[pnpgm] Game Update #153 - File #1065 - The Doomed Village

Scott Adams longshotgm at netzero.com
Mon Feb 28 20:55:09 CET 2011

  HT Alias/Player          Character Name    Type    Status/Notes  Sex
  -- -----------------------------------------------------------------
  R1.John Haight...........Arawn.............Druid  .Normal/Alfar  Ma
  ??.Chris Wells...........Ben'dar...........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.Tom Corckett..........Caladan...........Wizard  Normal/Human  Ma
  W2.Marcel Liberty........Chion.............Sailor..Normal/Human  Ma
  W3.Ryan Torres...........Farseeker.........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  --.Tobie Bonahoom........Fremea............Sidh....Normal/Faerry Fe
  R2.Mark Murtha...........Kell..............Trader..Normal/Human..Ma
  R1.David Sanders.........Kiet.Sunan........Acrobat Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.J H Hooten............Raban.Usherwood...Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W2.Robert Maxwell........Strie'bog.........Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W4.Wout Broere...........Unali.............Ninja...Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 John.Stowman..........Will..............Hunter..Normal/Human..Ma
  R4.Alex Koponen..........Z'leyra...........Healer..Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 NPC...................Zhou Kiwat........Noble...Normal/Human..Ma
     Animals: Corona [Eagle] Z'leyra, Tef'wo (Horse) Ben'dar, 

     Game Web Site - http://www.furvert.net/longshotgm/pbem/index.htm
     Public posts/actions to pnpgm at abroere.xs4all.nl (mailing list)
     Private emails (not public actions) to longshotgm at netzero.com
     Game Update #153 in sequence (file #1065)      
     Admin Notes: None. 

       From Kell: [Re: Actions]
         Riding together for a bit, the two Elder Mages of the group are
         discussing the upcoming confrontation with the Vong.  Implications
         and ideas are bounced back and forth between them, sometimes in one
         language and sometimes in other languages.

         Kiet, swaying stiffly in the saddle, remarks, "We should consider..
         Ha'Kell ponders this for a moment.  "If the military is in the...
       GM: Ack. Two conversations I've not seen.  Interesting.  I had
           to move them into different days since the talk was done
           on separate days.  But Kiet's comment on doors and locks...
           hmm..gives me an evil thought!  Thanks Dave!

       From Unali: [Re: Actions]
         When the discussion on using magic for the teleport comes up,
         probably when camp has been made for the evening.

         Unali "I do not oppose the idea of a teleport mission to get...
       GM: Ack. Good post.

       From Will: [Re: Actions]
         Will who had been busy sketching the scenery, party members (he
         particularly enjoyed sketching Unali throwing some of her larger
         opponents) as well as the locations along the way when he
         overhears Kiet and Kell's conversation interjects;

         "I'm not sure if the teleport is all that dangerous since we...
       GM: Ack. 
       From Kell: [Re: Actions]
         [Er, sorry, but I forgot to add this bit O info.  The Kiet/Kell
         conversation was a combined post between Dave and I.  He approved
         it, it wasn't me putting words in Kiet's mouth.   FYI]

         Listening to Unali & Will, Ha'Kell is swayed.  He had an opinion,
         when doesn't he have an opinion, but it was open to change. "Good..
       GM: Ack. I was wondering about that chat.  I never got CCs from
           either (naughty!).  When one surprises the GM the GM tends
           to add surprises back. :)

       From Will: [Re: Actions]
         Liberté, égalité, fraternité,
       GM: Ack. Must admit my Latin helped there.  The rest came from
           google.  Then I seem to recall some french book had it
           maybe the musketeers?

       From Unali: [Re: Actions]
         OOC: On an unrelated note, a close friend of mine is often
         spotted wearing a t-shirt with "Esclavage, inégalité, fratricide"
         printed on it.
       GM: Ack. Heh. 

       From Will: [Re: Actions]
         LOL...  thats good
         You'll have to ask Wout for a decent translation but the first is
         a  famous catch phrase from the French revolution (I believe)
         roughly liberty equality brotherhood. and the second is the exact
       GM: Ack. Must admit google is nice for such translations.

