High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Games > Role-Playing Games > Dungeons & Dragons > D&D Histories > Hell and Glory > Hell and Glory - April 18, 1999

Hell and Glory

April 18, 1999

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Sarad, Kumar, and Te'pan enter the city-state of Kirti. They are a group of warriors from the city-state two days to the south. A new star has appeared in the sky over Kirti. Merchants travelling back say that catastrophes have hit the city. The three have been sent to size up the situation and send word back.

Approaching the city, they see that fields have been flattened for easily 20 miles around the city. Members of Kirti's army are putting men to work harvesting what can be saved and replanting what cannot.

They arrive in Naukashay, the industrial section of Kirti. There they catch a ferry to Prasada, the palace district of the city. From there the king regent, a priest of Brahispati rules for the 8 year old king. Kirti is best know for its "Glory Boats", stone vessals nearly impervious to assault and capable of hauling immense loads. The city held close to 100,000 people, but between deaths from the catastrophes and people fleeing the city, it is likely just over half of that. The lands around Kirti probably hold two or three times as many people.

Passing by the island containing the trade districts of Chinnapucacha and Vaniym, they see that it has been completely levelled by some powerful force. A ferryman mentions that a tsunami racked the city and destroyed the island.

Just before the large island is the smaller island of Ratri, a religious island, and a grey stone cone known as the Stupa. Beyond the large island is a small unnamed island where foriegn diplomats live.

Arriving the Prasada, it becomes clear that the problems which struck the island have had an effect here too. A number of the large merchant houses have burned down. Those that still stand are cracked and damaged, as though struck by an earthquake.

The three know of several men, Pathik, a rogue of sorts, Chendra, an ascetic, and Kvin, a priest of Agnee. After discovering that Pathik has become a Count, they decide he is the a good place to start.

Pathik has gained a large walled home on the east edge of Prasada, overlooking the sea. The three men arrive at mid morning. Men are at work patching the cracked walls. In the center of the walled complex is a tall down with no doors. The workers avoid the tower carefully.

A man wearing a suit of armor forged from plates of metal is watching. He doesn't seem bothered by the heat dispite his heavy armor. He introduces himself as Sulam, and fetches Pathik. Pathik invites us to have a meal and talk.

Pathik explains that one week ago the new star appeared over the city. It appears simultaneously with catastrophies of many sorts: fires, fist sized hail, walking dead, earthquakes, and a tsunami. Priests divined that a god of some sort had returned, and was angered at the theft of a magical lens from the isle of Ratri. The priests warned that the god would level the city if the lens was not returned by dawn. Pathik and several friends acquired the lens from the wizard's college of Edrajala and returned it barely in time.

The college of Edrajala is an interesting place. Usually wizards, being untouchables, avoid cities and groups. But apparently magical forces made Kirti a powerful place to focus magics, so the college was formed.

Pathik mentions that his friend, Kvin, is going to be giving a speech at the palace courtyard. It seems that the General is pushing to outlaw the worship of any gods except Indra and Brahispati in the inner city of Prasada. Kvin plans on protesting. Pathik invites his guests come listen. They leave their weapons in Pathik's care since weapons are forbidden in the palace courtyard. The group climbs the cliffs to reach the highest section, the palace.

The Palace steps are flanked by statues of Indra and Brahispati. Many of the Prasada Guard, the elite of the city, are present. A group of Indra priests on are part of the steps. Two of the Indra priests speak. One one the higher steps recites passages from the Veda, while one on the lower provides interpretation. Their message is that Indra is the one who ended the catastrophes, and Indra will lead them to victory. What victory will be in is unclear.

Kvin, meanwhile, summons the power of Agnee and creates a zone of truth. The lower priest providing interpretation tones down, he doesn't say that victory is certain, but is limited to saying that victory is likely. At parts he is unable to speak.

When Kvin tries to speak from the stairs, denoucing the Indra priests as encouraging war over food. Members of the Prasada guard jeer him. The guards begin pushing around the Agnee worshippers present. Sulam orders the guards to stop, challenging their honor. They are offended, but back down when Sulam points out that he is a Lord. They resume their harassment of the Agnee worshippers.

Omar magically animates the statue of Brahispati. The statue condemns Indra's priests. The crowd quiets. An Indran priest shouts that it is a fales message.

