Episode 6 : The City of Ak-Khurman
 

Day 39. In the early morning the party is attacked by black-clad bandits. One speaks of revenge to Hildegard but he is not able to remember where he has heard the voice before. The party takes casualties from the sneak attack but eventually drive the bandits back into the night. One of the bandits manages to kill himself with a well placed bow shot to the head, giving up a very nice bow with matching arrows to the party. Grog is healed from unconsciousness and a fire is lit for the rest of the night.

In the morning the party attempt to track the bandits, Pecan helps by turning herself into a large shaggy dog and sniffing enthusiastically at all manner of crotches. They find that the bandits had horses nearby and lose the trail around midday. They return to North travel and eventually camp for the night.

Day 40. The party travel for about an hour and come to the spot indicated on the map made by the Mikku. The area is vacant, ahead lays the salt flat known as the Burning Lands. They meet a family of elves hiding nearby, they are going to Ak-Khurman, the parents (Homer and Marge) describe how their daughter (Lisa) was bitten by a snake during the journey and was helped by the Mikku. The Mikku could not stay, however the Simpson family agreed to stay at this meeting place until Lisa was fully recovered and also to look out for the party of apprentices of The Quarrel. The Mikku have left supplies and best wishes for the party's journey to Ak-Khurman, in return Moon and Grog leave deposits of thanks for the Mikku.

Moon and Pecan do what they can for Lisa, her brother (Bart) is uncomfortable with the delay but they continue to rest for the day.

Day 41. The party (with the Simpson's as guides) enter the Burning Lands, they travel for 3 days.

Day 43. Late in the day the exhausted party stand before the gates of Ak-Khurman, here they are met by Grandpa Simpson and the family take their leave. Grandpa rewards the party with 500 steel for helping Lisa. The party is advised to seek lodgings in Ghanima's Inn and Smokehouse.

The party are required to leave all two handed weapons with the Steel Legion who control Ak-Khurman (6x greatswords, 1x two handed sword, 1x greatsword from Hildegard, 1x greatsword from Grog, 1x Ralph). They travel to Ghanima's Inn and Smokehouse in the centre of town and stay the night (4 St per room (x2), 15 St for food and wine (x2 all you can drink)). Grog is quite taken with Ghanima and lavishly tips her. A boy is paid 5 St for directions to Zathras, he is described as the town nutter - apparently he believes himself to be a fire-engine.

Day 44. The party visit Zoe Left-Hand, the local mage. She lives at the base of the lighthouse and wears robes of red. Zoe agrees to identify some items and is questioned about a volcano. She has no knowledge of any such thing but agrees to pursue further research for 10 St. The party stuff around for the rest of the day, meeting Rand Lucas (a local broker of goods and services) at Ghanima's that evening but do not pursue any deals with him.

Day 45. The party again visit Zoe and again question her ineffectively. The party travel to see Zathras who lives in a large house with a small squalid room. They meet Zathras (who appears quite mad) and Betty (his housekeeper). Zathras takes a dislike to Grog and tells him to remove himself to the barn, he and Shiloh wait outside the house. Hildegard presents the message from Shaylin, Zathras uses it as a teething rusk. Further questioning of Zathras is ineffective.

The party travel to the docks to enquire about passage elsewhere, but they are ignored until a press gang invites them to join a ships crew - an offer they forcefully decline.

In the mid-afternoon Grog takes ill and retires to bed. The rest of the party return to Zoe Left-Hand, this time they present her with the entire clue to decipher - not their own crappy interpretation of it. Zoe has some ideas that she promises to research if the party return tomorrow. The party return to Ghanima's Inn, they are informed that Rand Lucas has been called away on urgent business to find a crew for a ship that is suddenly very short.

Day 46. Grog is feeling better. The party return to Zoe who informs them that she is certain that the city identified in the clue is Kendermore, this lies in the Desolation - East of Port Balifor. The party again head to talk to Zathras, again they are ineffective. They head to the harbour and talk to Captain Lothar Claes of the Swift Arrow - the only captain brave (or foolish) enough to attempt the crossing to Port Balifor in the current season. Captain Claes listens to the plight of the party with sympathy and offers passage for 10000 St per person - less if Moon and Pecan agree to join him and his crew in the evenings. The offer is declined.

The party spend the rest of the day faffing about with shopping and attempting to find cheaper ways to travel.

At night, on their way back from the harbour they stumble upon a lost girl crying in an alley. Eventually it is revealed that she is Niesme Mikku - wayward daughter of the Khan Kenji Mikku. The party return her to the Khan but receive a hostile reception from the khans guards who believe that the party have kidnapped Niesme. The party surrender their weapons and are captured peacefully - although Moon earns the displeasure of the guards when she repeatedly attempt to mouth-off to them. As the true story is revealed (Niesme ran away from home but became lost) the Khan is most grateful and presents the party with a reward - they decide to take the reward as passage to Port Balifor on the Swift Arrow.

Day 47. The party leaves Ak-Khurman early in the morning. Hildegard earns the displeasure of the Steel Legion in attempting to bribe a soldier to return their weapons. Only later do they realise that all of their possessions have been taken to the Swift Arrow ready for departure. Captain Claes is most anxious to leave so as not to anger the generosity of the Khan and they depart promptly.

The weather is extremely rough and several members become sea-sick. Late in the day the Swift Arrow is attacked by two sea cats. As the captain and the crew ‘secure' the decks below the party battle the sea cats. They are victorious but Hildegard is killed (dismembered actually - very messy), Shiloh is exhausted from the effort of casting spells.

 

 
(c) 2007 Dragonlance Roleplaying Campaign Journal by Chris Burton  
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