       From Mark: [Re: Revolts]
         Here something comparable in terms of it being a widely recognized
         phrase would be life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The
         french phrase seemed to fit Wills revolutionary fervor better.
         Power to the proletariat... Yea.
       GM: Ack. Now all this talk of revolt makes a God nervous.  Maybe
           I should hire an enforcer maybe some dictator from libya...

       From Arawn: [Re: Actions]
         "Aside from the discussion regarding the Katai military,...
         "I am neutral on whether to teleport for our items. But if....
       GM: Ack.

     [New Stuff]

         [Augado 8th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Mountains west of Pamau]

         [Time:  2:14pm]

           After the military bodies are found and buried the party
         soon ride away and talk about this new situation. 

           Riding together for a bit, the two Elder Mages of the group are
         discussing the upcoming confrontation with the Vong.  Implications
         and ideas are bounced back and forth between them, sometimes in one
         language and sometimes in other languages.

           Kiet, swaying stiffly in the saddle, remarks, "We should consider
         making sure that whoever teleports, has enough mana left to
         teleport us all out of there. The other thing to think of is to
         simply unleash our most powerful magics all at once.  That should
         set off every detector in the land!"

           Kell gives an appreciative look, "Ha!  Very good point!  Finding
         and enlisting the military's help may be a good plan.  Better to
         do it not by a huge mana spike detectable all over the place.
         Better to find them and ask them to help rather than try to talk
         them into helping after they detect us and send several dozen men
         to arrest us.  With luck, it may even be the officer Unali and I
         helped at the tavern on our way out of town."

           Kiet's mount jumps a bit as a small snake slithers in front of
         it, making the acrobat hang on for dear life.  His skills prevent
         him from falling easily, although getting his horse calmed takes
         nearly a minute.  Swatting his horse's neck, the acrobat swears at
         it.  "By Odin's Jewel!  Filthy beast!"  Kell hides his amused smile
         behind a hand and doesn't say anything after the horse is calm
         again, looking rather pointedly at the sky and making some off-
         hand comment on the weather.

           Kiet continues, "Maybe we can send them some message that there
         are demons in the hills, and the proof is the massive magic use?"

           "Oh very nice. Tricky.  I like it!" The half-elf declares.
         Thinking of all the ways the military can be alerted and hopefully
         enlisted to attack the Vong.  "Now to figure out how to make it

           Caladan who misses his firesnake desperately watches the small
         snake on the ground slither away from Kiet's horse.  Looking
         up he laughs briefly.  Looking at the acrobat, "You and those
         snakes.  You attract them huh?"

           Kiet does recall the wedding snake and then the flying
         castle that flying beast and wonders if he does attract such

           Farseeker listens to the two talk about getting help from
         the Katai military.  "You guys are getting as bad as Arawn.
         I can see it now.  You ride up to the small army and ask to
         speak to the commander. 'Sir we need your help we are wizards
         on a mission from the greatest wizard around.  We are set to
         kill a race of creatures that threaten the Empire even though
         they agree with you in their hatred of magic users.'  See my
         point?" He grins then turns a bit more serious.  "It would
         take a long time to convince them even if it was done with
         some clever cover story from our baron." He waves a hand
         toward Zhou. "I think the risk is great but little benefit
         for their help.  They might even get in our way.  Now if we
         call them if we run into trouble...then maybe."

           Unali ponders the discussion to consider the options but
         remains quiet for now.

           Arawn listens to the talk of the military being an ally.
         "Aside from the discussion regarding the Katai military, there is
         the possibility of prisoners and slaves, both human and Vong. If
         they can be reached they may have information that could prove
         valuable and some may be willing to fight for their freedom.
         Rua made it clear that not all the Vong agreed with the Shapers
         and Warriors, their aid, in particular, could be vital if we can
         convince them that they might have a chance for a better life."


         [Augado 9th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Mountains west of Pamau]


           Talk of the upcoming Big Teleport prompts the group into a
         semi heated debate on risk and destiny.

           Kiet says, "I don't want anyone to get our stuff.  The teleport
         is too dangerous, the idea is to fight without them. The High Elder
         was very clear on this over and over."

           Patting his horse's neck the halfbreed responds, "I think I
         agree with you.  The teleport is too dangerous just to get some
         gear.  There are so many options here."  Heaving a big sigh that
         slumps his shoulders for a moment, "I'd like our better gear, but
         we've come this far.  Will that make a real difference?  I don't
         know.  I don't think so.  Better to save our all for whatever is
         at the Rising Mount.  With any available help for us."

