The session opened in Nightingale's Roost, with our heroes standing amidst the wreckage caused by a band from the Wyld Hunt with some music playing in the background and an audience falling down in worship of Amber.
The party stayed at the Roost for a few days, cleaning, learning about the locals, and teaching people to sing. On the evening of the third day, a lunar named Serentatis transported himself into the manse, appearing before Amber. He brought Leviathan with him. They party assembled for a meeting.
Serentatis explained that Leviathan and himself were working on gathering the lunar mates of their first age Circle; that is, their first age Lunar Pack. He identified himself briefly as the lunar mate of "the Night Caste" and seemed to brush over the topic quickly. He spoke of Amber's lunar mate, the reincarnation of the Silver Voice, and said that he had been through several incarnations since the First Age. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Serentatis also looked into the Castestones; he revealed that he was the being who placed them in the tomb, though he had no good idea how they worked. He did provide some insight into Fern's castestone, the only one to remain a mystery; he said that he believed it to be red amber, and likely the same piece that Brigid discovered on her Five Trials.
Serentatis suggested the party take a shortcut through Yu-Shan to reach their next destination. Raven was noticeably unenthusiastic about the idea, but went along with it. The party asked that the Lunars might accompany them, and Serentatis seemed about to agree until Leviathan thought better of it.
The party entered Yu-Shan through the gate in Coral. It revealed itself to be a bright place full of color, and the gate itself was bustling with many busy gods and goddeses. So varied and colorful were their appearances that the Solars hardly stood out at all.
The party first headed via dragon-boat to the home of Taru-Kul. They found her in a very small building with a large antenna. Inside, they finally met the goddess face-to-face; she appeared as a rather malnourished and pale woman with short frizzy hair and thick glasses. The party offered her the limited amount of ambrosia and quintessence they had accumulated from their cults, and Taru-Kul accepted it gratefully. After a bit of chatting they departed.
Raven took the opportunity to drop off his reports. The rest of his party stayed at his magnificent celestial manse in the meanwhile.
The party arrived back on Creation through the Gem gate. It didn't take long for someone to recognize Largo, the Black Lion, the famous pitfighter. Partially for nostalgia's sake, partly for some extra spending money, Largo headed for the arena where he had made his fortune.
Once there, thanks to the wrangling of Amber, he was scheduled a fight the next evening. The party stayed overnight and got some rest, and the next day Largo rode out into the arena on Shahra while the rest of the party watching from the front row of a roaring crowd.
The arena doors parted to reveal an enormous Tyrant Lizard. The creature charged at Largo, and in response he leaped up to strike its face with his scythe. He underestimated the creature's quickness, and it seemed to swallow his in one bite. The crowd went wild. The party chuckled.
Largo's attempts to pry himself out of the creature's maw were surprisingly unsuccessful; its enormous size and strength seemed to match Largo's in this area. Strength, however, was not Largo's only advantage. Shahra tackled the beast from behind, her enormous bulk causing the creature to buckle and open its mouth.
Largo took this opportunity to slice the creature's head in half at the jaw line, holding the top half aloft as an enormous gruesome trophy. The crowd was ecstatic. Amber was merely annoyed that he hadn't drawn out the fight longer.
The Oasis of the DamnedEdit
After a night's rest and collecting their pay, they party turned its focus again to Largo's castestone.
Largo cracked open his Castestone and revealed the small black lion, which darted off to the north. The party went to follow it, but not before stopping for transportation at Crazy Eddie's Sandboat Emporium. They picked up a sandboat and headed north to one of the most southern rivers in Creation. Once there, they opted to travel on the water using a hearthstone.
After a couple days of travel, they approached an area on the edge of Largo's former tribe's territory, a sacred place known as the Oasis of the Damned. To the tribe, the Desert Lions, it held a rather ambiguous reputation as both an evil place where people disappeared and a holy place to be worshiped.
As the party neared the sacred ground, Largo grew very nervous. The sky darkened and the sand whipped up into an increasingly fierce sandstorm. Eventually the black lion figurine departed from the water. The party parked the boat on the side of the river, and began to follow on foot.
Suddenly the sandstorm took form. A tentacle of solid sand reached out as if to strike the party... but before it could, Amber played a tune on her violin. A dozen more tentacles rose up as if to strike, but the melody first quelled them from attacking, then forced them down before the party, slowly forming a stairway.
The party followed the stairs, which seemed to be made of pulsing, blowing sand. The stairs reached a peak and started downwards, and inspection revealed that it was into a large tubular hallway. As the party headed forward, a large boulder of sand fell down behind them, rolling forward as if to crush them. The party struck the boulder down, continued along the path, only to be followed by another. The second time they simply hastened along the path.
The path spiraled downwards, eventually breaking the surface of the surrounding dunes and heading underground. The party reached a large central chamber, and the boulder slammed into place in the doorway behind them. The chamber had a pit in the center where sand was blowing up out of very quickly, and eight torches were positioned over the doorway where they entered.