Meanwhile Kvin insinuates that Indra brought the cataclysm. He argues that the city should trade for grain, not make war. A heckler shots that Agnee knows nothing of war. Kvin points out that Agnee helps people.

One of the priests of Indra summons a small torrent of water which knocks Kvin down and washing one of Kvin's aides down the stairs. Te'pan somehow enchants three of the priests of Indra, who begin laughing uncontrollably. Omar summons a small sleet storm on one of the Indran priests. One of the unaffected priests of Indra shouts "Foul sorcerers are around," and points out Omar. Omar teleports away.

Kvin sets himself on fire magically, drawing attention. Soon, however, the crowds disperse.

Omar, who teleported to Pathik's home, attempts to disguise himself and leaves.

The group heads to a nearby pub and circulates. Te'pan hears that strange plants have been seen on the devastated island. Kumar notices soldiers in blue patrolling the north shore. Pathik explains that they are probably associated with Edrajala. The leaders are cruel and violent, while the ranks have vacant expressions and seem immune to pain.

The next day, Sarad writes a report on the situation and sends it back with a ship.

A group composed of Kumar, Te'pan, Sarad, Chendra, and Pathik goes to explore the island. Over most of the island, only foundations survived. In parts, small clumps of sturdy, partially intact buildings still stand. Across the island, plants native to the jungles are thriving, rapidly growing a foot or two in the week since the cataclysm. In the northwest many sturdy warehouses survived with minimal damage, and continue to operate.

Pathik knows several people in the warehouse district of Chinnapucacha, so the party makes its way there. Pathik warns that during the catacylsm, the dead rose and assaulted them. So warned, the party makes its way slowly across the rubble covering the island. En route, the group encounters groups of giant ants and bees, both over foot in size. The giant insects are avoided.

In one part, near the ruins of a monstrous building the party encounters a grou pof seven people rooting through the rubble. Pathik talks to one of them. He says that they haven't seen anything of note besides the strange plants and giant insects. The party moves on.

While moving around an artificial lake, Chendra notes eyes watching the party from the lake. After a moment, a five foot fishlike biped with yellow skin stands up from the water. It speaks in a strange tongue. Te'pan uses magic to comprehend the words. It repeats over and over "What have you done." Pathik speaks to the mind of the creature using his mental abilities. A conversion is held with Pathik using his mental powers to speak to the creature, and Te'pan translating for the creature. The creature explains that they are Locatha, a sea race. They live nearby, and recent events have disrupted them, and they want to know what happened. It says that this place is lost to the humans, and it wants to look around. Pathik grants permission. As the locatha leaves, Pathik mentions that perhaps the city can trade for food with them.

After more travel and avoiding another group of bees, the party arrives at the warehouses. The warehouses have high, strong walls which seem to have protected most of them.

The party sees a group of people standing offshore where buildings have been washed away. Approaching, the group is roughly twenty thin human-like men and woman with silver-green skin. Coming closer, it is apparent they these strange people have gills. Pathik greets them. A female with a strong but unidentifable accent asks if he is a lord here. Pathik affirms this, and the woman asks who is responsible. Pathik askes who is responsible for what. The woman speaks in an unknown language to others in her group. She states they they are from the kingdom to the east. Pathik explains that the wrath of the gods has levelled this island. The woman replies, "So, he has returned. It is not usually like this. Without him, you fell to barbarism and rose to great heights, when here, he causes constant chaos." Pathik explains the incident with the stolen lens. The woman replies that is is not yet over, "he" isn't appeased. She continues, explaining that there are "others", that a war in coming, and that her people will not be part of it. The green people retreat into the water.

The party heads south, arriving at the boatyards of the Tenyem company. It appears to be in good shape. The outer gate is closed. No one answers when the party knocks. Pathik scales the wall and opens the gate. The inner yard is empty, which is strange. Pathik says that the yards were active just days ago. We approach the office. When Pathik yells looking for people, the door opens exposing a manager of some sort. The manager quickly motions the party in and closes the door. He explains that people are afraid of the bees and ants. Many have been hurt while outside.

The party leaves and explores the rest of the island. Across the island there are giant bees and ants. The bees seem to prefer the west of the island, while the ants prefer the east. The far east is totally flattened, not even the bugs are present.

Chendra reminds the party that the Stupa is rumored to be the resting place of an ancient power older than the city. The party decides that perhaps the Stupa should be explored. The party takes a boat back to the mainland.