           At this the two stare off into the direction of the Mount,
         thinking again on what might be there.  Could it be another
         deserted fairground?  A complex of buildings?  Perhaps a tunnel
         leading to some underground base? A well hidden fortress?  Maybe a
         non-descript run-down looking farm?  Or a mountain top castle?
         The party is so blind going into this confrontation. Would two
         hundred mercenary lancers be good, or better to have a hundred
         swordsmen and a hundred bowmen?

           Farseeker looks around and shrugs, "I just hope it isn't like
         Cloud Base.  Which ironically wasn't in the cloud but inside a
         mountain.  Weird huh?  I can't stand being under tons of rock
         when it can fall on your head any second."

           "What about that gateway?  The one we learned about from the
         High Elder? Can we close that if we can't stop the World Brain?"
         asks the half-elf of his friend.

           "I dunno... doors can be opened and closed.  I just hope there
         is a lock!" finishes Kiet.

           Strie'bog opens his mouth as if he wants to say something
         but decides against it for some reason as his brow furrows in
         deep thought.

           Ha'Kell ponders this for a moment.  "If the military is in the
         area, we should find them before they have a reason to find us.  I
         want them on our side, or at least neutral.  We can't run from the
         military and stop the Vong at the same time.  Well, probably we
         can't, I've seen the fireballs of certain staff-wielding men..."
         Grinning at Caladan.

           "Whilst having our gear could help, I vote we do without.  The
         ability to leave quickly may be more important than having some more
         gear."  Kell concludes and adds his vote.

           Unali speaks out, "I do not oppose the idea of a teleport
         mission to get more gear. At least for some members of this group,
         such an outfitting jump has always been in their mind. Sure, the
         magic spike may alert Katai and Vong to our presence. Both will be
         alerted in a day or two anyways."

           "As for the Vong, I am not so sure they don't know we are coming.
         When Nom died, they must have known someone was closing in. And
         having - the cavalry - the Katai army charging towards here might
         help with any clean up."

           "On the other hand, I'm not going to push for such a jump either,
         and if there are opposing voices, I suggest we take a vote."

           "But with that vote, I think goes a discussion on magic
         detection. How does it work, what do we know and can we benefit
         from it."

           "As far as using magic goes, from what I have seen and heard,
         it is active use that is detected by both sides. Items, if not
         exposed, are not often detected by magic seekers. The Vong bugs do
         not seem to react to them, even if exposed. Spells cast trigger
         Katai magic seekers only in some cases. Certain spells escape
         notice always, others are detected at long range.  The Vong bugs
         detect mana use, and can focus on that, especially if the effect
         is prolonged. Might it be that they have problems focussing on
         instant effects."

           "In the end we are taking a risk. A huge risk. We are jumping
         into a fight with creatures we know are dangerous, but besides
         that we know hardly anything. How many are they, how ready to
         fight, how prepared. We know some soft spots in their armor, but
         not in their organization. We are just going in through the front
         door. Not so much as a plan. if we do indeed proceed as we are, we
         need every help we can muster. And those items might give the edge
         we need. ... Or put up the flare the Vong need to crush us. ... We
         just don't know."

           Zhou nods, "I think the Katai detectors are overrated.  I think
         they are like common swords.  Anyone can go into a shop to buy
         one.  But the good high quality ones are made by only certain
         nations like Ba'ru or the Kameri from what I've read.  So I
         suspect the magic detectors that are really good are more rare
         than common."

           Caladan seems to brighten up, "we've seen detectors ourselves.
         We have that ring somewhere that detects Fire.  Then that
         ring that detects Gold.  I think the detectors are like that
         simple items to Detect it.  I think the more skilled pin-pointing
         tricks are for the secret groups.  A town hall may have a gem
         to detect presence of magic but can't tell a guard which of
         the 20 people standing there is it.  But a secret cult member
         who has a detector might be able to find the one wizard.  Unali
         brings up good points.  The Vong use more beast oriented things
         to sense the magic.  Beasts tend to be limited in their senses.
         That creature..that attacked Fremea at the High Elder's manor.
         It sensed her and attacked.  But it was acting on instinct and
         direction sense rather than likely using better wisdom to wait
         and kill her when in a better position.  It is hard to tell
         who has what in Katai for detectors.  But we can't lump them
         into one category.  The military may have simple direction
         pointers like dogs hunting birds.  But they may not be able
         to use them effectively to track if their prey eludes them
         well enough."

