The Tomb of the Catfolk Hero Kama
As the Drow took a short respite Dr Cronk gets himself settled in the Drows laboratory as the rest set about their own interests. Kalan took the time to finish off the Book of Charm he had been reading over the last few weeks, but not fully dedicating himself to it until now. Gul was using his new found skills in sorcery to prepare potions he had gleaned from the Hellhounds tongues and other finds from the previous outings. Kalan was at a similar level of sorcery but just had not figured out how these raw materials could be used in potions. He thought maybe Gul would sell some off if they were any good.
At this point Cronk started showing off an ancient rare book on Illithed Volume 2. Gul’s henchman Tsab recalled Birz had found Volume 1 on an earlier adventure. Birz was contacted and surprisingly handed it over to the crew for their library. Nsaar took it upon himself to start reading through the book. This started several sleepless nights for Nsaar, and the crew within earshot, as he woke up screaming in the dark. He would not say why he was pestered by nightmares, but all assumed the books had something to do with it - and no one wanted to take over his task.
Kalan had considered causing some trouble with the other Rievers. He looked out for the Vengeance captain and watched the Malice crew. He was considering setting up a prank that would take something from the Vengeance captain and setup the Malice crew. He watched them for a few days but both crew quarters were very well guarded and the risk was just too high. During his book reading and musings on some mischief he came across a note hidden in his room mentioning a debt he must repay - obviously from followers of the God who saved his life during the battle with the Orc General. As he recalled the fight and the apparition he saw that day he felt an odd itch in the core of his being. He was changed since then but not sure by how much. "Well”, thought Kalan "I have an ally in the Despair crew. I wonder what I will be called to do?” He took the practical step of destroying the note.
Cronk had also come across a tale of an ancient Catfolk Hero Kama who had fabulous tales of plunder and magic associated with him. The Hero had set up in a hidden valley and would attack Imperial caravans as they passed his hidden lair – a secret valley. He was believed to have a magic eye and was so loved by his people that when he died his body was enshrined in a tomb and was still worshiped by the Catfolk to this day. Vixia was captivated by the tale but did not miss the opportunity for plunder. She insisted the crew prepare to seek out the Catfolk shrine and raid it.
New crewmembers were brought to the Despair; Arla the Half Drow Elf thief and daughter of an underground boss was an acquaintance of Kalan, Faylin a female Drow brought in by Vixia, Zealyot a male Drow and Berun another from an underworld background.
Berun declared a challenge to Nsaar for the position of gunner. Kalan looked on in amusement – no longer for him would he be consider as gunner his time had now passed. Both Berun and Nsaar were evenly balanced for the duel as they took the required 10 paces and turned and fired with the dummy bolts from the vipers. Both reacted at the same split second levelling and firing. Berun’s bolt bounced off Nsaar whereas Nsaar’s bolt just dropped off the end of his viper. So yet again the Despair had a new gunner as Berun took his new position.
The crew set out and were soon clear of the lands of the spider folk. Heading over the Dwarf Kingdom to the Catfolk shrine. As they flew across the sky a huge wasp was spotted making a direct line for the ship. Vixia changed tact and headed to intercept the wasp. Berun was about to be tested on his new gunner position. He waited until the wasp was just in at extreme range and fired – he caused it a critical hit. The crew murmured their appreciation of the skill of the shot. Berun with Faylin loading fired again at effective range and hit killing the wasp as it spiralled down out of sight – two bolts jutting from its body.
As the Despair cruised across the sky over the heart of the Dwarf kingdom the pilot was snatched from his post and dangled several feet in midair behind the ship. Just then large green snake coils appeared around his body that went up to the torso of a naked winged female brandishing and enormous sword. It was a Lillend - a huge creature and obviously angry with the Drow. The crew were preparing bows and spells when she shouted "Stop” in Dwarvish. The Captain told her crew to hold. Those who were preparing spells, like Kalan, had to release their now wasted manna. With the pilot in the coils of Lillend Vixia would not risk her ship being destroyed.
Vixia shouted to her crew "What is she saying?” Kalan understood the Lillend as it was talking Dwarvish and translated for the crew and the Captain. The Lillend was saying "Drow mark my words - do not attack the Dwarves ever again except on pain of death”. The ship started to slow down and descend, the Lillend controlling the Pilots thoughts. As they neared the ground they could see a destroyed Riever ship and the dead and mutilated corpses of its Drow crew. Kalan spoke out "We will need proof to take back to the City, otherwise we will be ignored” – Vixia glared at Kalan "What are you saying? – speak to me first.” Kalan repeated his request to the Lillen to Vixia, she thought for a moment "Yes we will need proof”. The Lillend agreed and the Despair was allowed to land and check the dead crew – the ship was the Spiteful from Clan Dragon. Its nameplate was removed and returned to the Despair – everything else of value was already removed. The Lillend dropped the pilot at the back of the ship saying "Take back my warning to your evil city and do not bother the Dwarves again!!” She turned and flew off.
