The Promised Land

Day 63 to Day 67
8-15-14 and 9-12-14 sessions

The Tribe planned their escape to leave the slave compound with the slaves who were converted. After breaking in and grabbing their own items from the Barracks (with the help of paying off some guards with their own treasures) and hiding them, some of the group found that the work crews in the obsidian mines were mining in new areas. An ancient dwarven civilization was found underground with mine carts leading throughout the caves, however Ja’th and Seluku also found that Hellavina’s theory has come true in that the mines are caving in due to the constant strain on the earth.

Through an animal messenger the group receives word that Jericho has decided to stay in Tyr as he feels the Promised Land is not real. They also find out that a distraction will be made the next day for them to get out of the slave compound. Once the group is ready, the next day comes and they are broadsided by being summoned to Master Larok’s office. While being interrogated, they are able to steal the key to their collars that seal their powers. Suddenly, a large explosion is heard and a militia of elves come into the compound fighting the guards.

The group, knowing this is their distraction, remove the collars, grab their gear, and get the rest of the Tribe within the slave compound (although Nazarr’s daughter is killed in the skirmish) and begin to head towards the mines (finding that the carts will be their only real escape route). They hop on the mine carts with Master Larok and some of his men chasing after the Tribe in carts of their own. They are able to fend of the guards and (last the group sees) a cave in destroys Master Larok’s cart. They escape the mountain tunnels and find that Urik has partially been sunken in due to the earthquakes from the obsidian mine. Half of Hamanu’s palace is gone with random sections of the city in similar fashion. Hollykahn comes up to the group with elven archers at her side. A long tension-filled pause is erased by Hollykahn as she embraces her sister after many years of separation. The elf says, “My sister, I have missed you all these years. I forgive you for all that has happened. Your penance is fulfilled, especially after all you have done for me and your new friends. Your fellow tribesman, Mantizh, has told me everything. We will help you escape and hold off Hamanu and his soldiers for as long as we can.”

Hellavina is grateful and, even though she wishes to be with her sister, she asks if she can join the Tribe instead. Coraline says, “Of course, you already are a part of the Tribe,” as they embrace. A light shines from the rainbow feather on Coraline’s head and, miraculously, Hellavina’s left hand is restored fully.

Once the Tribe is ready to go, Coraline receives a vision from the Chief who says, “The Tribe is together, now follow the crown.” The crown of dust begins to light up on Ryukin’s head at the same time. As he turns his head in a specific direction it begins to shimmer showing the way they must go: Northwest. Before leaving, though, Nadarr says, “I will help Hollykahn and her militia so that you can get to the Promised Land. If I live after this, I will find my family who I lost many years ago as I feel that that is where my destiny lies.” After some hearty handshakes and hugs, the group parts ways with their friends and begin their three day trek northwest.

The sun is unbearable and the food and water has all run out for the Tribe. All seems lost until finally they arrive at a canyon that has a large portal like structure. Knowing they are close they begint to realize that they must plant the two desert seeds into the center of the ground by the portal. However, a mob of skeletons and a group of templars blocks their path. On top of the canyon cliffs is the dreaded Hamanu, controlling the skeletons. “You have bothered me for the last time!” shouts Hamanu. Ja’th sprints forward trying to duck and weave past the skeletons and plants the first seed. Though he begins to be surrounded by the enemies. The group fights as Seluku says, “I know when I must enter the gate to plant the last seed, just buy me some time.” So the Tribe fights with all they got.

A bright blue light flashes as the terrain around them begins to crack and shift. Seluku makes his way towards the gate and Hamanu jumps down the cliff in desperation, knowing this is going to be bad for him. The skeleton mobs drop to the ground, lifeless, as Hamanu begins to cast spells at the group. But it’s too late, Seluku gets there in time and a bright green light blinds everyone in the canyon; Seluku is seen obliterated by the energy. The gate appears to open to a land they have never seen before: lush grass, forests of green, waterfalls cascading, and before them, a figure: The Chief. A simple hand gesture from the Chief sends Hamanu flying out of the canyon like a ragdoll in the wind.

