Cave Caves

S02 — Session 33

1627, Sea Season, mid Death Week

Dramatis Personae




Some seemingly random Esrolians
Some locals
A lot of spirits
The pillar people
A rock
Oh, and a mountain!


As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, NalaTiwrSaga and The Death of Rajar. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, Sonnets in Praise of Xenefos and The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia. There will be reference to the Accounts of the Travels of Irillo Goldentongue. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. The {“D”} voice appears.

As our fearless heroes followed the trail towards the Shaker Temple,1was that the direction we said? they came across a confusion of sheep prints. Following those and some sounds of distress,2westward? they spotted a small group of people and a herd of sheep milling around the trail, which was blocked by a significant landslide.

Their approach was observed by a bow-bearing man on a boulder, dressed somewhat like a Praxian and accompanied by a herd-wolf – that is, a dog. He alerted his companions to the approach of a heavily armed band, namely us. Recognizing two of the people as possibly minor nobility from her homeland, Varanis hailed them in Esrolian and questioned them, with Berra providing translation for the others. One was an unkempt man with a prominent Truth Rune and a brass-bound staff, plus several brass rings and a heavy brass necklace. The other was a well-dressed Ernaldan. The group learned that the landslide had just happened and a caravan might be buried up ahead. Suuraki suggested that Varanis, as the Water Bringer, should call water to clear away the landslide. She politely declined as Berra reminded the Praxian that he wasn’t supposed to call her that any more.

One of the locals, an aging shepherd, warned them that the spirit of the mountain was unhappy, probably because people hadn’t been making enough sacrifices. When Berra asked him about shrines, he pointed out that the nearby one was buried, but he knew of a sacred cave high up the mountain.

As these various discussions occurred, Rajar caught up with them. He was accompanied by a second Storm Bull, who he introduced as Broulf. They announced that there was Chaos in them there hills and they were going after it. The well-dressed but unkempt Esrolian objected, as Broulf was apparently in his pay, but the Storm Bull fixed it by returning the money before tearing off up the mountainside. The old shepherd explained the way up to the sacred cave, which he know about but had never been in. Berra asked for things that they would normally sacrifice, and he gave her a bag to hold.

Resolutely, the whole party made their way up the trail, which grew narrow and steep enough that they were eventually precariously picking their path and trying not to look down. Partway up, they heard the sound of falling rocks. As pebbles began to rain down on them, larger rocks seemingly flew in their direction. Those that flew past them, changed direction and came back. They were under attack. Those that struck the rocks found their weapons becoming stuck and quickly engulfed, as the rock began to swallow the metal. Valseena, who had attempted to use her dagger against one, had to drop it over the side of the cliff. Fireblade had some success, as Varanis was able to destroy one of the rock creatures with it. But, it looked like they were in desperate trouble until Valseena began to sing. As she sang a song of peace to the mountain, the rocks dropped to the earth and melted into it.

In the respite Valseena bought them, the party looked around them frantically. Up on the mountainside, they spotted different types of rocks locked in combat. Even the Air seemed at war, as air elementals fought against each other. Subtle colour differences suggested that there were at least two factions in the conflict. After considering how long they would take to get up, Berra cast a shield with a day’s extension. Varanis did the same.

The party pressed on, up the mountainside, seeking sure footing. They came to a large ledge, and there, on the side of the cliff, they saw a massive carving of the mountain spirit, from which the screaming was emanating. Rurik tried to reason with it. Varanis tried to speak to it in Stormspeech. But, it was only Valseena’s song that seemed to get through. Suuraki and Valseena sacrificed magic to the mountain, as Berra made offerings of food and libation. Heartened by their offerings, the mountain formed pictures of aid and peace, and of holding things off. On the way up the path to the cave, they experienced a rock fall but the rather fluid rock of the path stopped the rocks that would otherwise have tried to kill them.

At the top of the path, they found the cave. Broulf and Rajar, in pursuit of Chaos, charged in, with Berra at their heels. Xenofos, carrying a torch for Berra, followed, as did the others. Until the fireblades went up, Valseena was the only other source of light. They encountered and dispatched more rock monsters, though the damage was slowly taking a toll on their weapons and shields. Rurik lost his broadsword, embedded in a rocks creature. Suuraki called on Waha and his god favoured him.3Critical cast of shield, which led to a brief discussion of how cool Rune Magic is. Broulf charged on ahead, and Xenofos and Valseena heard him despite the battle, and followed. Berra held out Wind Tooth to Rurik, who took her to use, leaving Berra with only one sword.

They passed into a chamber where they saw the Esrolians and their archer, and a glowing rock on a pedestal, surrounded by large stalagmites. Sarorik had just grabbed the rock, and Varanis put on her best Esrolian noblewoman’s voice to demand he put it back. Xenofos cast Find Enemies on Varanis, who was in front of him. The sorcerer refused the demand, though his companions were cowed by her efforts.4Critical on intimidate. Xenofos threw a moral javelin at the sorcerer, but the other man missed the point, and then the fight broke out. Broulf was rapidly laid out by a spell that seemed to draw the Air from his body and into the staff. Rurik also went for the sorcerer. Berra realise the man WAS a sorcerer and stopped charging at the archer to jink left and aim for Sarorik instead. Rurik hitting the man made him drop the glowing rock. Berra’s strike bounced off the man’s robe.