Vixia seemed unperturbed by the encounter and instead of running back to the city was instead set on her original course heading. In a few days they had arrived at their destination. They flew over secret valley easily spotted from the air and noticed the small catfolk village nestled on one side of the valley. They could also see the well worn path to the opposite side where a small shrine was erected and offerings were left. Vixia decided that this must be the position of the entrance to the shrine. She flew the Despair a few miles away to a safe drop off point and sent her scavengers away; Gul, Kalan, Joruus, Berun, Gorlab, Zealyot, the females Faylin and Arla were also encouraged along.
As the adventurers made their careful way along the valley to the shrine they were aware of movement ahead. Standing in front of the shrine they could see another group of adventurers; a large human fighter, a Dwarf warrior, an Elf, a Kenku and two clerics. The Drow party decided to watch this group and tried to sneak up on them. Unfortunately Kalan, Arla, and Gorlab fail to approach without getting the attention of the other party. As the other group turned and appeared to prepare spells and weapons Kalan sent out a fire blast that killed the two Clerics, the Kenku and injured the rest. As the rest of the crew prepare send off magic missiles and arrows Faylin runs over to the fallen Kenku. As she reaches the body Faylin is struck down by a lightening bolt released by the Elf wizard.
Kalan stays put and sends light at the Elf to blind him, the Elf sets up a barrier of protection against missiles. As Gorlab’s arrows bounce off the Elf turns invisible. Kalan congers detect invisible draws his sword and heads towards the last position he saw the Elf, followed by Arla. The rest of the party take on the Dwarf and the large human warrior - who turns out to be a tough opponent for Gul. Kalan soon locates the Elf and after a brief battle kills him. As the human and the Dwarf also fall and the Drow start looting the bodies. They find vials of holy water (collected by Joruus), potions of healing (Joruus and Berun get these), some gold, Joruus takes a Holy symbol worn by the cleric, Gul gets himself a Bullete shield, and to Kalan’s delight he comes across a Mithrill shirt worn by the Elf. He soon dons the new shirt and the party move towards the doorway. Arla goes to Faylin to help her recover she is found alive but severely weakened by the attack.
As they reach the shrine entrance they notice it is sealed with many catfolk writing. Since it is magically sealed Gul uses the knock spell to open the door. A fetid stench of death and decay rushes out from the door. The party then enter with Gul, and Joruus leading and Kalan and Arla at the back. Down a short corridor they come across another doorway with catfolk symbols carved around it. Gul decides these are not magical and pushes them open. An energy blast explodes from the door and rushes down the corridor. Gul has been cursed and his strength is halved. Fortunately his magical ogre power gloves are unaffected. Beyond this door is another short corridor with another door. Gul decides that they are also not magical and pushes them open. Another energy blast explodes from the door and rushes down the corridor. Gul has been cursed again and is aware that his movement is hindered making him less effective in a fight.
Beyond this the corridor opened to a large crossroads. The Drow initially investigate left and right and soon realise that the corridors quickly end in magical darkness – hiding something. They also see the corridor to the front has another set of doors. As the Drow pull back eight skeletons appear from their flanks out of the darkness. The Drow fall back to the corridor they entered from forming a protective line. The most experienced fighters Gul, Kalan, Joruus take the front. Preparing clubs and maces that they know are more effective against these foes. As the numbers of skeletons are quickly whittled down the more experience warriors step back to let the newbies try their skills and gain some experience.
Once the last skeleton was defeated the group move onwards through the next set of doors. Kalan looks at the new female of the group – she is barely standing and would be useless in a fight. He invites her to open the next set of doors. Faylin sneers at him "not likely male – you do it”. Kalan rolls his eyes she does not see this as a benefit to the group. With one of the most experience of the group cursed this idiot female now wants another more experienced Drow to take a curse. As he approaches he looks pleadingly at Arla to take on the role of opening the door. She is scared and angrily shakes her head at Kalan. As Kalan slowly approaches Gul pushes past and opens the doors – fortunately they are not curse. As they enter a small room containing a sarcophagus and a chest. Gul spots a secret doorway at the rear of the room and they all notice a three foot wide opening fifteen feet up the wall to their left. As the group decide on how to investigate the hole in the wall they hear a low moaning and wailing comes from it. The party draw back and prepare weapons just as three Reapers fly out of the hole and attack the group. Gul sent off lightening bolts and kills one and wounds another.