           Will who had been busy sketching the scenery, party members (he
         particularly enjoyed sketching Unali throwing some of her larger
         opponents) as well as the locations along the way when he overhears
         Kiet and Kell's conversation interjects; "I'm not sure if the
         teleport is all that dangerous since we have been Kati we have
         seen Chion teleport out of the bar, those warning us against using
         magic teleport away in the ally and the supposed miscreants
         teleport out of the square to avoid there execution all with
         seemingly little response.  It may be that the Kati authorities
         don't respond any longer since when they show up those they are
         looking for are miles away.  It may also be that as others have
         suggested that the teleport being nearly instantaneous only show
         up as a blip and is tough to locate."

           "We also need to give some thought to the idea of using a
         teleport for our exit.  I seem to recall that back at the
         fairgrounds that Chion had to  leave one bounty hunter behind.
         There are about 14 of us so unless we lose a few people between
         now and then Chion probably won't be able to take all of us with
         him.  I'm not sure how Arawans spells work but for myself I could
         only take about 10 people.  Then there is the question of mana
         use.  I don't have much in the way of great magics available but
         I do tend to run out of mana during combat.  I also only have one
         magic item but that one item would let me make about four major
         teleports otherwise I probably wont be taking anyone with me."
         Will with a shrug turns to Chion and says "If the vote is to pick
         up the items and you need an extra pair of hands I'd be happy to
         go along for the ride"

           Chion crosses his arms and lifts his chin in a indignant type
         stare.  He huffs and looks amused rather than upset.  He
         explains he has plenty of magic reserve for 40 or 50 full
         jumps if needed.  But even his skill is limited on the amount
         he can do.  Even if he could do the party he still would be
         limited on bringing the horses.  So Chion does explain a escape
         plan will have to be two fold for him or once with help from
         others like Arawn and Will.  Chion thinks to himself about the
         time he teleported Ezam's entire treasure vault out.  But
         of course Will doesn't know this so he is working with
         limited knowledge.  Chion does comment that the horses could
         be transmuted to save time but then using them in an escape
         would be useless as well.

           Listening to Unali and Will, Ha'Kell is swayed.  He had an
         opinion, when doesn't he have an opinion, but it was open to
         change.  "Good points on Chion's teleports not attracting
         attention.  I suppose going to get our gear is fine.  I'll agree
         with any decision that's made."

           "I can go also, if this is the decision.  Squirt will respond
         best to me.  I don't want him biting you.  Or you can put him to
         sleep."  Emotions pass on Kell's face talking about Squirt some
         can tell.

           "Is there someway we can find the military nearby?  Find them
         safely before we have a possible frontal assault on the Vong?
         Maybe my new friend is there, or I can influence them to help us.
         Then we can perform a proper scouting of Rising Mount, and form a
         proper plan of action.  Unali is so correct, we just  don't know
         what we're up against and we're rushing for the front door.
         Whilst we can get lucky this way, I prefer a plan."

           "We can decide on a regroup point before any major action.  Then
         Chion, Arawn, and Will can each take some people and animals with
         them to the point.  Or I can just ride my horse."  Kell finishes
         up and tightens up a fist eager for action.

           Chion shrugs and explains that his plan was to teleport a
         small jump away a few miles so not to bring the big blip
         down to the party.  Then he'd do the big jump across the
         continent to the Dark Lands.

           Farseeker shakes his head, "I'm still not so sure on this
         buddying up with the military.  Its dangerous.  We could end
         up wounded so much in a possible fight with them we can't
         handle the Vong.  The Vong notice this and take us and the
         military out in our weakened state."

           Arawn comments,    "I am neutral on whether to teleport for our
         items. But if the items are brought I have one that I can give to
         you. It holds magical energy that you can access for your own
         magics and may prove useful to you."  He turns to Will and Kell
         when he speaks.

           Zhou listens to see if more will be discussed.  But when the
         topic of the Big Teleport seems to stop he finally comments on
         the topic. "Okay.  Let's take a vote then."