The calm Chief looks at the Tribe as all the enemies have died or have run away. He says, “Well done my faithful Tribe, the Promised Land awaits you.” He offers his hand to each of the Tribesmen: Mantizh, his Thrikreen friend Kahool, Nazarr, his son Ool’rong, Coraline, Hellevina, Ja’th, Keturah, Ryukin, Rath, and Yogi.

Everyone grabs his hand (with Ja’th’s hand fully restored as well once touching the Chief) and enters the gate. As they step into the light a calmness surrounds them. They look at their armor and weapons and realize they are no longer needed. They smile wide as the Chief says, “Your journey is not over yet, but you will no longer travel alone again.” Off in the distance by a large tree is a waving humanoid. The Tribe squints, unable to see in the bright calm light. Their eyes begin to focus though and their hearts are filled with joy as they see their rock friend, Seluku, calling to them. He yells with acclamation, “Welcome Home!”

THE END

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Day 55, night to Day 63, morning
Sessions 6-10-14 and 7-11-14

The fight was long and hard for the Tribe, but they emerged victorious. The ghost heeded a warning in his final moments that whoever holds the desert seed will have heavy decisions to make. The remaining Thri-Kreen help the Tribe in getting out through a secret passage since Templars of Raam are trying to find them now.

The escape out a secret passage and fight a few of the templars of Raam as they make their escape and escort the rest of the Thri-Kreen to safety. With the dead of night on their side, the group hides in the canyons. Before meeting with the slave owners of Urik, “Mahntizh” (one of the Thri-Kreen) says they want to join their Tribe. Coraline accepts them warmly into the Tribe. They give the seed to Mahntizh and two of the other Thri-Kreen are ordered by Coraline to get Jericho from Tyr as their time is drawing to an end soon since they have found all the pieces necessary to find the Promised Land. But they must go back to Urik and get the rest of their Tribe from the slave pits. Mahntizh says he will help them escape in two weeks time as their informant on the outside.

They rejoin the templars of Urik, finding that they have found the other Templars and have killed them during the night. Master Larok asks them where they have been and they lie saying they did not find the desert seed. Because of their betrayal, he flays off one of the arms of Ja’th and says, “We will see what Hamanu has to say to your insubordination.”

One week goes by in travel as they return to the slave compound, healed to full, though Ja’th’s extra arms aren’t functioning anymore because of Master Larok’s attack.

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Day 55, Night
4-18-14 session and 5-22-14 session

The group finished off the ghosts in the entrance way. They continued into the ancient tomb and come into a large cave with a secret door leading further underground. Before the Tribe opens the door they are confronted by a tribe of thri-kreen. They are hesitant to trust the Tribe, but after the party convinces them they are doing the same thing in protecting the desert seed, they join forces. They agree to keep any of the Templars from attacking them as they continue further into the tomb.

Most of the Tribe continue down into the secret tunnel and come to a lush garden underground. A withering tree stands before them with one single cone: another desert seed. But it’s protected by an ancient spirit and his minions from anyone to take it. Even though he believes the Tribe to have good intentions for the desert seed, he must still protect it. And with that, he attacks the party.

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Day 55, Morning to Night
3-21-14 session

The Tribe is awoken by guards, screaming and ordering them to move outside. The 8 of them gather, with Master Larok telling them to get into a wagon. They are taken out of the city of Urik and travel east (towards the storms they heard the night before) for many hours in silence. They arrive at a canyon in the middle of a dust storm. Master Larok explains that they are being put to work on behalf of King Hamanu. Their collars are released and they are given all of their weapons, armor and items (except their food and water). They must find a Tree of Life and Desert Seed that is somewhere in this area. If they do so, they will be given food and water for their services and will return back to the city of Urik; they are still considered slaves of Urik.