The remaining Reapers tear into the group and Zealyot is killed. The remaining Drow fight for their lives throw magic missiles and Kalan’s magic sword proves its worth. Finally the Reapers are dispatched and the group recover. Zealyot’s body is searched and possessions shared among the group. Gul looks carefully at the remains of the Reapers and removes their heads. He just gets weirder and weirder thinks Kalan – first dog tongues now Reaper heads.
The Drow then investigate the chest Kalan and Arla are first there – to his disgust it is empty. Kalan shouts "even out here that renegade Birz gets here first” and he hurls the empty chest to smash against the opposite wall. Joruus and Gorlab make their way to the sarcophagus and push open the lid. An iron cobra springs out and attacks them. It nearly sinks its metal talons into Gorlab but he just manages to pull free. The Drow then attack the cobra smashing the construct to pieces. The sarcophagus is also found to be empty – it was just a decoy.
The Drow make their way through the secret door. This should lead to the real crypt. Sure enough they find an ornate catman hero sculpted on the top wearing an ornate eyepatch. On either side of the sarcophagus are two large treasure chests. Joruus and Kalan exchange a quick glance at each other and smile and race to a chest each. The rest of the group hold back at the door. Just as the two Drow reach the treasure chests a Wight materialises from the sarcophagus between them. Arla and Faylin both turn and flee back down the corridor screamimg. The Drow at the doorway send their last spells with magic missiles at the Wight as they know only magic weapons can harm this creature. Joruus pulls out the vials of holy water and tries to throw it at this evil creature – missing every time. Kalan tries several times to strike it with the magical giant slayer sword but cannot make contact. The Wight attacks Joruus several times but fails to make contact. Then it turns on Kalan and in one move grabs him. The Drow watch horrified as he is physically drained of strength and left a shadow of his former self. Joruus and Kalan then manage to fortify themselves and successfully fight back eventually destroying the Wight.
Free of the enemy the group opened the chests to find thousands of gold pieces. They opened the coffin to find the remains of a catlfolk male with a sword in a gold scabbard, a small pouch at his waist, and the strange eye patch on his head. Joruus and Berun both grab for the sword in the golden scabbard neither wanting to release the precious find. Kalan lifts the eye patch from the skull and Faylin grabs the pouch. The tussle over the sword soon stops as the two Drow realise that it is not magical Gul pulls it from Berun’s grasp. The hoard comes to 12000 gold pieces and the Drow help themselves to a thousand each leaving 5000 gold for house Kobra. The battered Drow group make their way back to the rendezvous point and wait for the Despair. Kalan notices Faylin, who did not share what the pouch contained, was looking rather too pleased with herself.
Several days later the Dow were mostly rested and recovered from the raid on the tomb except Kalan. He was permanently weakened from the Wight attack. He was fortunate that he was of formidable strength before the attack otherwise he doubted he could now put up a fight against a goblin. He needs to seek out a restoration spell to recover his original strength and they are rare to come by for a Drow. He would need to use up all of his gold and gems to get back to his old self. These morbid thoughts were coursing through his mind as he sat at the front of the Despair watching Berun the new gunner checking out the sights of the weapon. He then caught a glance at Arla as she sat huddled at the back of the ship. She was still annoyed with Kalan for suggesting she open a possibly cursed door. He hoped the 1000 gold she received might improve her mood – but so far it hadn’t. The Despair, Vengeance, Malice and two Dragon ships were heading to lay waste to the Dwarven village Copperfield protected by the Lillend. Such was the Drow response to the warning of the Lillend.
Each crew dropped of land troops to burn every building to the ground and kill every grown male or female, only the children were to be spared and to be taken as slaves. The Despair crew were to take on the centre where the townsfolk had barricaded themselves in their church. So Gul, Kalan, Joruus, Berun, Gorlab, Faylin, and Arla disembarked on the south road leading into the town centre. In front of them they could see 10 Dwarf crossbowmen just outside the entrance to the church, and 10 heavily armoured Dwarf soldiers to the rear of the church.
Kalan took out the magical eye patch. He knew now that it offered the wearer super vision, true sight, and a Death Blast (which would use up two thirds of his magical ability). The Death Blast would possibly be needed to stop the Lillend. He looked around at the rest of the Drow as they stared away towards the Dwarves and avoided looking at Kalan or the magic eye. Like Kalan they knew that to wear it and gain the gift of the magic eye would cost you one of your own eyes. In his weakened state he hardly felt up to the fight ahead - but this was something the crew would need. Kalan took a deep breath and fastened the patch over his left eye. As soon as he did he felt the mechanism come alive and pain flooded his mind, and he screamed, as his eye was ripped apart and replaced with the magic eye mechanisms. As the pain quickly subsided he looked up and he could see in crystal clear detail the view ahead. He could detect down to the links on the dwarves tunics. "Let it begin”, he thought.