           Initially Kiet decided not to do so but changed his vote to
         yes and even wishes to join Chion if needed.  Kiet believes
         the risk is too great.  Will has shown his vote to be neutral
         but leans to yes.  Then Arawn makes his opinion clear that
         he is neutral to the decision. Unali said she is open to it
         but remains mostly neutral.

           Ben'dar only comments that without armor which he has none
         now other than a simple leather piece he rather have his
         nice dragon hide to help.  So his vote becomes clear that
         he wants the teleport. 

           Farseeker shrugs, "nothing there for me.  So I'm neutral."

           Z'leyra votes yes simply.  But the party knows she has the most
         to gain from her slew of magical items.

           Strie'bog remains neutral.

           Chion votes yes in that he also left a few items there in the
         dark lands.  While he can do without them he also seems to
         have another reason unclear to the others.

           Caladan considers the options and finally votes. "I'm neutral.
         I see the risk and benefit.  But I only have my firesnake there
         that I miss.  I can do without if need be."

           For the time being Fremea and Raban remain silent on the vote.

           Zhou tabulates the vote in his head and finally states. "It
         seems one vote no from Kiet. Two abstain from commenting.  For
         those who are neutral or lean to maybe are six votes. Five
         vote for a solid yes."

           Farseeker mumbles under his breath, "your math sounds wrong."

           Zhou continues, "I vote yes.  I need to deliver our final report
         to the High Elder in person.  So I would like to go.  But we
         have no clear majority.  But we also have no clear vote for
         against.  So I take it is a go?"  He glances to Chion and
         Unali.  Unali did say she'd go with what was decided.

           Chion claps his hands and rubs them and grins.

           Zhou adds, "so it will be us three going back.  We will do
         it when we stop for lunch.  Should stay for an hour then
         return unless sooner.  Then we can move out after you eat
         and this will help to elude further tracking if that should
         be a problem."

           Kiet grumbles under his breath to himself.  If the others
         had voted or been just a couple more neutral votes the
         decision might have gone to Unali.  But now the major domo
         has taken back some control as quest leader while Unali was
         assigned more the Katai leader.  Kiet shakes his head in
         disgust and walks away.


         [Time: 11:58am]

           The sun shines bright this hour down on the party as if the
         gods need a clear view of this strange assortment of people
         and beings.  The party stops and takes a break for lunch.
         Strie'bog's horse has to be checked for a rock lodged in the
         horseshoe and the horses are allowed to rest.

           Chion gathers his Gnarnish staff from his horse.  He wonders
         what fool named it that but it was named after some long dead
         wizard he figures.  By now it has been cleaned of the dung
         by the recent stream in the valley.  It is clean and looks
         powerful.  Chion can feel slight warmth from it and wonders how
         long it has been "active" in spying on the party.  Chion simply
         grins and waits for the other two.

           Zhou gathers some papers into a small pack and some minor
         other items into the bag.  For days at night he has been making
         some notes and long letters.  The party guesses he is ready to
         report most of what the party has found that the staff Chion
         has can't report.

           Kell decides to dress moderately nice.  Wearing his hat and
         waiting by Chion he is ready to go.

           Chion decides to do a small jump about 8 miles south where
         the party were at one point.  With a few magical words the trio
         disappear in a blue haze.

           Teleporting south, Chion prepares the other two.  His skill
         no longer requires hands to be held as once was but they
         can just stand nearby.  He tells they will teleport to a point
         in the Choshai jungle where the ship found a slightly open
         area.  He made that a landmark just for such a case.  It
         should be a bit over halfway there.

           After some more magical words the trio land to different
         temperatures, noises and weather.  There is a slight drizzle
         here near the edge of the jungle.  Kell scans the jungle
         tree line and can hear what sounds like a leopard or cat of
         some kind roaring.  He shifts his feet and urges Chion to move
         along quickly.  After another minute the trio are sweating from
         the drizzle and heat.

           Finally in a blue haze the trio lands in a darker room. They
         have to adjust their eyes and they realize they are in the
         Dark Lands teleport ring building.  In front of them a guard
         and Oby stand.  Oby stands with hands behind his back.  He
         smiles and nods.