The Tribe sizes up the templar guards with them and it seems they have many tough half-giants with them in case they try to overtake the soldiers of Urik. Realizing that doing their given task is the only way they will survive out here in the middle of nowhere, the Tribe reluctantly agrees.

They begin scouring the area, finding that the primal spirits in the area are trying to lead the group to one particular place in the dust storm. They arrive but are attacked by hurt Tembos. After making quick work of the beasts, they find a stone door underneath some rocks. The tembos had nothing on them except for some peculiar collars, different from their own. In fact, they realize that many templars of the city-state of Raam (not far from here) are known to have tembos as guard dogs for themselves.

The group enters the stone door going underneath the ground and find it lined with green moss and vines. It seems a tree of life could be somewhere inside. The group travels the ancient corridors as it has not been disturbed in many hundreds of years, maybe even thousands.

They are “greeted” by ghosts who begin to attack the party, thinking they are servants of Nibenay. The group is able to convince one of the ghosts that they don’t serve Nibenay and, in fact, want to protect the tree of life. So the ghost leaves for the afterlife but the other protecting servants and creepy crawlers inside think otherwise as the fight continues.

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Day 24 to Day 54
2-28-14 session

1 month passes as the group settles into their new lives as slaves. Some are put in the arena to fight, others are put in the mines to extract obsidian, some are experimented on like lab rats, and others are made to be servants of the slave compound leaders.

After that month, Hellavina works up the courage to apologize to the Tribe. They are quiet at first but they say, “Help us get out of here then.” She agrees as the group begins to inspect the large slave compound that feels like a small village surrounded by large walls. They find that a few of the slaves are treated with respect by others and with their help and trust, the Tribe might be able to create a riot or at least help them escape.

The group finds one of these respected slaves: Raneel. Though he is not too happy with his life and misses his wife and find that he wants to kill himself. They assure him that his wife is still alive in the marketplace. He is joyful to hear that and they try to help him escape the compound. But they fail in doing so; some of them are beaten for their insolence while Raneel is killed for trying to escape.

The group also finds the mul slave Odon, who is very sick. He seems to be going blind but still trusts Hamanu for his grace to save him. The group tries to convince him that Hamanu is evil and that the Chief could heal him. He sounds interested but his faith wavers and the group is unable to keep him alive. The sickness kills him and infects some of the group.

The next day they meet Nazarr who holds Hamanu up as his god. He explains that he and many of the generations of his family were born here in the slave compound of Urik. They also recognize Nazarr as one of the slaves that captured them. He had no personal qualms with them but was just doing what he was ordered to do. The group begins to tell him of the Chief and how this life he leads now is not beneficial for him and his two kids (Oo’rong and Sil’rong). But he follows up with the fact that his strength comes from Hamanu himself and it will keep him and his family safe. Ra’th displays his own strength claiming that the Tribe is what gives him his strength and that it is much more powerful than Hamanu himself. Nazarr is stricken with grief as the group begins to tell him and his children what the outside is like and that if he helps them, they will let him join the Tribe. He agrees as he explains that they will need to get Oo’rong out of the compound to be an outside help for them. The slavers won’t know he’s gone since he’s too young to work and is not on their books.

The group this time is able to save a slave, Fenrann, from the plague that is going around the compound and in the process, convert him to their Tribe. They also are able to get Oo’rong to escape that night as well.

After many deaths and failures, the Tribe finally has the trust of most of the slaves their in Urik.

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Day 23, Morning to Night
1-31-14 session

The group begins to buy and sell various magic items they have for the group. They meet a few interesting merchants, one being a elf woman by the name of Raneel who is illegally selling goods in the main market as opposed to the elven marketplace. She is trying to raise money to buy her husband out of slavery.

