The Desert of Desolation

Session #6; Oasis fo the White Palm

(or: We can spend some gold!)

Braving a vicious sandstorm from the confines of a cave, the band of adventurers dig them selves out, dust themselves off, and proceed to investigate smoke rising above the South-west horizon. Here, they find the battered and scorched remains of a human army, many obviously rotted attackers, and several Pegasus. A lone survivor tells them of the doom that befell them when a burning djinn and his army of undead attacked. Given a amulet to identify themselves, the party bury the dead fellow and move on.

After two days travel, they spot a white figure on a winged horse as it dives down onto some unseen enemy. The band sneak closer, moments before sunset, and surprise a band of gnoll slavers tormenting a hobbled Pegasus. The gnolls are quickly routed and the lone prisoner is unchained…a wood elf from parts unknown. The Pegasus is freed and fly’s away, to what the band eventually discover is the Oasis. Camping above a dune to announce their presence, the group explore the oasis. A conversation with the guard leads to an audience with Sheik Kasiem, Lord of the Oasis. He entreats the party to find his missing daughter. A pact is sealed with the gift of 3 scimitars of incomparable deadliness to undead foes.

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Exploring the walled fort nearby and its many shops and bazaar proves fruitful and the adventurers find some useful items to spend their hard earned wealth on.

That night, a shadowy thief takes the party’s star gems, though the group manage to follow his trail to the mysterious obelisk in the thick vegetation on the camp’s western side. A secret door and it’s difficult password are encountered and overcome. Battles with more undead and Cultists of Set cost the life of the recently-met wood elf…and Gary the Rogue learns that some idols (and a unhealthy penchant for greed) are more than harmless stone…
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Comments

It was foolish of me to think we’d get a break from the brutality of this world. We survive a dust storm only to be thrown into a bloodfield. So many brave men dead and gone. So many noble Pegasus dead and gone. Such a shame. One man, still breathing, informs us of a djinn and band of undead scouring the desert, laying waste to everything they cross. Did I hear him correctly? A djinn? No, it couldn’t be! Are we to blame for all the needless deaths? A tear leaves a trail as it falls over my dust covered skin. We had no idea. We would not have released this terror knowingly. So many burdens to carry. I hope it is not too much for us. The least we can do is bury the dead. A mass grave is better than none. Sadly, we take an emblem given us to by the man, and continue our trek.

After days of travel, we spy a Pegasus bearing a white rider, diving down behind a dune. We decide to check it out. Peering over the top of a dune, we see 8 gnolls and a hyena. They are badgering the Pegasus. Could they be slavers? I have heard of such beasts preying on the innocent. The group decides to take them on. I hope we can! They are extremely menacing! Seven foot, rotting, sword wielding canibals! The sight of them sickens me. We sneak around and take out the three archers first. We are quickly seen, and battle the last six foes. We are working well as a group, as we swiftly defeat them all. Our paladin attempts to help the Pegasus, but the beast scares and quickly takes off. Crazy enough, we find a moving sack. What it is with us and sacks? Opening it surprises us with a new friend, Yuri. He is a wood elf who decides to join us. Amzing how we continue to meet good folk who want to help.

More traveling leads us to an oasis. Yes, fresh water and plant life! My heart fills with joy to see life again! In talking with a guard, we learn that we are at the Oasis of the White Palm. He is surprised to see the emblem we carry from his dead comrade. This gets us an audience with Shiek Kasiem. He asks us to help him find his daughter. We decide to help. The Shiek gives us three scimitars. I am honored to be one chosen to wield such a weapon. I can not wait for it’s blade to meet some undead. I am told it’s damage is unimaginable against such hellions. Nixxie is presented with a scarf that belonged to the Shiek’s daughter. I am sure she will be able to find a scent to aid us.

We then wander through the bazaar. Finally, a chance to get much needed supplies! I find leather barding for Nixxie! I am so excited to give her much needed protection. She, on the other hand, does not seem to be as thrilled as I am. I feel for her, but not enough to discard it. Safety before comfort. She mews unhappily at me.

We all finally bed for the night, tired and exhausted from our journeys and deal makings of the day. Our paladin, especially needs her rest. While searching for information, she saw the bottom of a mug or two in her deal makings. She’ll sleep well! We are awoken in the middle of the night to Gary’s hollerings! A thief has stolen our two star gems! Nixxie finds the trail easily, and it leads us to an obelisk. We watch silently from behind some vegetation as a man enters the somewhat seemless walls. We examine the monument, becoming extremely frustrated over our inability to find the correct words to open it. After countless attempts, we do it! “Open in the name of the great one!” We descend at least seventy feet down extremely steep stairs. Back underground. It does not settle well with NIxxie or myself, but down and down we go. We first encounter a zombie-like creature. The paladin takes him out easily. Our next room is troubling. There are three troughs, each filled with unkown liquids. Past these troughs is a doorway riddled with traps. Gary trips one such trap, but survives. Yuri proves to be a useful companion, and after many trials, trips the last two. So much time has passed, I am afraid we have lost our thief.

With the trips no longer a worry, we peek through the next door. Of course, it is filled with evilness! There must be ten or eleven foes! Some seem like grunts, but a few others seem a bit more powerful. I am afraid for this battle. With so many, we decide to try and pull them through the doorway, only allowing a few at a time. It seems to be working. Some fall, then two of the priests flee! All seems in our favor until… Yuri is taken from us. We swiftly kill his attacker, but are confronted with yet another death. Is our group cursed? Gary carefull enters the large room. There is a large statue at one end. Two glowing gems are it’s eyes. Gary volunteers to climb the rock and pluck our wealth. But it’s a death trap! Gary is crushed! Another one of us gone! We should have known it was too good to be true! Why did we let our greed lead our actions? Will we ever make it a week without a death?

Zatoichi

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