           Kell raises an eyebrow in confusion how this man could be
         here of all times.  Zhou seems unfazed and steps forward.

           "Is he here?" Zhou asks.

           Oby bows slightly and shakes his head. "I'm afraid he was
         called away.  There was a dispute between a Law wizard and
         and the Sorceress concerning a land tract deal for staff timber."

           Kell glances to Chion but Chion remains expressionless.  Zhou
         follows Oby to the outside bright sun.  The other two follow.

           "I have some reports." Zhou hands the papers over to Oby Wan.

           "Expected. The equipment is all here."  Oby points to a section
         on some nearby tables laden with bags, packs and other gear.
         Zhou seems unfazed.  Oby orders three men who seem to be
         local workers to haul the material inside into the ring area.

           "You expected us?" Zhou finally asks.

           Oby nods.  "More or less.  Our...friend predicted it and saw
         it.  The High Elder had the gear sent here and the Ring blocked
         from other teleports for hours."

           Zhou nods and looks around the Citadel.  Little has changed
         in the few months since he left.  The grass is greener from
         the summer rains it seems.  Zhou realizes the friend must be
         the same female wizard who saw the future of Shu's death.  He
         doesn't pry further and knows Ki'ama wishes her privacy kept.

           Kell looks around for Squirt but doesn't see him.

           Oby glances to Zhou, "you have lost weight and grown a thick
         beard.  Is that...muscles on your arms as well?" The small
         Manor Aide teases Zhou.

           "Yes.  When you eat dried meat and spoiled cheese for weeks
         you lose weight.  Listen..."  He places a hand around Oby's
         shoulder and pulls him to the side.  Both men begin to whisper
         and nod their heads.

           Kell looks around further for Squire but doesn't find him.
         He then realizes Chion is also missing.  Kell wonders what
         the two Dark Landers are talking about but doesn't try to
         listen as the guards eye him.

           Finally a small girl comes running up and hands Squirt to
         the half-elf.  Kell grins as Squirt jumps from her arms to
         his.  The well groomed beast squirms from arm to arm and
         shoulder to shoulder.  The red eye beast seems to glow when
         he sees Kell.  Kell pets the beast and the girl explains she
         has been watching him for some time.  Kell notices he is well
         groomed and looks to be well fed.  Maybe even gained a few
         pounds.  He wonders if he should pay the girl for her trouble
         then wonders what trouble he has been.

           "He has been a handful.  He ...wrecked the healer's archive
         library one day chasing a bird.  Lucky for him the books were
         not destroyed but several flasks and tubes.  The Healer was not
         happy that day.  One day he escaped and found a party a street
         over.  They had a tent covering a feast.  He climbed up top on
         the tent and started shredding it.  He enjoyed sliding up and
         down the slopes until it finally collapsed on the party.  We
         had to keep him indoors for two weeks after that."  She frowns.
         "But overall he has been a good ..boy."  The girl who must be
         13 pets the beast.  

           For about 25 minutes Oby and Zhou speak privately and
         finally stop.  By now all but a bit of gear has been loaded
         into the Teleport Ring room.  A few weapons and pieces of
         armor is loaded into crates and finally hauled in.  Oby
         offers a quick lunch to the others which has been already
         prepared.  it includes a nice ham and salads.

           After 45 minutes Kell and Zhou finally start to finish their
         own lunch and catch up on gossip.  Zhou explains in brief
         terms their past few months to Oby.  Finally Chion arrives
         back on the scene but it is unclear where he went.  his
         mood and expression remains the same as before.

           Chion reaches into his pocket and places something into
         a bag on the table which has a few of his items.  He then
         grabs a bit of food.

           Almost an hour later, the trio regroups back inside and
         prepares to teleport back.  Chion reshifts some of the
         material into clumps to make teleport easier.  Any loose
         items are secured into other bags or crates.  Kell knows
         the man could teleport three or four elephants easy so this
         small loot shouldn't be a big deal.  At least that is what
         Chion seems to boast about.  

           "That should be everything.  Arawn's armor will be safe here."
         Oby speaks to the group.  Arawn would love to take his armor
         but the weight and effort would be difficult until he can
         train in it and wear it for some time to get used to.

           /Chion explains he may return later to pick it up.

