Sollus: The Dark Age

Prelude to Nomads of the Dark Age (part one)
The Last Annual Community Hunt

This prelude to the NotDA Campaign is the story of the last great annual hunt among the Mountain, Sky Fur, Ice Seer, and Valley tribes of Woes. In short:

Introducing the Characters

We meet Chief Tokala (played by Brent), a venerable shaman of the Earth Mother. At 50, he is considered to be of very old age and holds leadership over the Valley tribe. He is a highly intuitive man of great inner power, much respected and well-liked among his people and of allied tribes.

We then meet Nim, a 17 year old tech scavver of outside origin. Nim grew up in the Valley tribe from before he could learn to speak, but his lineage is untraceable and he still sometimes feels as though he is treated as a stranger within his own tribe. His truest friend, known as “Crackjack”, is a 8 foot tall mutant, something between a brawny fish and a giant man. While Crackjack is hardly sapient, he seems to understand and care for Nim, helping him with various tasks.

Introducing the Important Tribal Members

Jenna, Shamas, and Gariggon meet Tokala in his home and shrine. Jenna, a young outsider herself, hails from the far west region known as Orpia, a series of badlands and networks of subterranean vault-dwellers. Jenna is the fiercest huntress in the Valley tribe, and fanatical in her loyalty. Shamas is a native woen, and a strong warrior. He is the alpha male of the tribe, having slain the most threats from rogue tribes and waylaying beasts. He is known as a belligerent and father to many children in the tribe. Then we meet Garrigon, a bitter farmer of middle age, who tends to the crops as well as masters the tribe’s domestic animals. Garrigon is no friend of Nim, and treats him as the tribe’s unwelcome bastard.

Preparation for the Hunt

The tribe is to gather their able-bodied men and women (just three adolescent males) and head to the Communion Arch, an ancient monument where the tribes meet each year in early Crimsoning to hunt game for their stores for the coming harsh winter. After a meeting, the group gathers the Kuzaks (beasts of burden not unlike large monitor lizards), and Nim pulls a few waste rovers and a hauler for the hunt. The Hauler is broken by some of the tribe’s children, who have a go at parts on the undercarriage and engine —Nim suspects Garrigon to have put the children up to the trick. Fortunately, Nim repairs the hauler temporarily by rigging some placeholder parts, and the group leaves the Vale to head to the Arch.

The Communion of the Tribes

The journey takes all day, with the permanently dim skies giving way to a light ashfall until evening. Darkness falls before the group’s arrival.

The tribe meets with Haqqara, Chief of the Fur Skins, who is well loved among the allied tribes. Haqqara receives a gift from Tokala; a shimmering black fur cloak. The cloak is appreciated, and a feast is presented to Tokala and his people to share with the other tribes. Nim, who is betrothed to Haqqara’s daughter Fallessa, is given a fur skin shawl of his own. The shawl is provided by Haqqara, and looks to be incredibly discreet; hiding in any landscape would be easier when wearing the shawl.

Tokala makes a public blessing to the Earth Mother, but senses something wrong in the balance of things. He intuitively meets the steely gaze of Jo-koe Greyhands, the missing Chief Koe Blackhands’ son. Jo-koe rides a large Kuzak on the perimeter of the feast pavillion, and does not avert his strange gaze from Tokala’s. Tokala processes the intent of the Earth Mother’s spiritual message, but cannot place why he receives the sense of wrongness that he does.

Chief Skyfeather, a taciturn stone-faced man of the Mountain tribe, takes an aside with Tokala, greeting him with the usual stoic disposition of the Mountain people. He asks Tokala why he acted strangely during the Earth Mother’s blessing. Tokala cannot say, and instead defers to a give brought to give to Skyfeather. It is a jewelry box, salvaged but refurbished nicely no less. Skyfeather accepts the gift with custom appreciation but no emotion, and commands a few of the Mountain tribesman to take Tokala to his tent so that Tokala can choose any gift he likes as a trade of respects.

