Ground Zero

The Search for Delirium

Slave Lords Part 2

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, we were following a Windship. The Windship had brought money and supplies to the mine and seemingly had taken the the “mined product” away. Anatoli (still in deep cover as the thief Corwen) had noticed that the supply ship had twice the normal amount of delivery and twice the normal amount of pickup.

Anatoli goes down into the deep mine to talk with the head of mining, a human with oddly short legs named Kobold. Kobold makes him wear an air filter, and takes him deeper into the mine. In the deep mine, Anatoli’s skin fluoresces. Kobold says that is the mark of an “upper”, someone from the upper world. Kobold talks to him about the effects of being underground. Kobold takes “Corwen” down to the site of current mining activity. Apparently, the miners broke through a quartz wall into what seems to be a derro house. Anatoli sees a slave come out with saddlebags for of the processed octagonal crystals. Another slave comes out with saddlebags of unprocessed crystals. Kobold says Corwen was not supposed to be on the boat. However, since the mine is producing more crystal now, Kobold needs more supplies. Kobold gives Anatoli/Corwen a single octagonal crystal and tells him to stay on the boat and take notes.

Tarl suggests that the derro savants had ways of identifying upperworlders and poisoning them.

Corwen/Anatoli gets back on the ship. He is playing cards with some guys when suddently they unlash some chests and batten down others. As soon as they finish, a 50 foot Scorpion King (man’s head and torso, on a giant scorpion body) erupts from the sand. The unlashed chests are sucked into the sand. From the insertion point rises two dozen giant scorpions with the faces of anguished men.

The captain of the Windship, Captain Siptah, climbs a mast and throws his scimitar to attack a scorpion. Next round he leaps down for a backstab. Maxximus sneaks in close enough to use a Sash of Charisma. He tells the Scorpion King to “Go home.” The Scorpion King starts to sink into the ground. The hole created in the sand starts to suck in the Windship. Aldeberan Shape Changes into sand to keep the ship from sinking.

When the dust settles, Captain Siptah has kkilledills many of the scorpion things. He pulls out a holy symbol of Celestian, and blesses the dead sailors. He says this was unusual. Normally, he would expect some purple worms in this area. He also says that three of the sailors who died in the attack and whose bodies are now missing were close friends. Anatoli/Corwent recalls that one of the missing men was involved in loosening the ropes of the now missing chests.

Aldeberan investigates and finds a fist sized ruby in the sand where the Scorpion King disappeared. Anatoli/Corwen collects the poison glands from the dead scorpion things. The sailors work for several hours to pull the ship out of the sand.Then the ship proceeds on to t e next delivery point.

Al uses his Shape Change to become an Earth Elemental and transport Maxximus, Samshee and Jet ahead to where the delivery was supposed to be. Samshee feels the heartbeat of a huge creature below the sand. Coming out of the sand is a man on a metal horse. It looks like Robilar. The horse bears the standard of Robilar, a red flag with a circle of lightning bolts and a white R. We remember earlier seeing a caravan of 5 ships with a white flag, a circle of lightning bolts, and a red R. “Robilar” waits for a while and then leaves.

About an hour later, two dozen scorpion things arise from the sand and
the heartbeat fades away as if leaving. A hooded guy shows up, on a
marble slab. The slab has the same type of navigation symbols on it
as the earlier one that transported Anatoli/Corwen to the mine. The
hooded guy looks around, then taps the stone and disappears.

When the Windship finally arrives, the captain says that the normal
pickup is a guy on a magical horse. Since he is not there, the
captain decides to go on to the Oasis.

In the Oasis, Anatoli heads towards the drinks tent. He is told he can
buy beer but water is free. He meets with Robilar? Bilaro?(we suspect
this is the mirror Bilaro from the Castle Greyhawk adventure, but we
never get his name). Bilaro seems to be willing to pick up the
crystals/dweornite. Anatoli plies him with beer. After 10 drinks,
Anatoli put-pockets a ring of weakness onto Bilaro. Then Samshee
sashays in and lures him back to his room with the intention of
interrogation.

