Sunday, May 20, 2012

Volant Playtest #3, Part 2

As they flew through the darkness to the north, Arjuna and Nadila both noticed it was thundering and raining in the far eastern mountains. They thought nothing further of it, and continued on. As first light was just penetrating the mirk to the east, they spotted a large copse of trees in a wadi below them, and decided to make camp.

Later, all were asleep but Sanjay, who was on watch. He heard a roar, and a moment later glimpsed a wall of water sweeping down on them. "FLOOD!" he shouted, and scrambled up the steep sides of the wadi. Arjuna jumped bareback onto his Kiwi as it flew away, Nadila and Kumar barely made it up the wadi sides, and the Birdmaster imitated Arjuna and flew away with the owls. The camp, and everything they weren't wearing, was swept away in the flood.

They spent the day patiently searching the wadi, the stream, and the pools of water left behind, and eventually recovered most of what they had lost. Twice patrols of herons flew overhead, but they were not spotted. Arjuna joked bitterly that only an idiot would camp in a wadi while it is raining in the mountains, so why bother looking.

When night fell, they set out again, exhausted after the arduous day finding and drying out their stuff. Flying north again, just before daylight they spotted a huge cliff in front of them, with a gap ten miles wide in front of it. Straum floated higher than Ar Jinnyah, and the match was not smooth. As they flew over the gap, they spotted clouds drifting below them. Ahead, they saw patrols, both on foot and on birdback, along the cliff face and top. They decided to hole up somewhere and wait for night.

Nadila, Arjuna, and Kumar spotted places to land, but Arjuna's ledge was exposed above, and Kumar's cave too shallow. They decided to go for Nadila's cavern, a wide thing with vegetation at the mouth where the sun could reach, and a stream emptying over the lip into the vast emptiness below. They knew - Arjuna and Nadila were both former Avian Scouts - that a cave this nice was probably inhabited, but an inspection turned up nothing, and they settled in and slept, exhausted.

Kumar was on watch when a great lizard pterodactyl thing dove at him from a niche on the roof of the cavern. He saw it in time and leaped away, but did not wake the others. The flying lizard banked and swept down again, this time scoring a ht with its talons, but Kumar got in a got bite with his spear as well. This time he woke up the rest of the party with a shout. (The rest of the players were sarcastically thanking him for letting them sleep, so he had better!)

Sanjay, who did not use any distance weapons, downed the potion of flying, while Arjuna and Nadila grabbed their crossbows. Kumar also dropped his spear and grabbed his crossbow as it came around for another attack. Kumar hit, and Nadila buried two bolts into the creature, but the thing snatched Kumar up, raking him terribly in the process, and flew out over the gap, screaming in triumph. Sanjay screamed "Nooo!" and flew out and onto the great lizard's back. He garotted the lizard while steering it back towards the cave mouth. Arjuna dropped his crossbow, and snatched Kumar from the thing's talons as it swept overhead. Sanjay rode it into the ground as Nadilla hit it twice more. Whether it was the crash, the garotte, or the bolts that killed it is undetermined, but no one much cared. Kumar was in terrible shape, and they poured their strongest healing potion into him as they put him back to sleep.

End of session. Three targets down, four to go.

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