Nim works on the broken hauler. It is a bareframe rover as most are, with a large flatbed for carrying materials and game. Crackjack hoists the thing while Nim replaces the parts. But they are interrupted by Jo-koe Greyhands, who comes upon the two on his Kuzak and carries a large, immaculate plasmabolter. Greyhands doesn’t seem to kindly to Nim, taunting him and Crackjack. Nim remains composed, attempting to keep the peace, but a large rock is thrown from the darkness of the nearby jungle perimeter, scoring Crackjack on the back of his unprotected head. Greyhands smirks small, and bids Nim an underhanded piece of advice. He tells him that new hunters with little experience in the wastes do not return home more often than not. Greyhands plods off in his Kuzak, plasmabolter swaying behind him as Nim tends to Crackjack’s headwound. The men among the trees and surrounding the two fade away with the sound of receding footsteps.

Trek to the Moon’s Tear

The morn of the next day preludes the great Hunt. The tribal leaders consult one another after Haqqara gives a traditional speech below the Communion Arch on the steps. The Valley tribe chooses to hunt among the eastern Moon’s Tear, a land riddled with deep craters from asteroids new and old. It is a land rich in crater mollusks, a delicacy and easy hunt if one has access to the porous crater networks in the basins. There is risk of encountering gargantuan terrorsaurs, but Cheif Tokala takes the risk at the advice of the divine Earth Mother’s vision, which he received on a psychotropic ritual days prior.

The tribe gathers their kuzaks, vehicles and gear and heads four hours east to the Moon’s Tear. A strong ash storm sets in, obscuring the already dim atmosphere. Tokala receives a boon from the Earth Mother, and is able to part a line in the storm a brief way to the first crater site. The tribe begins to descend the slippery ashen crater when Nim spots several corpses on the lip of the crater. Tokala throws of the ash of the corpses, revealing recent mortal wounds on several unidentifiable woen huntsmen.

Jenna says they are what remains of a terrorsaur attack…

Gangsters & Ghouls
The party meets a volatile underground crime lord, and travels to a haunted ranch.

S1 – Ep3

2nd day of Crimsoning, 141 SA

Upon their arrival to Eastenlave Hawke and Devonna made their way through the town to visit The Needle Knave tavern to meet Devonna’s employer, a halfling by the name of Belfyre. Once there the two spend some time drinking. Before the meeting, Devonna urged Hawke to grab Kull and Sebrath to as well as a desire to keep their relationship at Three Stars a secret while in Eastenlave. Hawke nonchalantly agreed and left to find the party which he quickly does after recognizing Kull standing in front of Waits’ shop. The party returned to The Needle Knave and descended into the buildings basement to meet With Belfyre.

As the meeting began with the halfling and his four armed half-orc guards the group was beckoned to join Belfyre who was the target of a very affectionate Devonna around a card table as he told the party of of the unnamed group he was in charge of, and that working for him the party could become quite wealthy. Hawke led the negotiation as the topic quickly shifted into a possible job for the group as a start of their career under Belfyre. The job offer consisted of heading to a camp a short ride away from the town and “checking up” on a shipment Doomwatch were in charge of delivering to Belfyre that never arrived. Belfyre told the party that they could “rough them up” if necessary, as long as the payload got to Eastenlave untouched. Hawke agreed to the job despite Kull’s disapproval with a payment of 50gp to be paid upfront before they left town the next day. The meeting concluded.

On the way to return to Waits’ shop to rest for the night Kull caught glimpse of a piece of paper blowing in the wind and picked it up unaware of a youth trying to swiftly run and snatch it. After failing the boy quickly tried to scurry off but Kull caught him and pinned him to the ground as Hawken questioned him on what the paper that turned out to be a wanted poster for “The Burned Man”. The boy stated he wanted to collect the bounty and Hawke offered the boy 50gp to forgot the paper which the boy quickly took.