Bilaro is so drunk that he ignores the presence of Maxximus in his
room. Samshee helps Bilaro disrobe. Bilaro then falls unconscious.
Anatoli’s True Sight reveals that this guy is a mirror image of
Robilar. Samshee steals all his stuff, including magic gauntlets,
magic girdle, magic armor and magic broadsword. Note: the name of the
sword is Black Ice.

In the center of the Oasis, Anatoli sees with True Sight a water
elemental trapped between plans and crying. Its tears are the water
source for this oasis. Anatoli sees shackles on the elemental lady’s
feet, binding her to an odd looking rock.

We bring in Tarl, who casts Slow Poison on Bilaro to reduce the
effects of alcohold poisoning. Maxximus starts to interrogate Bilaro.
Bilaro smiles and disappears. The rest of us notice a scrying attempt
in the room. Aldeberan casts Dispel Magic on the scrying point and it
goes away.

Back in the drinks tent, Captain Siptah comes in and wonders where
their contact is. Anatoli says he met the guy, and he wandered away
with a dancing girl in veils. Anatoli points out where the metal horse
used to be. The tracks lead to the fountain and then out into the
dessert.

Eventually a person in a brown hooded cloak with a staff shows up. He
taps the chests and they disappear. He hands a small leather chest to
Anatoli and a pouch of gems to Siptah. Anatoli put-pockets a bit of
Anatoli’s fingernail onto the hooded man. The hooded man asks if
Corwen/Anatoli is ready. Anatoli is confused and the man gets
suspicious. Anatoli acts drunk and pitiful because of his horrible
day. The man smiles and gives him money for a meal and a room for the
night, and a scroll of transportation that will get him to the
rendezvous the next morning.

We follow the metal horse’s hoof prints out to the desert, to the
point where they disappear into a spiral in the sand. A giant ant
lion shows and and we kill it.

Al identifies the huge tear drop ruby. It gives its wearer protection
from fire.

Al uses the Eye of Thera to find the origin of the Tears of Delirium.
He sees a lady in a tavern having a terrific time. Off in the corner,
a manacled lady is crying. Occasionally someone comes by to collect
the tears. It appears to be in the Great Kingdom, in the far eastern
area in an abandoned fort. An Augury reveals that the Tavern entrance
is in Veluna, nowhere near the Great Kingdom.

Anatoli, accompanied by Jet the Safety Rat, uses the teleport scroll.
Al watches him, using the Eye of Thera. For a moment, Al sees
Beyodar, and then the Eye focuses on Anatoli. Anatoli/Corwen and Jet
show up in a barracks, with two soldiers playing cards. He sees
Trelane, a mage and a lieutenant in Veluna, who delivered the Tears of
Delirium to Corwen. Trelane asks if he has been successful in
infiltrating the Iuz Bane. Anatoli/Corwen says he has had some
success. Trelane of Veluna seems to be trying to find the money behind
the Slave Lords.

The rest of the party go to Veluna. While headed toward the Mage’s
Guild, we see the entrance to the tavern that we believe to be holding
Despair. We enter the bar and Maxximus asks Despair why she is there.
She says that is where she last saw her sister, Delight. Once she
leaves, she will only be able to remember her sister as Delirium.

The other people in the bar are Despair’s khelmane. Maxximus asks where Fate is. Despair says, “She is currently in the Land of Black
Ice.”

Maxximus and Anatoli explain that Despair’s tears are being used to create drugs that enslave people. Despair gets mad. The City
Comptroller comes in to collect the tears. Despair focuses on the Comptroller and his guards. They begin to die – aging, asphixiation,
heart attack, suicide.

Anatoli tells Despair these people are only pawns. Maxximus asks Despair to help us find her mother. Despair says, “50 miles east of
the Castle of Fire and Ice, in the Land of Black Ice, North of the Kingdoms of Iuz.”

Despair and her khelmane retinue leave. On her way out, she curses the comptroller, “You will never know happiness again.” Anatoli
performs a mercy killing on the comptroller.

The bartender does not recall Despair being there.

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