           "Elder Ki'ama wishes good luck.  He regrets not being here
         to see you off."  A twinkle comes to his eye.  "He even
         thought of helping out.  But he hasn't left the Lands for ...
         some time.  It would create...issues here."  Oby bows and
         backs away.

           Zhou nods and is surprised the man didn't have some prepared
         flowery speech for the final battle.

           Chion claps his hands and casts the spell.  This time
         the group and gear land back in the jungle.  Kell doesn't
         hear the big cat but notices some recent tracks.  He squints
         at the dark jungle and becomes a bit nervous.  Chion seconds
         later sends the party back to the camp bypassing the first
         jump point.  Landing some 30 feet from the group the teleport
         ends with nothing but a brief exhale from Chion.

           Immediately the Firesnake flies toward Caladan and both
         show elation in meeting again.  Caladan knows the snake can
         take care of himself.  But has made comment that the ferret
         might not so.

           The rest of the group gathers around and gets their various
         items for their personal use and horses.

           Z'leyra frowns missing Corona.  But she knows the bird might
         be safer back at the Dark Lands.  She recalls how the gargoyles
         killed FisherKing at Cloud Base on Clima in a needless death.
         It was sheer luck they captured him and ate him.  But Corona
         seems smarter, faster and able to defend himself a bit.  But
         with Vong bugs and Flyers that edge might be lost.

           After another 25 minutes the group mounts back up and
         heads out in case the camp has been triggered on some magic
         seeking map.  Kiet glances over his shoulder behind him ever
         vigilant and grumbling.  It seemed to work but at what cost?


         [Augado 10th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Mountains west of Pamau]

           For days the group has been riding fast to the suspected Vong
         base.  But today the party knows they have to rise slow and
         be wary of traps.  This should in theory be the day or
         maybe tomorrow.  If the estimate was good they might only be
         a few miles away.  Waking up with not 2 but 4 sentries this
         morning was rough as the group has to find cover in the trees
         in hopes not to be attacked.  It was cold since no fire could
         be burnt last night due to risk of exposure.

           As the day progresses it becomes clear it will be cloudy
         and little sun.  Some might even call that a omen of things
         to come but Katai weather is fickle this time of year.  The
         thick cloud cover makes temperatures rather cool in the
         lows 60s and no higher than low 80s all day.  Most of the day
         it is in the low 70s in fact.  It might even be a mild cold
         front from the taller mountains to the south.  

           Even before sunrise camp is started to break up.  At 6am
         the party leaves after a quick breakfast.  It is good to
         eat and Oby supplies fresh meat for such a thing.  The
         ham, eggs and veggies were a nice fresh treat.  A full meal
         might help those who have seen some lack of sleep due to
         nerves and watch schedules.  But today all seem to wake
         up with full energy if not full enthuasiasm.  

         [Time: 7:12pm]

           Fremea dives fast down to the party and reports there is
         a village a mile to the west.  From this angle high on
         a slop the group doesn't find it.  But Fremea reports the
         village looks wrecked.  The group decides to investigate
         and stomachs twist in dread.

           It takes about 15 minutes to travel in that direction past
         some light woods and down a slope.  The village from the
         top of the slope looks like a small town or outpost.  As
         the group gets closer Fremea reports she spots no one moving
         and in fact she spots bodies.  The dread grows stronger as
         the party gets closer.

           The village hamlets are all burnt to the ground and ashes.
         A few bits of metal from maybe pots or stoves only remain.
         In fact the 20 or so structures are all destroyed.  It
         is a clear sign of fire and there is no direct evidence of
         Vong here.  But the party spreads out to investigate.

           It is estimated the town might hold 75-100 people.  It
         might be a mining outpost for supplies.  It is laid in a
         very small valley between three wide passes that might
         serve as travel routes south, west and east.  The north
         is blocked by a mountain that looks about 6,000 feet or so.

           There are maybe 3 dozen remains around the small town.
         IT is remains as the bodies clearly have been eaten and
         ravaged by local animals.  Body parts and mainly half
         eaten abdomens remain.  It is clear they have been dead
         for maybe a week or longer.

           Fremea curses the Vong when she notices a group of bodies
         that are obviously children.  The cause of death is not clear
         on the bodies but piece, slashing and cutting marks seem to
         be the main causes if that.  Necks are so splayed out there
         is no way to tell where the fatal blows were taken.

