The return to the largely deserted Kordian camp was quick. Nanzad the “Kordson” led the quick paced march dragging the Skull Clever battle standard behind him, and carrying Crimson Tusk’s severed head by its hair. He announced his entrance back in to the camp, as he always does, heaving the head and standard before the elders to emphasize his point, “I AM THE KORDSON”.
Chief Kordson now set to giving marching orders to the Shubat, Ider, and the others elders who now made up the true Kordian’s. “Wait what is that?” asked Kordson, as he pointed to a tied up and bleeding Hemgesh. Shubat stepped forward and said that some of the warriors got carried away, and over welcomed him to the tribe. The Kordson, smiling, said, “Ahhhh the Glump-Gishh initiation. I am sure we no longer need to welcome Hemgesh to the tribe. He is now a true member let no one dispute this from this point forward”. As he spoke he looked down at Hemgesh, who said, “They made me feel at home great one.” The Kordson smiled wider, and said “Then rise, KORDIAN!”, as healing magic flowed through his outreached hand.
After that they continue with the direction the Kordian tribe was headed. Shubat was informed that Kordson would continue to travel with the gatherers of the tribes, and that Shubat himself was to lead the Kordians into Growtharn land to defensively merge (not invade he repeated more than once).
With three tribes now in league within the union, the group was heading to the lands of the Scared Earth tribe. If they could succeed in achieving diplomacy with the Goliaths, then the backbone of the union would be strengthened tenfold.
Within several days of combined work the camp was fully dismantled and the Kordians were on their way toward the Growtharn lands, and the group was headed toward the western ford or the great river which separated the Kordian lands from the Scared Earth tribes. For several days they traveled north, sending all straggler orcs toward the Growtharn lands to meet up with the Kordians and partake in the Glump-Gishh (At least they were not being challenged in the circle of death anymore thought the rest of the group).
By noon the third day, they came to the western ford and thought that this would make a fine ambush point, finding it necessary to scan the surroundings well before approaching. To their reward, they did notice movement around the bush on the near side of the river, and saw some large dimwitted Ogres attempting stealth. Calling ahead and announcing approach, the group thought to give the unlikely future allies the option to not attack and live, but were ready non-the-less.
The battle was fairly short lived, and the only standout was Charnel who took quite a beating but paid the big oafs back all the same. Before long the Kordson was loading mangy hide armor and greatclubs upon the mule, Calling Hawk. Calling Hawk was groaning under the weight, but Hendrik was quick to toss the crap off the other side of the poor mule, leaving only a few fleas and termites upon Calling Hawk for the trouble. The Kordson dropped and obviously losing battle.
After the river crossing, they entered into Scarred Earth lands and found them marked right away with the rotting corpses of gnolls hanging from trees. Hendrik commented the signs would be less smelly, and no one could disagree with the logic. Obviously One Horns call fell on deaf ears in these lands. Before long a challenge was bellowed out, and a lone figure with a huge axe approached, barring their way.
“Turn and leave the lands of the Scared Earth People. Outlanders are not welcome.” This was the greeting, or lack of one that initiated the encounter. However, Ghostwalker and Charnel stepped forward to make the first gestures of friendship, and were somewhat successful, up until Charnel made an unknowing slight as to the warriors power. The Kordson found it necessary to jump in and challenge Gallamoth to a wrestling match, and soon found himself lying on his back with Gallamoth’s foot securely on his chest. However, just as quickly, the Goliath reached down and hoisted Nanzad to his feet as one hand grabbed the chest plate of his armor and stood him upright, turning to look at the others as if to say, “Next?”
Hendrik took it upon himself to overcome the obstacle that stood in their way; after all he had some wrestling training in the academy during his early years. Through he was up against a very tough opponent that took everything he had, he was able to basically win the next two sets, winning Gallamoth’s respect. After this he was much more receptive to the group request for an audience with Mt. Cragmuth his Chief.
After an introduction and the pledge by Gallamoth, the audience with the chief went as well than it could have. The group did learn that part of the reason for the mistrust of outlanders rose out of an incident not long before. Three days ago a pair of Tiefling treasure hunters came through with a guide and a Goliath escort, claiming to want rights to search for minerals in the desert lands beyond. The chief had denied them access to this area, as the area is ancestral lands where many tombs are buried. However when the three travelers left camp, they stole a stone tablet, and a matching set of headbands. All indication is that they headed into the dry lands anyway.