The Tribe rests in Hellavina’s home with her personal servant, Gregnos. That night Hellavina wakes Coraline and explains who she is. The eladrin says she’s made a mistake: she is a templar of Urik and was told to find their Tribe for the Sorcerer-King, Hamanu and lead them here to Urik. This was in exchange for Hellavina’s sister, Hollykahn who took the blame for her crime a hundred years ago. Hellavina realizes her mistake and wishes for the Tribe to leave Urik immediately in the night. But it’s too late as Templars begin to raid her house. They subdue the Tribe with some hired mercenaries and a few slaves on their side. They knock out some of them and lead them all (including Hellavina) to Hamanu’s temple. Gregnos was the reason the Templars knew the Tribe was here as he asks for forgiveness from Hellavina who holds no grudge to her servant.

Nadarr wakes from being knocked out to the sound of metal scraping metal, which haunts him from his previous years as a slave. The group finds themselves in a grand temple full of pillars and yellow and orange sculptures. The Tribe is bound in shackles with one another. Their items, armor, and weapons have all been taken as they are in nothing but loin clothes. Also, a strange neck collar brace is bound to each of them with a chain attached to their wrists and ankles. Weird runes are etched to the collars as well.

Many slaves gather to benefit one man in the large room they enter; a menacing man with flowing golden robes on him. One of the templars who captured the group demands them to kneel before the great lion god himself, Hamanu.

Hamanu inspects each member of the Tribe for a moment, ignoring any comments or pleas the Tribe might have and ignoring Rath and Ja’th for he considers their breed inferior. He acknowledges Nadarr’s past scars and reassures the dragonborn that he will be a fine addition to his arena. He recognizes Ryukin to be a noble of the Thallum house and lets a scribe know that they must send a letter to the half-elf’s family and know of his “death.” He says to Ryukin that he will not personally kill him, but that once becoming a slave of Urik, you are considered dead to your family. He looks at Coraline and asks questions of their Tribe, wondering where the original Chief is. She is hesitant to say anything but threatens Nadarr’s life unless she speaks. She explains what happened to their Tribe originally at the Farm and that the Chief is dead and that she is Chief now. Hamanu mentions that he thought he sent enough soldiers to destroy their village but is not concerned now since he has the rest of them now. He tries to take the Chief feather from her head but his hand is burned in the process by a bright light. His hand is scarred and he ignores her after that. He turns to Seluku and Keturah and is quite fascinated with them, thinking that they are being controlled by a wizard in their group, but they assure him they have a mind of their own. He says his wizards will love to dissect them later.

Finally, Hellavina says to Hamanu that their Chief is dead and that’s all that mattered so they can be set free now. Hamanu ignores her pleas and instead applauds Hellavina’s good work. She asks for her sister and Hamanu responds, “We heard you were the real reason that part of the obsidian mine was destroyed many years ago, not her. You claimed the mines needed to stop excavating the obsidian or else it would destroy Urik. Well, it’s been over a century and nothing has happened. My council says your theory was wrong. You wished for me to be a fool, didn’t you? No matter, as long as you agree that the mines are fine, your sister will be let go. I am a reasonable god, your ruler hears his minions pleas. So, do we have a deal?” He offers his hand to the eladrin. Hellavina is hesitant at first but says, “Ok,” and offers him her left hand. Upon taking his hand she feels a sharp pain as her hand begins to wither. He raises his voice as her hand is slowly withers to bone and is destroyed, “I am a reasonable ruler, but also a just god. You will take Hollykahn’s place in the slave compound with these people as well. Because of your insolence and selfishness all those years as your sister suffered!” He lets go of her stump for a hand and yells, “Now, all of you, begone!”

The hunters collect the group and they are all escorted to the slave compound. Behind them, they hear the Sorcerer-king mutter, “An eye for an eye, a hand for a hand…” Reality hits the group hard: They are now slaves of Urik.

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Day 18, Afternoon to Day 23, Morning
12-6-13 session

After a short rest the group finds the dust devil outside has come to a halt. They come to the entrance of the cave and fight a few raiders who appear to be a part of the group led by Yarnath. The heroes look outside and see Slither, a large construct made by Yarnath himself that creeps across the desert towards the Tribe. The party runs away from Slither and, even though it becomes a large and arduous task, they escape with the crown of dust in their hands.