3rd day of Crimsoning, 141 SA

The next day the party set out for the Shrine of Kimythe to meet the druids about investigating the ranch south of Eastenlave, and once again met with Caiphyra who shared limited information on the Scurlock family and the Tooth Acres Ranch and offered some potions to aid in the trip, one of darkvision and one of healing, as well as a treat which only Hawke ate and quickly regretted as the elven treat quickly augmented his mind. The group received their upfront payment and quickly left towards the stables to make an early departure of the town. However, upon arrival at the stables three Doomwatch stood guard in front of Kull’s horse claiming Vicus commanded the detainment of the horse and offered a substitute in return. Kull’s was angered by this and took his horse anyway despite the guards verbal resistance as Hawke saddled up the horse that was offered as substitute, and quickly the group left through the main gates of the town.

In two hours the group had reached their destination of Tooth Acres Ranch and discovered the place to be suffering a heavy rainstorm that engulfed the ranch in perpetual night. Despite the gloom of the scene and Hawke’s incoherent warnings Kull pressed forward toward a large barn barn near an equally large farm house. The two looming doors of the barn were chained shut, and as the party tried to undo the chains in search of any information that justified returning to the druids to collect payment they heard the sounds of crying from inside and a loud banging from the farm house.

The group continued opening the barn and Hawke and Kull cautiously made their way inside as Sebrath stood guard. the flooded barn appeared to be abandoned until an apparition of a child appeared before Kull and the doors slammed shut. Hawke and Kull became overwhelmed by a sense of dread as the barn was plunged into darkness.

Hawke panicked and lit a bale of hay near the wall of the barn. With light from the growing fire Hawke found area dug out that he could use to escape. However, Kull was transfixed on a candle in a stall where the apparition asked Kull to “_Find Ippalo_” and disappeared which caused Kull to snap out of the trance. Kull realized the barn was burning down so he climbed to the top, grabbed the corpse of a child he found and escaped through the roof.

The party then moved toward the horse where they encountered two ghouls that were pursuing them as they entered. Hawke quickly shot the ghoul with a spell round out of his caster gun while Kull and Sebrath attacked pummeled the ghoul. The ghoul fled after the spell lingered and the group moved into a room in the house that held a makeshift altar with three skulls and a sheet with a crudely drawn rune upon it. Kull took the skulls and sheet as well as a large painting found in the room.


Milestones this Episode

  • Kull fell off of a terrified electric horse
The party finds Eastenlave and delivers the Raven. Sebrath reunites with an old friend.

S1 – Ep2

2nd day of Crimsoning, 141 SA

After concluding talks with Ulver, Kull and Sebrath Lokumn headed to the stables as Hawke returned to Devonna’s room to gather his things and take a bath. At the stables Sebrath negotiated a cheaper rate for the horses the party needed with the Stablemaster Daxton in exchange for fixing mechanical stable doors that needed repair. Kull and Sebrath make a good impression on Daxton leading him to let Kull and Sebrath use two of his nicest horses with option to purchase them for 50gp upon arrival to the stables at Eastenlave. The horses given to the group were a large dark red horse for Kull and an athletic blue hued horse with orange eyes for Sebrath and two small brown mares for Hawke and Devonna. With transportation sorted the party, including Devonna, departed Three Star and made way to Eastenlave

A few hours into their journey the party finds themselves surrounded by aether wolf. The group decided to outrun the wolves on horseback, except Devonna lacked the skill to handle the horse under stress. Kull attempted to control Devonna’s horse calming it until Devonna spurred the horse forward stranding Kull with the wolves. Being behind the group Kull decided to press his horse to trample the group, however the wolves stopped him from doing so. The wolves crowded the horse and began attacking until one tried using an Aether ability and exploded in the attempt covering the group in wild Aether. the Aether seeped into the wounds of Kull’s Horse mutating it with electric Aether causing to to appear as lightning. This scares off the rest of the wolves and Kull rides ahead to rejoin the group. The group makes it near Eastenlave before encountering wolves again, but the group quickly rides past them.

