Beasts and Barbarians Home Brew Adventure recap
The Red Desert is a harsh place, hot winds and dry sands have caused many deaths over the years. What cities there are in this land are mainly walled, and serve as way stations for the many travelling caravans that follow the trade routes.
In the past 5 years, unknown to most people outside of the desert, a cult as slowly taken root, and is starting to displace the entrenched status quo of the Sun God. The Cult of Scorpios is growing, at a very fast rate. Its beliefs that all who enter this land are to serve and to obey, are tools to be used by the scorpion god. It promises power, and glory in exchange for souls and sacrifice.
Chapter one - Bloody Sands
The party starts off being captured and sent into slavery by a group known as the Red Nomads. Any travellers, with out the bronze seal of the scorpion are rounded up and enslaved. This just so happened to be our party.
After several weeks of harsh travel in a caged wagon, and several failed attempts to escape, the party arrived at the walled city of Nagnorish. Upon their arrival they are quickly escorted into a dungeon cell to await their fate. It doesn't take long for them to realize that they are to be sent to the arena to be sacrificed in honor of the new cult.
Sent upon the sands to be sacrificed, they do battle with other slaves and then the pit beast, a giant black desert scorpion. As they are fighting, a sudden sandstorm strikes the arena, and a lighting bolt strikes the stands, knocking the high priest into the arena floor and blowing a hole open in side walls. Seeing a chance to flee, the party kill the priest and use the cover of the storm to escape into the desert.
Chapter 2 - Tomb of Ilias
While being pursued into the desert, the party seek shelter in some standing stones which they discovered. While there, they meet a ancient lotusmaster who has been searching for the ancient tomb of Ilais, a great and powerful Lotusmaster from a time long ago. After a brief parlay, they agree to terms. If they enter the Tomb and retrieve the object that the old sage is looking for, in return they can keep anything else and the sage will direct them to a nearby city in which they may rest before they flee further north.
They enter the tomb, finding a large chamber with one single sarcophagus guarded by two large statues. Ancient magics was in place and one of the statues animated, attacking the party. After the defeat of the statue, they find a secret chamber, containing the treasures that the lotusmaster sought. Later that night, the party slept soundly and restfully in the walled city known as Thinthaius.
Chapter 3 Heart of the Scorpion
While in the city, they hear that the cult of the scorpion is rising to power faster than anyone could have expected and in this city, the ancient tower of the Sun God, was re dedicated to Scorpios. The ancient holy jewel known as the Soul of the Sun, corrupted by evil magics and renamed to the Heart of the Scorpion. Worth a kings ransom, the party decides to steal it.
To break into the holy temple, the party scale the walls and enter the temple gardens, and are attacked by a trio of roaming shadow lions, and then a group of guards came to investigate the noise. Dispatching the guards, the party then scales the walls into the tower. While inside they witness a gruesome discovery, the heart of the scorpion being bathed in a fountain of blood from wild eyes and dedicated followers of the scorpion. Breaking into the chamber, they slaughter the cult and its priest and steal the jewel. What ever wards were casts, as soon as the jewel was removed from the vile jars of blood, the temple started to shake and tremble, facing the full wrath of the now angered Sun God for defiling its home. The temple collapsed, but the party managed to escape the destruction.
Chapter 4. Road of the Gods
What ever battles were taking place in the spiritual realm was starting to flow over into the Red Desert. Since the destruction of the Temple, a violent sand storm as been scouring the walled cities, and anyone foolish enough to be caught outside. Using this time to mask their escape, the party flee north to the border of Kyros.
12 days of travel it took them, chased and hounded by servants of the Scorpion. Swarms, Giant Scorpions, Demonic Hounds and even a Singer Demon constantly on their trail, never giving the party a chance to fully relax. But tracked they were, and just prior to being able to enter the pass to Kryos, the party is attacked by a high sorcerer priest of the Scorpion, his followers , guards and many of the Scorpions minions.
After a large battle, the party forced the high priest to flee but not before wounding him in the process. With freedom in hand the party flee into Kyros and out of that accursed desert, but not before gaining a major enemy. The Cult of the Scorpion.
A Big Thank You!
I would like to say thank you to all of the players who were willing to give this a go, who all made this story fun and interesting no matter what I threw at them. From great creative insights to totally inappropriate rude and crude one liners! I had a lot of fun hosting this with you all, and I hope you all had fun being a part of it.
Someday soon I hope to explore more of the Dread Sea Dominions and I hope you will come with me again!