The Tribe realizes they must head north now and, since Urik is along the road they are traveling to the north, Hellevina offers them a place to rest and regroup in her home in Urik. The Tribe agrees and they travel north for 5 days. During their travels Coraline expresses to the group they must find if the new people that have accompanied them want to join their tribe. With Keturah already an honorary member, Rath and Ryukin say they want to join but Hellevina notices that the rest of the group doesn’t completely trust her so she says, “Come with me to Urik and I will show you where my loyalty lies.” Rath and Ryukin gather around the fire one night on their travels and hear that every Tribe member’s initiation was done in different ways. Coraline chants a prayer using the Chieftain Feather and welcomes their two newest members: Rath and Ryukin.

After a few days of travel the group has resorted to stretching all of their rations and water to the whole group. They reach the gates of Urik in the late morning well rested but a few of them have succumbed to sun sickness.

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Day 18, Morning to Afternoon
11-21-13 session

The group finishes off the mushroom enemies and make their way to a large room. This large temple room has an altar in the corner and in the center is a purple light coming from a pit. Inside the pit is the crown of dust and, before the group can get their hands on it, a couple of shadowy worms and wraiths begin to attack them. Seluku is unable to fight until he finally is able to put his hands on the crown himself. Once doing this, part of the desert seed breaks off from his forehead and merges with the crown. A large earthquake uproots the pit to level ground as a strange, beautiful brown pillar shoots up from the ground (the Tribe would later come to know this pillar to be what is called a “tree”). Emerging from the tree is a strange, woman, made of wood and leaves, and she says:

Do not fear for that which you have not seen before, for I, Keturah, bring a joyful announcement: The Chief has brought you through much turmoil and strife, but your steps are even closer this day to the Promised Land. He knows you feel sadness for what happened on that day when many perished because of you but he offers his hands if you wish for forgiveness. The crown on my head is offered to all who wish to receive this gift and you will gain the invitation into the land that is filled with water and game for all. I will be your guide along with the one who has sacrificed himself, Seluku. Let us vanquish this evil that has tainted the temple we dwell in. Our travels continue to the North.

Seluku gains the will to fight again and Keturah helps the group in conquering the undead foes.

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Day 18, Morning
10-24-13 session

The group found a moldy storeroom with many humongous fungus-like plants. They were eventually attacked by such monstrosities and the group is trying their best not to succumb to the strange plant enemies.

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Day 17, Afternoon to Day 18, Morning
9-27-13 session

The group is confronted by a group of mercenaries called the Red Chord. They seem to have been hired by House Shom for some reason. They begin a stressful conversation while Ja’th is disturbed by the undead spirit living in the urn who in turn, hurts him. Nadarr hears the conversation with the mercenaries and peaks his head around the corner, scaring the mind-controlled gith. The gith attacks and the group begins their battle with the Red Chord. Ryukin comes out of his dream-like state and helps the group. After getting up from the throne, though, an elderly eladrin woman magically appears onto the chair. She gets up and begins to help the party in their skirmish.

Seluku goes down during the fight but Rath is able to keep him from totally dying. After the fight the group makes camp there in the room (Seluku is able to rest up as well). They are then greeted by their mysterious savior: Hellevina. She explains she has heard of the Tribe and has decided to help them on their quest for her own reasons. Ryukin recognizes her being from Urik, a noble of some sort. He seems a bit worried as he tries to give a secret word to her to see if she is part of the Veiled Alliance. She doesn’t recognize it and explains that as an elderly wizard she is able to teleport herself to certain places once a month; she found out where the group was as well in her magical studies. The group only tells her so much information and ask her to stay with them at least for the night while they continue to go deeper into the caverns. She happily agrees.

The next morning Coraline explains to the group that she had a dream last night from the Chief. He explained that they are on the right path and that what they are looking for is the Crown of Dust. She seems excited about the news and is eager to continue into the caverns. After gaining some loot from the mercenary group and the rooms they had explored already, they continue further deep into the caverns.

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