Chern Durel Campaign - Session 15
GM: Gianni. 6 players:
Hervé / Kro Tal the wallball champion,
Valentina / Belia the (former) God Learner warrior,
Patrick / Xu the black mystic,
Eric / Janar the Spolite sorcerer,
Teva / Skull-Sucker the uzko berserker,
Jean-Paul / Furfur the enlo bush alchemist
“I am Kro Tal the Invincible, champion of the Tulufan arena, who crushed one hundred foes on the black sands. I bathed in the Red Light of Zerel Fan, glory to the Blood Sun. I served Can Shu the wise, true incarnation of Basko Black Sun, who would lead all Ignorants to freedom from the hated Kralori. Well, that is what I believed until my last caper.
As soon as we landed in Zhi Ti, I ran to Can Shu’s palace to tell him – or, in this case, of one his servants – of our plan to wake Black Stone up in Karaköse, to make him strong enough to kill the dragons. I and my comrades were immediately thrown into the palace dungeons by too many guards to resist. We were left to rot there for several days and my comrades were pissed off at me.
Yet I believed this was some clever ploy by glorious Can Shu, and when guards came to lock us up in rolling cages and we set northwest, away from the city, I thought we would be brought to proper authorities. It happened, but not as I expected. The caravan guards were attacked in the night, half of them killed and the other half taken away. Someone opened our cages and left our gear next to them. We decided to follow our liberators and ran across the land, for the dark holds no terror for the Black Sun.
The chase led us high in the Zeedian Hills, all the way to the ruins of Zakarath, whose king insulted Zerel Fan. We had to fight off some hopping zombies, strength-draining vampires and blue ghosts, one of which possessed Xu. The Spolite cast some sorcery spell at it* and it drained the blue ghost out of him. We hacked and bashed away at the monsters, though the vampires did weaken the Spolite and the enlo much.
After regrouping, we met several very surprising people: a circle of six six-breasted priestesses, maybe demigoddesses, all human [GM’s note: well, not really], invoking the powers of the six directions to destroy Can Shu! My comrades kept me from attacking on the spot, for they looked powerful and had many supporters gathered here.
The first was Can Ta, daughter of Can Shu and his eternal enemy; she wore black. With her was the Guardian of Treasures (earth woman), Daughter of the Storm (a wind child), River Mother (with a fish tail), Moon Daughter and Western Sun. They all cast powerful curses at Can Shu, calling him “enemy of our friends”, “betrayer” and “vile”, while sacrificing the captured guards. Each wore a mask with six glowing gems, except Guardian of Treasures who had only five. Her curse failed and stopped the whole ritual.
Can Ta then turned to us and explained that Can Shu’s ambition was to become… the new dragon emperor, master of all Kralori! He was using the Ignorants as mere cannon fodder to reach his goal and would gladly wipe out Chern Durel without a second thought. She spoke words of Power and made me See. As she had freed us from slavery, I offered her my services** on the spot, hanging to her every word. My comrades followed suit, more or less enthusiastically.
Can Ta had a task for us: find the missing green gem, lost to Guardian of Treasures, on the Other Side, immediately, while the stars were still right. We were each empowered by one of the six women. I became Zerel Fan (Fire/Sky Rune); Xu was Moon, the Spolite was Air, Belia was water, the enlo was Earth and Skull-Sucker, naturally, darkness**. Our mission was to ‘bring free the Potter but NOT THE GOLDSMITH and finish the task to be done’. We walked through the veil and came to the Other Side, in some immense green plain. There were SIX SUNS on the same path in the sky: red, blue, black, gold, green and orange! We knew we were back in the time of Heroes, before Ignorance struck our people.
We crossed a mighty river over a bridge of Light I created and reached the village on the other side. The locals told us both their potter and goldsmith had been taken away by “evil snake-men”, in a city to the east. We checked their workshops and found a nearly-finished woman’s mask with five green stones in the potter’s so this was the right path. We set towards the snake men city.
It’s hard to keep track of time on the Other Side. We walked long but made it to the city. Full with Zerel Fan’s power, projecting a blinding and burning corona around me, I scattered a snake-man patrol who tried to interrogate us and we descended into the crater that held the city. There were no defences and the snake-men (upper bodies and heads of men but legs like snakes) fled. We could read the petroglyphs and went to the Prince’s palace, using our Runic Powers to fly over / burrow under / slip through its wall, leaving the guards powerless.
We went straight to the throne room and the enlo earth-sensed that the Prince and Princess sitting there were of the Dark Earth, hungry for our blood. Their glances turned the flying Spolite to stone and he crashed to the floor. So I shot them with a Bolt of SkyFire****, blasting the princess to ashes and seriously burning the prince. He began spouting threats, so Belia / River Mistress filled him with her waters until he blew up. She kept his head as a trophy. Yet we still had no information about where the Potter could be.
After much searching*****, we found the palace’s library, where all information is recorded on snakes as the patterns of their scales. I had seen such sorcery before: snakes are put inside a glass tube and the information becomes clear to who can read. Xu could. The enlo cast Command Snake and both the Potter’s and Goldsmith’s snakes came to us. I wanted to keep the Goldsmith for myself but my comrades deterred me. We brought the Potter’s snake to his village, but he did not change back.
Moon Woman asked her mother what could be done. She found out that the potter was inside the snake’s belly! We had to go back to the snake-men’s city, inside their Dark Earth temple, and to use a ritual I forgot to make the snake big enough we could open it so the Potter could be pulled out. We did but it turned out the Potter was in fact copulating with a snake woman; both were so entangled it seemed impossible to tear them apart. Then Skull Sucker cast a cold cloud of darkness at them and managed to tear the potter away from the snake girl’s embrace.
The enlo darksensed the snake’s belly and found out it held a gem, which Xu delicately pulled out, even Healing the snake after his surgery. He said “no use in making more enemy that needed of the dark earth” and we all agreed. Then we walked back to the village, set the potter back to work, collected the six-gemmed mask for Guardian of Treasures, and walked back to Our World without difficulties.
This time the ritual was fully successful and all of Can Shu’s guards died from the different elements. Can Ta explained she is now ready for the “Hero War” with her father and that she would lead Ignorance to Glory again. She and her followers fed us and sent us away to Karaköse, to finish what we had started. She said there were no Huan To there, it was Kralori propaganda, but there would probably be Kralori sorcerers waiting to ambush us.
Best of all, this time spent as Zerel Fan on the Other Side unblocked my soul and let me worship again Blood Sun, not the Basko Black Sun weakling I had been forced in following. I can’t wait to rip the Kra Lor sorcerers to bits ! Hail Blood Sun. Death to Kralori. Death to Can Shu the Dragon.”
*Spolite sorcery at its best: a 12-point Drain Soul spell, with full augments applying to the POW vs POW roll against the blue spirit. It worked and it lost 13 magic points, driving it out of Xu and attacking the sorcerer instead. Now this was effective exorcism!
**immediately gaining a “Loyalty (Can Ta)” at 70%
***each of us had a Runic rating between 65 and 95% (depending on their success during the ceremony), and 6 Rune points
****my first Sunspear in 30 years of Glorantha gaming! It did 13 points damage (4d6) to both of them
***** using Darksense, Rune points for Find Gold, etc.
NOTE: all participating characters got +6% to their Reputation, a POW check, +15% to a single skill used in the Quest and normal skill checks.