Upon arrival to Eastenlave to party discovers a city in ruins surrounded by dozens of crude scarecrows, but upon arriving at the guard station the life of the city came into view as the citizens made their way through shoddily built hutches that filled the areas inside the ruins. The Doomwatch hassled Kull before entry (racists) but eventually took the groups horses and gave directions to the city and instructions to speak to Vicus II at the Doomwatch Tower if we were looking for work. Kull and Sebrath gather themselves after the lengthy harassment to find Hawke and Devonna were long lost in the city ahead of them. Kull decides since they agree to gather in the morning Sebrath and him would go ahead and finish the job to meet deliver the bird to the druids. The two make their way to the collection of tents that made up the Shrine of Kimythe where they met with Caiphyra, the head druid at the shrine. Upon delivering the package to the druid the group learns that the dead bird is the druids fetish which she uses to incant a spell before Sebrath and Kull but neither understood what the spell did. Caiphyra offered the group more work to investigate a dairy farm that had been destroyed to the south for 100gp a head and to meet at the shrine in the morning if interested. Kull agrees and the two leave to head to Waits’ Emporium of Exotic Goods they passed on the way to the Shrine as Waits was the tinkerer Sebrath worked for in his youth in First Drink.

Upon meeting Waits, he displayed no memory of Sebrath but shared the unfortunate history of First Drink after Sebrath left for the Krebenstien School. However, as he told the story of the town’s destruction his memory of Sebrath came back and sorrowfully explained how fate appeared grim for Sebrath’s parents and the rest of the town despite being deserted since its destruction. Waits offers Sebrath and Kull a place to stay in his shop while they were in Eastenlave, and the two take him up on the offer and stay.

this log was written by Aaron (Kull)

Episode 2 Milestones

  • Kull and Sebrath gained a level (lvl 2)
  • The raven was brought to the druids at the Shrine of Kimythe
  • Sebrath found his old employer Waits and discovered what happened to his family in First Drink
Three Stars and a Raven
We begin our story with the party looking for work in a crime-infested land.

S1 – Ep1

1st day of Crimsoning, 141 SA

The party approaches the fortified wayside inn Three Stars to meet with the Vagueland Warden Ulver for a special job opportunity regarding the influx of banditry in the Heartstead territory. After dusk, Ulver arrived and held council with the party. He offered them a strange job; taking a dead raven across dangerous trails to the druids in Eastenlave, a town leveled by an earthquake a year or so prior. The party was also asked to help locate a missing circus en route to Eastenlave from the city of Lapryt. When the meeting was finished, the party accepted Ulver’s agreement of doing the job for 75 gp upon leaving for Eastenlave, and another 75 gp once they took the raven to the Shrine of Kimythe there.

Afterward, Hawke took interest in a young woman who caught eyes with him at the bar. A drunken, haggard-looking man was stressing the woman. Hawke approached them and diffused the situation — he had given coin to the man earlier, who was standing outside of the front door asking for money. Hawke lied and told the man he was the woman’s suitor, and the man backed off. Hawke learned the woman’s name, Devonna, and saw her interest to speak with him in private. The two shared her room together for the night, a room that appeared to be one of the best rooms in house.

Kull and Sebrath Lokumn inquired about any various jobs that could be taken up with the innkeeper. A woman behind the bar counter at Three Stars told Kull there had been aether wolf sightings outside of the gates recently, but a brief episode of drunken exploring outside the waystation’s walls saw no beasts to speak of. Sebrath payed the tab that both Hawke and Kull left, earning verbal thanks from their kind waitress.

The party spent the night in three different rooms. Sebrath paid for two, a shanty room near the tavern toilets for Kull, and a modest room for himself. Hawke slept next to Devonna on the third floor in her comfortable suite, experiencing strange fiendish nightmares. When Hawke awoke in the middle of the night, three more bolts appeared next to his cursed revolter, glowing ominously.

2nd day of Crimsoning, 141 SA

Kull awoke early upon his shanty room’s floor and stepped outside into the tavern hall, where he was met with a growling gnoll. The two stood transfixed in front of one another until a bookish-looking man came out of the door just behind the gnoll. The two left without any incident. Kull then met once again with Ulver to receive the raven and half of their job’s payment. Ulver reiterated the raven’s importance, and not to speak of it to anyone except the druids of the Old Faith in Eastenlave.

this log was written by Kyle (DM)


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