One by one, the torches lit and a great lion, made of black sand, erupted out of the pit to attack the party. The party's prowess greatly exceeded that of these clumsy creations, but each time the party struck one down, it reformed a couple seconds later. Some considerable combat feats were tried in this fight, buying the party time but not making progress. Eventually, a member of the party took down one of the torches and struck a lion with it; the lion solidified into dark glass. The rest of the party followed suit and the enemies were quickly dispatched.
Next addressed was the issue of the sand pit. The sand was blowing out with enough power to strip flesh from bone, so climbing was out of the question. Eventually Raven had the idea of making a platform of glass and lowering themselves down on it. This worked, and the party arrived at a great tomb, the tomb of Admiral Arcadi.
They quickly discovered they were not the first visitors. The party quickly felt that something was terribly wrong, once they had entered. The tomb had been ransacked and emptied of its treasures. Upset, the party continued to search around, and Largo made some progress when he placed his hand on a large lion statue in the center.
The Deathknight the party had found in the Tomb of Amyana appeared next to them. The party realized it was a projection of some sort, and watched as she took the treasures from the tomb, alongside a face Largo recognized- Howl of the Void. Void was wearing a magnificent suit of orichalcum armor with a black lion motif, and an unseemly soulsteel band across the chest. He addressed her as Midnight Seen with Closed Eyes, and she donned a great golden crown that clearly had been Arcadi's. They seemed rather familiar with each other, but breaking the awkwardness appeared another figure, draped in large dark cloaks, his face obscured. The three left the tomb by some sort of sorcery or (more likely) necromancy, carrying large bags full of the treasures of the tomb.
The lions statue was further examined, and the device that had been playing the projections was discovered: a Recorder of Everlasting Glories. It had several memories on it, including a detailed picture of Admiral Arcadi in full battle gear.
The party continued to pick over the tomb, and discovered a golden shield mounted on the wall. It was surrounded by scorch marks, and there was some blood on the floor by it- surprisingly fresh. Largo carefully pulled it from the wall, then looked at it closer. It was clearly a powerful artifact shield, and it was discovered that the lion's head on it could be used to bite.
Satisfied, the party climbed up out of the tomb to the entrance.
The Chief of the Desert LionsEdit
Upon exiting the tomb, they party was surrounded by a powerful, proud-looking band of warriors, who Largo recognized as the Desert Lions. The group was clearly offended that outsiders had entered what must be some sort of sacred building, but were hesitant to attack without knowing the full story. They demanded an explanation.
In response, Amber began to play her violin. First met with skepticism by the group, they quickly realized that the party was a group of holy people (not far from the truth, actually) and escorted them back to the tribe's camp.
Once there, they were met with a distinct lack of hospitality from the chief of the tribe, who refused to be called by anything other than his title. Upon recognizing Largo, he demanded the party leave at once, but Largo had other plans. He challenged the chief to single combat for his position in an unarmed wrestling match, as was the tribe custom. The chief gladly accepted, hoping to be rid of the group.
The chief proved to be more than Largo had anticipated. Much smaller and weaker, the chief was alarmingly nimble and seemed to have extensive martial arts training. A few signs revealed that the chief was a water-aspected Dragon-Blood. He used Largo's size against him, and managed to draw out combat for a very long time, landing blow after blow. Largo, however, was more than capable of taking the weak blows the chief landed, many though they were. Frustrated, the chief tried to land a vicious twist to the neck that would likely have killed a challenger. Largo recognized this as breaking the nonlethal rule of the challenge, and proceeded to slam the chief into the sand so hard upside down he was buried up to his stomach.
Largo then formally banished the unconscious chief and regained his status as chieftain of the Desert Lion Tribe, requesting that his uncle, Brolo, rule while he traveled.
Character Thoughts and ReactionsEdit
Steve apologizes for the long wait before he finally updated the wiki again. It was just because of break, he promises. But he liked how that session went; you all got a lot accomplished. Largo's getting really badass. Two more tombs until the story arc is complete!
Largo is slightly pissed about the raiding of his tomb, but loves the artifact shield (hee hee, +3 to DV AFTER calculations). He also wonders how Steve would feel about an Abyssal with split personalities...
Teager is quite pleased with his ability to force the ST to make stuff up on the fly. ;) He hopes that other people make the effort he is with Amber as far as getting them involved in scenes. He also notes that this sometimes includes laying back. Yay for ST experience.
Alexa was pretty unenthusiastic about this session, but that was entirely her fault. The specter of leaving halfway through for a thoroughly unpleasant meeting just kind of wrecked the game for her. She'll have much more fun next time!
Dax/Daryl thoroughly enjoyed this session, especially how nicely all of the on-the-fly stuff worked out. He still felt somewhat marginal, but he knows his time to shine is coming, and is content for now to let Amber social-fu us in and out of as much trouble as Steve's sanity will handle (though I use the term "sanity" quite loosely ;-) ).