Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 1,360 xp.4th Quintilis (contd.)
Having searched the rest of the Karak mines and found nothing, the party consult the map of unseen lands and head off into the Sunblight Barrens to return home to Parsantium. The heat of the sun is intense and all but Sora are affected by sun sickness, so the PCs decide to rest and continue their journey that night.
After resting, Hrothgar and Juma Jia’d feel better but Ulthar and Gil are still feeling the effects of the disease. The PCs resume their trek in the chilly night air. They soon run into trouble, however; an owl harpy and a tiefling stand on a large rock ahead. The tiefling challenges the party, shouting out that they must die for intruding in the territory of the Amirah of the Drifting Sands. The PCs get ready for battle but the first attack comes from two invisible sand devils that whirl into Gil and Sora. Ulthar, Juma and Hrothgar head for the tiefling and the harpy, leaving the wizard and the paladin to deal with their two invisible assailants and the blood hag which appears soon afterwards.
It’s a long, tough battle. The tiefling goes down first, killed by Hrothgar after he’s been severely wounded by Ulthar, but the harpy proves much harder to kill. Meanwhile, Sora and Gil both get blinded by the sand devils, and the hag grabs Sora and attempts to peel her face off with her sharp talons. Gil is down to 3 hp and Sora down to 10 hp so Ulthar comes to the rescue, issuing tactical orders (in a posh voice). Juma has cast his mighty dwarf wall of fire on the owl harpy which then flies away from him and Hrothgar. Sora cures the blindness affecting her and Gil, allowing the mage to cast spells as he keeps moving around the edge of the battlefield in an attempt to keep away from the sand devils.
Finally, Juma finishes off the owl harpy and Ulthar kills a sand devil. The second, bloodied sand devil flees, leaving the PCs to deal with the blood hag. Hrothgar is about to deliver the killing blow when Juma uses dimensional warp to swap places with him and kill her himself, stealing victory from the gnoll! The genasi claims the tiefling’s +3 lifestealer longsword as his prize.
The PCs rest in their tents during the heat of the day again. In the evening, Ulthar and Gil’s sun sickness has got worse. The party travels through the night.
6th QuintilisRest during the day. This time Sora tends to Ulthar’s sun sickness and Ulthar and Hrothgar administer to Gil. Ulthar gets better; Gil doesn’t get any worse. Travelling through the night again, the PCs reach the village of Dunesend at dawn. Lotho Elberesk (the village elder) and Darkus Comanhi (the village smith) are very relieved to see the party again and thrilled to learn the Queen of the Drylands has been dealt with.
The PCs enjoy a victory “feast” in the poor village of Dunesend. Getting out of the desert combined with proper food and drink does wonders for Ulthar and Gil who recover from sun sickness.
The party enter the Thornwaste. Late in the afternoon, they run into a group of hostile border guards serving the mysterious Ghostlord, consisting of two centaurs, a minotaur, a dragonborn, a steam drake and a hooded mage.
First, one of the centaurs charges Juma, then Ulthar races for the minotaur, but makes an uncharacteristic tactical error and gets clobbered hard by the ensuing opportunity attack. The mage blasts Hrothgar and Sora with a chymical explosion of acid and poison, dazing them. Juma hits the centaur with a critical, then teleports to the ridge to attack the steam drake. The drake breathes on the swordmage and then turns into steam form and envelops him. Hrothgar attacks the wounded centaur, which then tramples him. Gil casts fireball into the middle of the battlefield and Sora charges the minotaur. The second centaur, with his lance now flaming thanks to a spell cast on it by the dragonborn, charges Ulthar and Sora, bowling them both over.
Gil kills the minotaur but then the drake comes after him, breathing scalding steam on him twice. Hrothgar kills the first centaur, then charges the hooded mage who has come down off the hill he was standing on, knocking him over. The mage’s hood falls back slightly, giving the gnoll a glimpse of tentacles! When the spellcaster gets to his (its?) feet, his arms transform into tentacles which he uses to grab hold of Hrothgar. Juma, bloodied, is battling the dragonborn sorcerer on the ridge, casting his dwarf wall of fire to keep him at bay.
Ulthar gets up and kills the second centaur. Juma once again steals Hrothgar’s kill, coming down from the ridge to slay the injured mage. The steam drake then flies off and the dragonborn surrenders as Hrothgar comes running up the ridge to attack him.
The dragonborn says he is called Gravash and claims to serve the Ghostlord – the same master as Mag Blackthorn, the ranger that guided the party through the Thornwaste two weeks ago. Postponing further interrogation until later, the PCs search the bodies. Ulthar picks up the minotaur’s +3 greataxe which is marked with runes from the far Northlands. Gil and Juma both inspect it but are unable to determine its powers.