Sandstorm: Tovi's Ledge
|Friday February 11, 2011 at 6:30pm||d&d, sandstorm, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
It was just after nightfall when the group approached the gate of Tanir, The Summit. This settlement was built in a spiral around the one of the highest peaks of the Jagged Crown mountains and was all but inaccessible to the rest of the world. The forest they had landed in seemed very dry, but it was the largest stand of trees any of them had ever seen. As they walked across the bridge and toward the gates, it occured to them that this was more wood than they had ever seen in one place.
The guard in the gatehouse was a man called Hanley. He came down through the cutout door in the main gates to speak with them, asking them who they were, where they came from and why they had come to The Summit. Upon warning them not to cause any trouble, he saw no harm in letting them in. The party asked Hanley if he knew of a place they might find a meal and some shelter, and he directed them down toward the lower areas of the city - to Tovi's Place.
There were very few people on the streets at this time. They passed only a couple of pedestrians and a man pulling a large handcart. When they were about halfway down, however, they were hit from behind by a large man in a heavy cloak running through the street. He collided with Tisroc, and both of them fell to the ground. The large man regained his feet as quickly as possible and continued running. As Alina and Glitch helped Tisroc back to his feet, they listened and looked for any pursuers or anyone else, but saw nothing.
Near the bottom of the spiraling streets, they found one of the larger buildings of the area with a large wooden sign which read: Tovi's Ledge. The road continued downward a little ways, and then began to slope back upward for a few hundred feet before coming to and end. From a cliff-side alleyway near the lowest part, Tisroc noticed a small figure watching them. As he took a few steps toward it, the group saw the figure dart across the road into an alley adjoining the mountain. The group walked down to the place to discover a large, round hole into the mountain. Carved into the worn stone above were the words "Tanir - Lower Halls". Some dim torchlight flickered deeper inside, but the tunnels they stared into were very dark. As they contempated entering to find the spying figure, a voice called to them from further up the road - someone on the porch of Tovi's place.
The group returned to the tavern's entrance and met a man called Olin. He advised them not to enter The Tunnels - it was a dangerous place, especially to the uninitiated. After a brief conversation, he invited them inside the establishment.
There were perhaps a dozen people in the tavern - some card players, some people in deeper conversations, some people simply enjoying the evening. A young, red-haired woman sat at the far side of the bar - on the counter itself - idley strumming a lute. As they entered, Olin called to Tovi, who set down the instrument, slid off the counter to the floor behind it, and came around to ask what they all would like.
They party spent the rest of the evening talking with Olin and Tovi about themselves and the settlement, asnwering questions and asking some of their own. Alina in particular spoke with Tovi for some time, and later in the evening, eventually drew out of her something interesting about the local religious climate. Tovi (and apparently, Olin as well) didn't care too much for the local Pharonic clergy of The Temple of the Stars. They also mentioned another entity - called Skadi - who seemed to be a sort of legendary "hero of the people". They described this figure as local inspirational folklore, but Alina noted some rather religious undertones. By the time the conversation was over, Tovi had all but admitted (somewhat reluctantly) to the existance of a cult of Skadi in the city.
Before the conversation could come to a natural end, however, the sound of loudly peeling bells exploded in the tavern hall. By this time, most all of the patrons had left and Tisroc had gone to bed. Tovi exclaimed in surprise and Alina ran to the front door. Outside the sound seemed quieter, though like it was coming from somewhere above them. "Tisroc!"
Alina ran up the stairs with Glitch behind her and burst through Tisroc's door to find him grappling with a dark figure - the dark candlelight illuminated the room just enough for them to identify the harpy digging its claws and fangs into the struggling wizard. They had seen this one before.
The resulting combat was rather chaotic. The struggle between Tisroc and the creature in the darkness made targets difficult to discern and hit. Alina accidentally clubbed Tisroc on the back of the head as the harpy unexpectedly shifted. Tisroc was bleeding badly and when it raked its claws across his head, he lost consciousness and fell to the ground. As he collapsed, the harpy turned it's attention to Alina. Glitched noticed a strange, black smoke beginning to rise from Tisroc's form as Alina blasted the creature with a potent beam of searing light, hurling it back against the far wall. Winded and covered with viscious burns, the creature leapt through the broken window in which it had come and soared away into the night.
Alina quickly returned to Tisroc's side, manifesting further miracles to heal his injuries. When Tovi and Olin arrived, it was already all over. They were shocked that someone had broken in and attacked their guests. They offered the party a different room and went about boarding up the window.