At this point the group offered their assistance to recover the stolen items and take care of the tomb thieves. After hearing the group’s reasoning for their journey into his land, he pledged his backing toward their cause, and would increase his aid, if the group was successful in returning what the Tieflings had taken. He also allowed the group to speak with the Goliath tribesman who had brought these two to the camp. Johnath was currently chained to the wall in the chief’s throne room, and would be on tribal punishment until they returned.
The information gathered was far more discouraging, as Johnath recalled through the clearing enchanted haze that the two Tieflings worked for a someone named Memnon and were members of the either the intelligence organization, or free lancers working out of the other colonizing city of Almraiven. They were definitely searching for the relic named the Eye of Timor. This relic’s use and resurgence into the light of day could only be a bad news no matter who the owner was. The more they learned, the more that Hendrik sensed the real need to stop these two.
After a good night’s rest, in the secure village of the Scared Earth people, the group set out in the morning for the dry lands, following a map given to them by Shalamon, the Shaman, to the Tomb of the Crawling One. At least this tomb, though still three days away, was close to the fringes of the hills. The group could skirt the desert for some time before setting off across the barren sands, but could also save a little time by risking the harsh travel. The chase was on….
The sun beat down upon the land like a hammer striking an anvil. Normally, only a fool would walk these Wastes during the day, but desperate times called for perhaps foolish measures. You had tracked a pair of villainous Tiefling treasure hunters named Haarak and Tyran to this heat blasted region. If your informants were right, they were about to recover a powerful magical artifact called the Eye of Timor for the evil ends.
Beneath the sands of the Wastes lie a number of tombs, many of them sealed from the surface world when their ancient builders collapsed their entrances. However, a network of portals originating from the tombs that still have access to the surface allow explorers to reach even tombs buried beneath hundreds of feet of sand.
I the Shalamon was right the portals are by no means reliable. Some of the portals function only at certain times of the year or on specific dates. In other cases, explorers must pass through a specific series of portals to gain access to their final destination.
Uncovering the proper sequence of portals, or the date and time of a portal’s activation, can lead to tombs that have remained untouched for centuries. According to Shalamon, Harrak and Tyran have stolen just such a lost sequence. Luckily, you have learned their path and must follow them to prevent the Eye of Timor from falling into Memnon’s hands.
Thus, the group found themselves standing just outside the entrance to the Tomb of the Crawling One, the crypt of a long dead priest of Scared Earth ancestors. While you know that strange creatures lurk within the crypt before you, if you fail thousands of innocents shall fall into slavery at the hands of evil.
At this Hendrik was kicking himself for not making sure someone had a decent ability to find and disable the devious traps that were always found in places like this. Additionally when it was Hendrik who saw what must have been Kon-Tarath amble out of vision, as flames from more of the fire beetles blocked his and Tronar’s path, he would grudgingly agree that it was a good idea for Charnel and Kordson to assault the tomb from another direction (hence splitting the group – never a good idea). Then when the large scorpions and the stirges attacked the rear assault group, and Kor-Tarath again made his appearance to throw his insect summoning magic, Hendrik recanted his earlier tactical advice.
Kordson fought on through the insects, not even realizing one stirge was stuck to his back. Charnel made a fighting withdrawal, so not to leave the rear of the group open, and to not get hung out all by himself either. Ghostwalker jumped into aid a blinded Hendrik, and his spirit wolf, Mist, became a stirge remover. This is about where Hendrik’s patience ended, as he bust forward out of the stinging mess he was in and hit the undead bug priest with such a blow that sent him back to the grave. From that point on the, crawling one tomb was just a wrap-up operation.
After the fight Charnel, Tronar, and Ghostwalker combined to study the portal and determined that it had been tampered with, but although it would not drop them exactly where they needed in would not place them under tons of sand either, or so they guessed. They had little choice; they pushed on through the portal, hoping they were right. They were, but the desert heat was harsh, and the four hour hike took its toll on Charnel and the Tronar the worst (sunburns do suck).
The second of the Tombs was heavier trapped and protected by more of the desert native insects. The deadly jumping spiders harassed them while they were trying to deactivate the acid shooting snake column, and the alluring lights, which lead to a quicksand pit. Additionally the group saw to free a cocooned victim of the spiders. It was Tronar who came through by hitting the column with back to back lightning blasts, ending the acid shooting. The group steadily worked together to defeat the three spiders, who failed to really come through with any of their threatening attacks in any serious way.
The night ended with the group resting and finding that the cocooned victim was the enchanted guide that the Tieflings brought with them only to double cross….