Kalan, Arla and Faylin moved to the right setting the nearest building on fire and approaching the soldiers. The rest of the group took to the left with Gorlab trying to take on the 10 crossbowmen single-handed. This almost caused him to be turned into a Drow pincushion as the Dwarves focused their firepower solely on him. Joruus and Gul set the buildings on their side alight as they moved up closer to the crossbowmen. As the two sides closed in the Drow set off sleep spells and all bar one of the soldiers fell down where they stood. As Kalan and the Drow females ran forward to dispatch the sleeping Dwarves the one remaining soldier tried desperately to revive his mates.
In the centre a Dwarf mage and cleric appeared from the church and were trying to revive the crossbowmen and deal with the advancing Drow. Gul cast more sleep spells taking out the remaining soldier, and the cleric. Kalan was holding on to his magic to cast the death blast against Lillend. He and the females moved forward to kill the sleeping Dwarves. Berun moved across to assist on the right side. Gul and Joruus moved to kill the crossbowmen and send spells to attack the Dwarf mage. Gorlab was still firing arrows into the sleeping Dwarves that would cause them to wake painfully wounded only to receive a fatal shot in the next second.
Then the Lillend itself appeared from the church and charged forward. She cast charm on Gul and held him. Joruus called out his Demon from the amulet and after enforcing his domain over it commanded it to attack and kill the Lillend. Gorlab turned his attention to the mage for his arrows. As Joruus released the Demon to do his bidding the Lillend cast charm on him and held him spell bound as well. As the Demon and the Lillend fought it out she took to the air out of reach and flew above the frustrated demon. Her attention was now on Faylin who had appeared just next to the church wall. Faylin fired her viper at the Lillend but the poison had no affect. As the Lillend flew nearer the Drow Faylin cast invisibility on herself. This did not deter the Lillend who cast hold on Faylin. This left Arla, Berun and Kalan facing down a battered, furious, flying Lillend. Arla turned and fled. Berun was the closest and fired his Viper. Kalan fired the Death Blast from the magical eye it hit the Lillend but did not kill her. The Despair came closer to the ground and fired bolts into the Lillend. They could see she was weakening but was still coming on. As Berun backed off Kalan shot at her with his bow. She cast sleep on Berun and he fell down. At this point she had used up all of her magic and was severely weakened and had now lost the power of flight. As she came to the ground the demon leaped upon her and Kalan took out his sword and rushed forward – waking Berun on the way. By the time Berun and Kalan reached the Lillend they found the Demon had killed it and teleported to chase down the Lillend’s sole.
The remaining Dwarf adults of Copperfield were all put to the sword and the terrified children were herded onto the Drow ships. Towards the end a small dragon – a Pseudo-dragon scrambled out of the church and over to the dead Dwarf mage. It sat weeping next to the dead Dwarf mage. Berun and Gorlab tried to grab it. It leapt up snapping at Gorlab’s face its tail whipping towards his body. Kalan surged forward and snatched it in mid flight and quickly stuffed it in a bag – "this could be worth a few gold pieces” he thought. As the rest of the village was put to the torch as a warning to other Dwarves the Drow headed back to their city.
Kalan was exceptionally tired from the adventures (the drain from the Wight had lost a third of his strength) but felt no remorse for the Dwarves who had cried out for mercy as the Drow slew them. Being able to understand them would normally have affected him in some way. Now he quickly dismissed it. His mind was focused in regaining his strength and possibly his eye. From his questions he found out he would need a huge sum of gold to get a restoration spell to regain his strength and constitution – a contact in Trade Town might be able to help. A further fortune of gold would be required for regeneration to recover his lost eye and loose the magic eye – Zaen was considering getting it to regain his hand. Kalan thought the first spell alone would likely eat up all of his funds and still leave him short. Since Gorlab was trying to bond with the Pseudo Dragon he negotiated a deal of 1500 gold provided the bond was a success – otherwise Kalan would make the little creature disappear and sell it off. He now had around 5800 gold/jewels to trade and then Gul offered up to 1000 gold to allow Kalan to get the spell should he need it.
He also talked to Nsaar about the magic eye. He was willing to pay 5000 gold initially but in instalments. When Kalan pointed out that the restoration could cost more than that, and Nsaar would then loose an eye, he became quiet and went away to think about it. Nsaar had not been the same since reading the Illithid book he keeps waking up through the night screaming at some unknown terror.