           Strie'bog who is already green colored becomes even more
         green at the ghastly sight of bodies and blood around the
         small town.  In silence the party moves around to investigate

           Most of the bodies are beyond help and they could be buried
         but it would take time and would require a mass grave at this

           "No sign of Vong presence here." Caladan finally breaks the
         grim silence.

           A few minutes later Zhou yells to the party to come.  The
         party finds a burnt out home that might have held a family of
         three.  The wood is burnt but there is a clump of burnt branches
         from a fallen nearby tree.  Most of the branches are gone but
         the bark of the tree has split and crumbled into large pieces
         into a random assorted pile.  Zhou moves the wood and points
         to a body of a human male maybe in his 20s from his left side
         of the face.  His right has been shredded by animals and the
         tree.  Most of him is smelling and flies still eat away at
         his remains.  But Zhou points to a area and the party sighs
         when they see a amphistaff a clear weapon of the Vong.

           Moving further Raban helps to lift the tree.  his anger at the
         slaughter gives him bigger strength and it seems like he could
         lift a mountain.  He drags the tree away and it uncovers a
         new sight.  underneath is a dead Vong warrior.  The Vong crab
         armor and leather has been ripped.  The armor seems to have decayed
         slightly.  The Vong warrior though shows little decay maybe
         their body is stronger and takes longer to decay?  Bits of flesh
         do seem eaten by bugs.  An ironic sight to some to be eaten
         by bugs when they use bugs.  But what surprises the group is that
         a dead dog lies near the Vong.  The dog's remains are decomposed
         badly as well.  But it is quickly determined from the angles
         and body positions the dog must've lunged at the Vong's neck
         which is torn.  The neck is ripped open and exposed.  Black
         blood has long dried up near the wound and the dog's mouth
         also shows the dried black blood of the Vong.  

           The amphistaff must've killed the man but the dog must've
         killed the Vong in defense of his master before he was killed.
         A coufee bone dagger is found a few seconds later with red
         blood and it is guessed the dog was killed by it.

           "Brave dog." Farseeker says quietly.

           "but why did the Vong leave the body?" Caladan asks.

           "Maybe they couldn't get him out of the tree.  No that
         makes no sense.  Maybe they don't care to hide the Vong
         anymore or they ....were scared off?" Zhou trails off his
         words in thought.

           Chion finds a spot where the grass is mangled and deep
         holes in the ground are found.  He comments this same
         impression was made by the Vong Flyer.  The ground under
         those sucker things in front and back must've sucked some
         of the ground away.  So evidence of Vong Flyers also seems
         to indicate they were here.

           "They must have attacked long ago.  It seems mostly women
         and children remain.  The men must've been taken away.  But
         we just don't know numbers.  The Vong are clearly on their
         offensive now.  I just wonder how many other villages are
         like this around here."  Zhou crosses his arms to the cold
         of the death and the weather.

           Unali pulls out a map she marked with mine markers.  There
         is a mine 8 miles west, 7 miles south and 12 miles east.  This
         town must've indeed served as a crossroads for supplies and
         now it is destroyed.

           "Was the military here?" Farseeker asks but after some
         investigation it is unclear.  Signs of mules, donkey and
         light horses but no heavy war mounts are spotted.  In fact
         the village had little in the way of arms aside from simple
         farming tools.   They were virtually defenseless.

           For a day or two now the military have not been seen.  There
         is no clear guess as to where they may be in the maze of
         mountains and valleys.

           Strie'bog turns to Unali and asks about the bodies.  Do they
         need a mass grave or should the group move on?  Unali scans
         the distant north and figures they might be two or three hours
         to the Vong Base if things are working in their favor.  

         Actions? Comments?

         Next Update...Friday...

         GM: Kell do you bring back Squirt?

         GM: I assume now all gear on character sheets are back in
             your person.  Arawn's Armor and Corona likely the only
             things left behind (maybe squirt).  So from now on assume
             all is back with you.

         GM: I did the teleport as best I could figure from the votes.
             Since only 1 was no I figured most were ok with it.  I
             hope I did ok if not blame the dwarves for urging me on.

         GM: Whew.  A big update.  Good point to stop for now.  

More information about the pnpgm mailing list