Rurik and Berra struck at Sarorik a bit more, and he did his best to get a proper incantation going before he was hit again. For a while, this seemed to be going well for him.

The pillars began to crack and bits inside them – people-ish bits – came out. Suuraki called up a Spirit of Law, and it began to attack the pillar things. So did everyone else who was not dealing with the sorcerer. One struck at Rajar, hard. Rajar lost an arm AND, more importantly, his best axe.

Varanis told the Ernaldan to command her lover to stop. Alas, he cared more about that stupid chunk of rock than the love of his life.5Failed Love (Yanrella). The Praxian decided that he’d had enough of all of this and took his dog and left.

Valseena grabbed for the big glowing rocks, while Varanis chased after her to stay between her and trouble. When Valseena picked up the rock something happened to her. She began talking to it. Varanis couldn’t do anything about that, because one of the pillar people chose that point to come her direction. She smashed it and bellowed at Valseena to put the rock back on its pedestal. Valseena underwent an internal struggle, but ultimately must have won, because at last, she returned the rock to where it belonged at the pillar people became stalagmites once again, as the rock of the cave flowed up around them.

Berra cast True Sword and then drove Eril’s blade towards the heart of the sorcerer, scraping past his staff and damaging it, and blasting through his ward. He vanished just as his lover started towards him.6Divine Intervention carried him away, and he failed to take her. He WOULD have taken 20 points to the chest if he had not successfully called on Lhankor Mhy. Yanrella criticalled Love (Sarorik) as she saw him in danger.

The Spirit of Law continued to attack the glowing rock, in the absence of other targets. Meanwhile, the magic on Varanis and Xenofos indicated that there was a further foe, deeper into the cave.

“Xenofos. There’s a lump of rock stuck on the end of your sword. It’s like a toffee apple but not.” – GM

“Ah! Now I just have to hit the side of the mountain. The fool has miscalculated!” – Suuraki

“That looks a bit like a tower up there…” – Xenofos fails Scan and therefore passes Architecture.

“Do we want to call them down on us? We could try to slip by to get to more stable land.” – Varanis
“We want to get past them. If we fight them down there, does it get past them?” – Berra

“Xenofos, you carry a torch.” – Berra
“…” – Xenofos

“Berra looks a lot more like Humakt.” – Berra
“Taller, for one.” – Berra
“Yeah, I just suddenly had a thought about what happens when you’re Storm Bull.” – GM
“You get a different head, for one.” – Rurik
“Yes. Things extend.” – GM
“And retract.” – Berra

“…. 6 points of damage with a flame blade and damage bonus.” – Berra
“Win some, fumble some.” – Berra

“No-one’s hurt enough for me to heal them, are they?” – Valseena
“We can fix that.” – Suuraki

“6 5 4 4.” – Berra
“Which is better than 1 1 2 2.” – Berra

“Aaaand now we have invented Morris Dancing.” – Suuraki

“Shhh. Stop being bright!” – Berra

“Fail Scan. Looking at Xenofos’ magnificent architecture.” – Berra

“Varanis attempts Esrolian noblewoman’s voice to command the Esrolian man to drop it. ‘Drop it!'” – Varanis
“‘Bad kitty!'” – Varanis
“I need a squirt bottle.” – Varanis
“001 on Intimidate the bad Esrolian man. Varanis is annoyed.” – Varanis

“68/64. So a moral javelin.” – Xenofos

“Cowering.” – Varanis

“Honour the threat. Break the weapon!” – Berra
“We salute the threat. Not the man.” – Xenofos
“I AM the threat.” – Berra

“Arches like in a temple.” – Xenofos

“Stops like the road was made of iron.” – GM
“… Bronze. Let’s not be dramatic.” – GM

“Aahhh. Not teeth. Nothing to fear…” – Xenofos
“Fthagn…” – Xenofos

“That one over there’s got horns.” – GM
“I think it’s summon spirit of law time.” – Suuraki

“Oh dear. This really isn’t Rajar’s day.” – GM

“It puts the rock on the pedestal or it gets the hosepipe.” – Berra

“Brains, everyone. Fortunately seared, and therefore not splashy!” – GM

“Make a percentage dice roll please.” – GM
“EEEEEK” – everyone else

“Are we… the Lunars?” – Berra
“Have you… looked at our bats lately?” – Suuraki

“Valseena – Rajar is bleeding out.” – Varanis
“Duct tape time…” – Xenofos

  • 1
    was that the direction we said?
  • 2
  • 3
    Critical cast of shield, which led to a brief discussion of how cool Rune Magic is.
  • 4
    Critical on intimidate.
  • 5
    Failed Love (Yanrella).
  • 6
    Divine Intervention carried him away, and he failed to take her. He WOULD have taken 20 points to the chest if he had not successfully called on Lhankor Mhy. Yanrella criticalled Love (Sarorik) as she saw him in danger.