura

It has been a pleasant trip back to the Dawn Caves, unless you count the foul weather. Moving with troop again felt comfortable and easy even though the two Letats in charge were not interested in either me or White helping in any way. I kept them on the track to the caves but they had their own scouts and preferred to use them over me. I tried on several attempts to be of use, but after the third or fourth try gave up an waited for them to ask me instead.

Their attitudes changed a little when we got to the caves themselves. In the dirt, with the rise between us and the entrances I drew out a crude map of what we had explored, explained the various ways in we had found, made my suggestions and waited… after a few questions it was decided to go in through the river as we did before. The river was higher, making the trip to the crack above a long and breathless one, but the whole of us made it without incident. A bit of a rest, a dismantle of the new barricade across the door and in we went. Down the long trapped corridor, discovering one we had not tripped before, an ingenious one that involved disturbing hundreds of bats that had been tethered to the ceiling. Many of the bats were now dead, but the darts released by the ones still alive did a little damage, shields up, however and onward we went… past the first burned out wall, past the second burned out wall, past the third, banging open the crude door to discover… nothing…

Beyond the third barrier was a large, round room empty of any life at all. Sure enough there was evidence of occupation, debris, footprints, oil barrels and fuel for fires… even crude metal loops hammered into the wall, but no orks, no goblins, no dog men… and no captured people. None. Embarrassed and quite angry White and I sifted through the bits and pieces left behind while the Letats organized their troops and explored. In the middle of the chamber, a large hole, a bit of ramp leading down into caverns below where it looked like the occupants kept a large fire burning… from the chamber below other tunnels lead off. One exit off the central room has drag marks in the stone… similar drag marks to what White and I originally followed here, leading through several mountain folk made doors, over a moat of sorts and out the opening that held the rickety door and into the afternoon sunlight. After a break and some rations we head back in to investigate the other exit out… the one that seems to have been traveled by booted and bare feet most recently… the one that heads further into the mountains.

The passage we followed is well worked, very straight, and seemed to be angling upwards. Onward we marched into a natural cavern filled with fabulous stalactites and stalagmites, green glowing moss and evidence of latrines and old camps. After a brief break we continued through the worked tunnel on the far side, coming out at last to the chamber we break for the night in. It is large and worked and has a drop on one side with water down below. Again there is evidence of a camp. The Letats have called a halt for the night. White and I sit, slightly apart, quietly discussing all that we have found. Back in the main chamber a scrap of paper was found, written upon it was the following, “ make the exchange, bring them to me, leave the filth to its own device. L E M” … It would appear to us, and to the Letats as well, that the orks and goblins were working with humans. The written message, the shackles, remnants of cages, the sophisticated drug used to subdue the children we rescued, the hobnail booted prints we follow, tells a tale all its own. My worst fears took a step into the more horrible. I had been afraid the orks and goblins were stealing people to eat them. Now it appears they were being used themselves to acquire people for another force altogether. Slavers. In this time of darkness and post war depression we must now worry about having our families stolen by slavers. The most bottom rung of the filth of humanity.

Although disappointed there was no battle for the caves themselves, I am emboldened and filled with the need to find these slavers and send them to the River of Blood. I know the All Father thinks nothing of people who will not raise a weapon to defend themselves, but I, as a daughter of the High Men am a guardian of the land. I cannot allow such activities to continue, nor the filth that perpetrate such commerce to live on. I cannot.

I rest now, but I look forward to moving forward, finding our quarry, and putting a stop to them. Hang on little ones, tired souls, Nakamura Asuka Eudahl comes… and I bring the fury of The Sun Rider in my right hand.

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