Empire of Sand

Welcome to the Hotel Calimshania

You elected to rest in the bandit's cave during the heat of the day. Jasmal, the mage girl who assisted you, quickly gathered her things and left – saying she had business to attend to elsewhere and assuring Hitash that she could not continue on with you. The next evening you departed to travel to Memnon, and Hitash and Asad were able to guide the group in the proper direction. The night passed uneventfully. 

As dawn approached, you began to feel sleepy. Suddenly you smelled smoke, bringing with it the scent of cooking meats. Up ahead in the distance, you saw a shimmering light. As you approached, you saw an inn with an oasis behind it. You knew of no historical record of this inn, but the location of it just off of a main trade route made sense. A young woman stepped out of the inn and began putting out the lantern. She heard you approach and beckoned you to come stay at her lovely inn.  She called to her bellboy, Buus, who helped tie and water your horses.  Unbeknownst to you, the woman attempted to Charm Drumpf, but she was unsuccessful. A bell began to toll, and looking up you could see the inn had a third floor bell tower.

The woman led you into the inn by candlelight down a long, dark hallway to the oasis garden in the back of the inn. A band was playing, people were dancing, and the woman informed you to call for Buus or The Captain if you needed anything. Tagrid recognized the song the band was playing, a classic piece by his long-dead hero Afe Taciki. Asad grabbed some food and then ordered Buus to take him and Adhem (in disguise as Asad's cousin from Calimport) to their room. Hitash sent his newly acquired familiar, Buttles the Invisible Imp, to monitor the situation.

Drumph proceeded to order roughly 14 beers from The Captain. The Captain wore an old-fashioned naval hat and seemed thrilled about your presence at the inn. Drumpf began to get suspicious (and irritated) at the fact he wasn't getting drunk. Just then the bell began to toll again and Hitash noticed something strange. The band had begun playing the same song and the Captain and patrons seemed to be repeating the initial movements and conversations they were having when you arrived.

Hitash informed you of what he saw, and you observed the situation through several bell tolls. You were now all convinced that some sort of magical timeloop event was occurring.  Tagrid went to speak to one of the musicians, the band lyre player. The man seemed to have forgotten his name, where he had come from, and how long he had been at the inn. He warned you, "Whatever you do, don't . . . fall . . . asleep." Following this cryptic message, the bell tolled and he went into another loop.

Meanwhile, Asad was lying in his room trying to get some shut eye. Suddenly he felt a strange presence take hold of his body, rendering him unable to control his body. The presence did not feel malicious, but rather full of sorrow and fear. The presence imparted a message in his mind, "Stop her . . . go to the master's chambers," before departing and giving him control of his body. As the presence left, the rest of the party banged on the door. 

Asad led the group up to the second floor. Down the hallway, you saw a large door with the words "Captain __________" in gold foil letters. You kicked the door down, blasting it nearly off of its hinges. The room was large and contained an ornate, four-poster bed and a large mirrored dresser – the glass was missing from the dresser. Hitash found an old book on the dresser, which upon closer inspection seemed to be the Captain's journal. It discussed his struggling business, the arrival of a beautiful woman and her manservant, and the strange events that followed. Meanwhile, Tagrid pulled out a mirror and began inspecting the room. In the reflection, the room appeared dusty, rundown, and covered in blood.

Just then, you heard Buus approaching. You followed him back downstairs and demanded to speak to the woman, hatching a plan to try to attack her by surprise. When shown the journal, she said it likely belonged to some criminal who had stayed at the inn previously. You saw through her deception, and Asad plunged his dagger into her shoulder. Though not seriously injured, she shrieked and fled up the stairs. Hitash and Tagrid followed close behind while Asad blocked Buus from going up the stairs.

Asad attempted to attack Buus, but his steel sword was ineffectual. Buus began to transform, growing long claws and his head assuming the form of a jackal. Asad managed to defend the stairs and slay the creature with his silvered dagger.

Upstairs, Hitash, Drumpf, and Tagrid tried to take down the woman. She proved resistant to Drumpf's weapon, but was easily damaged by Tagrid and Hitash's spells. Just then, a large, misty figure materialized out of the wall and stood between the party and the woman, allowing her time to escape up to the third floor. The Captain, clearly a ghost, managed to frighten Tagrid so badly that he aged about 40 years, sprouting white hair and a beard to match. The bell tolled again, and the Captain disappeared – presumably to reset in the time loop. 

Drumpf was the first to reach the third floor, discovering the woman within the 10×10 bell tower. The room contained nothing else, save the massive bell suspended from the ceiling by a chain. Tagrid and Hitash were able to deal significant damage to the girl, who, in her rage, showed her true form – a nightmare of a woman with red skin, wings, and horns. She attempted to Charm Hitash, but failed. The Captain made another appearance, but before he could deal any more damage, Drumpf had the insight to attack the bell. When he struck it with his axe, the Captain howled in rage and disappeared. The woman moved forward to strike at Drumpf, placing her beneath the bell. Drumpf smacked the bell with a second blow so powerful it cracked up the middle and came loose from its moorings. The bell crashed down, pinning the monster beneath it. Near death, she reassumed her human form and pleaded with Drumpf to save her – he, of course, refused. 

The reverberations from the bell were so strong that Hitash was knocked off his feet. The shaking did not stop, and instead grew heavier – as if the whole building were collapsing. You ran down the stairs and could see the hallways beginning to contract. You ran into Asad and Adhem on the first floor and managed to run out the front door before the entire inn reverse-big banged into itself. 

You watched watched from a nearby sand dune as the inn was erased. In the dawn light, you could see dozens of wispy figures ascending into the sky. Two of them, the Captain and his daughter, Ana, expressed their gratitude to you before fading from view.  You notice that the oasis was still intact and 6 of your 8 horses returned to your sides. You decided to investigate the oasis further. Hitash discovered a row of graves as well as a mysterious object poking out of the sand. Upon closer inspection, the object turned out to be the fine lyre that the musician was playing. Tagrid recognizes it immediately as Afe's Lyre and Asad's use of Detect Magic revealed that it was once a magical instrument, though it is now too damaged to function. Hitash decided to loot one of the graves, and discovered 100 gold coins, impressed with an image of a syl-pasha from three hundred years prior. The rest of the party wasn't thrilled about grave robbing, but allowed it – Tagrid forbidding him from looting the grave of Afe, should Hitash stumble upon it. 

<u>XP</u>

Killing Buus – 500

Killing The Woman (totally a succubus) – 1100

Dropping the Captain to half hp – 600

Holding your drink (Drumph) – 100

Memories revealed (Hitash) – 100

A fine performance (Tagrid) – 100

In Ana's possession (Asad) – 100

Destroying the Inn – 500

RP – 500

3600/4 = 900 per player

Everyone is now at 1937.

<u>Loot</u>

100 old ass gold coins (Hitash)

Afe's Lyre (Tagrid)

From the graves

80 additional gold pieces (looking at the coins, they range in age from 300 years old to present)

A scroll case containing a Scroll of See Invisibility

 

 

 

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nicoferguson

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