Mad Prax - Beyond Sun Dome (part #11)

Date: Sun 19 Jan 1997 - 01:59:40 EET

G'day all,

The next four scenes...



I. Haymon's Gate
In mid-afternoon, the group arrives at the village of Haymon's Gate
(so named for the triumphal arch in the market square, erected to
commemorate an ancient victory over the nomads). As they walk into
own it begins to rain, first with slow heavy drops, quickly turning a
steady downpour.

The shower is heavy, but passes quickly. Everyone except Mars (who has
the geas "Never seek shelter From Storm") can take cover in the local
inn, and enjoy a hot meal of antelope sausage, bread, cheese and barley
beer before venturing on their way. There are a couple of other glum
souls outside in the rain too, who share Mar's unfortunate geas. The
barkeep passes them their refreshments through a special hatch in the
inn's wall.

Melo Yelo may wish to keep Mars company on his strange vigil in the


I. The Riddler
In contrast to the main Pavis road, the road to Harpoon is just a deeply
rutted dirt track, well-tramped by thousands of feet earlier in the day.
As the characters march down the path the wind picks up again, and there
huge black clouds form in the north above Pavis. (This is the work of
Orlanth priests at the Pairing Stone, whipping up a storm to help the
Cradle on its way downriver).

Not long after the turn-off, the the party approach an old man seated
on a two-wheeled cart, pulled by a Bison ox. It looks like an
uncomfortable ride, because the wheel ruts in Sun County don't match
those of his cart (perceptive characters might recognize him then as
a foreigner). A small ginger shadowcat is curled up on the bench next
to him, which hisses at Mars (who has the shadowcat paw charm). Bob
recognizes the cat as an awakened familiar, similar to himself. The
odd man is eating a hard-boiled egg. He pauses in his eating to say to

"Wandering Sun, Jealous Uncle,
I have a new Toy here, see it?
Test me, twice if you can
For a Gold Piece each right answer."

The old man is an Orlanthi priest, who wishes to engage in the
traditional riddling contest. Remind Yelanda that she cannot
communicate with him directly: negotiations must be carried out
via a third party such as Mars or Melo.

[The Orlanthi Riddles with the PCs, and if he wins a round, claims
one of the gold rings as prize. It's highly unlikely that the PCs
will hand it over, but you never know. If he's attacked, he Teleports

I. Crop Circles

As the road draws closer to the river, Bob notices an unusual pattern in
the cornfields. The yellow stalks of grain have been curiously pushed
flat into strange circular shapes of varying sizes. There are about a
dozen, spread over a wide area. Track reveals footprints leave the road
and make their way through the field to one of the circles, where the
prints abruptly disappear.

These "crop circles" were caused by a party of Orlanthi, flying on sylphs
(air elementals) to rendezvous with the Cradle. Yesterday, they landed
here briefly to pick up another comrade. They now wait upriver of
Harpoon, ready to board the cradle as it sails past.


I. Troll Raiders
Yelm begins his fiery descent into the underworld as the characters
plod along the last few kilometers to Harpoon, the wind whipping around
them. The road winds through a stretch of vineyards. As it grows darker,
it begins to rain again, but the characters notice a bright yellow glow on
the horizon (the village of Harpoon is well-lit by bonfires, torches and
Light spells as the Sun Domers hurriedly prepare for the arrival of the

The characters are about to get overrun by a gang of marauding trolls
and trollkin. They were happily stripping the vineyards of the area
bare when the Sun Dome army arrived, and they think that the *entire
Yelmalio cult is now after them*! They hid during the day, but now
that night has fallen, they are getting away as fast as they

   *Listen: gibbering sounds and rustling vegetation, coming through the
    vines to the right.

There's one dark troll, another huge great troll, and three or four
dozen wild-eyed trollkin who would all gladly fall upon the player
characters to destroy and eat them, but for the fact they're in a blind
panic to get as far away from the Sun Dome army as possible.

The troll band burst out of the bushes and head straight for the player
characters, with the trollkin in lead and the great and dark trolls
following. Remark that the player characters have never seen the
whites of a trollkin's eyes before, but now they can see about 45 pairs.
What the players might interpret as screams of rage are in fact
screams of terror.

As they swirl past, around and over the player characters, the trollkin
try to wrench away loose items (eg. spears, helmets, packs, etc.). One
pack take particular interest in the pack containing the gold rings,
whoever's got it... In addition to their attempts to steal anything not
nailed down, the trollkin also try grappling and trying to bowl the PCs
over or belting them with their fists.

The characters have a couple of rounds (before the dark troll and his
great troll buddy come up) to avoid a very nasty melee. The trolls are
in a panic, so any overt offensive action from the players is enough to
frighten them:

   *If a character attempts to hit or cast a spell at a trollkin, have it
    (and a couple of trollkin around it) run away screaming in terror.
    Note that because of the failing light, all attacks made by the
    player characters are at -25%.

   *Even shouting loudly or making threatening gestures at a trollkin has the
    same effect as above.

Such action will not be enough to scare the dark troll leader and his dark
troll bodyguard though, and they approach, the dark troll unfurls a whip
and starts barking orders at the trollkin, cracking the whip above their

The dark troll successfully casts a Blinding Spell at Yelanda, making
her temporarily blind.

The way out of this for the player characters is for either Yelanda or
Mars to cast their Sunbright spells. This spell creates a 50 meter
radius circle or light, enough to make all the trolls and trollkin
drop everything and flee immediately. Casting the spirit magic Light
spell is not nearly good enough, though the trolls will keep away from
its source, instead concentrating on the other characters.

II. Stats
No stats are provided for the troll party. Just pretend to roll dice and
be descriptive! If a PC hits a trollkin, it tries to run away. If the
players make a complete balls-up of this encounter, help is not far away:
when things are looking at their diciest have a Yelmalio Templar scouting
party dash in to save them. One of the Templars casts his Sunbright spell.
On the way back to Harpoon make sure the Templars give Yelanda a rough time
for letting her party walk straight into a troll ambush!

Note that regardless of what action the other player characters may take,
Mars is bound by his geas to never flee or surrender from darkness
creatures, and trolls are darkness creatures.

Next: Wyverns in the Sky!

>From the Notes From Nochet files:
( Never wager "tails" on the flip of a Salilgori coin, for
the Salilgori had two kings.


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