Sandmen (D&D 4.0)

Troubled minds in troubled times
The Dream

After successfully exploring the clockwork temple and finding the artifact for Max, the heroes began to drift apart. Khail bid the group farewell as he headed off to find a location for his castle, and to begin building his army. The others, too, went their separate ways. A month passes.

The dream is always the same. You can’t remember exactly when it started, but every time you sleep, the dream is always the same. You feel yourself in vertigo; spinning, falling. When your senses clear you are in a forest. A dark and oppressive shadow seems to blanket everything. You feel as if you were being watched. You are lost. Panic sets in. How did you get here? Where are you? How can you get back? There! Up ahead, you see something. Through the leaves and vines you see it: a massive pyramid. It seems to shimmer with malevolence.

A voice thunders over you. I am Karavakos, lord of this realm. All who trespass shall be trapped for eternity! I’ll swallow your souls!

Then, finally, as the dream begins to fade, you see an image of Khail. He is chained and bound, hanging from the wall. He is bloody, beaten. He looks up and groans, “help.”

You wake up, covered in sweat, heart racing. You are left with the image of the pyramid and Khail.

When you talk to your other companions, you find that they have all had the same dream. What could it mean?

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To the lightning rail... And beyond!

After reassembling the group decides to attempt to rescue Khail. Judging from the trees in the dream visions, they believe the pyramid of souls can be found to the north, in Karnath. They catch a lightning rail train in the middle of the night, stowing away with some supplies.

That night they dream. They are in a forest, almost jungle-like in its density. In an attempt to get their bearings, Teun climbs a tree. In the distance, he can see the pyramid. They set out in the direction Teun indicated.

Along the way they are ambushed by some orcs and their pet Rage Drake! A mighty battle ensued, and the heroes were the victors. With his last breath, one of the attackers proclaims, " Garash, I have failed you!" And with that, the dream fades.

Surprisingly, the wounds everyone sustained while dreaming remain on their bodies. This occurrence is not just a dream. Knowing now that Khail must be in very real trouble, they continue on as the lightning rail moves into the Mournlands.

Some time later the train stops. The group discovers that another train has been derailed ahead of them, and that their way is blocked. Further, they soon realize that their own conductor has been struck down by a villain from the other train. The villain summons numerous undead snakes which proceed to attack the heroes. No matter how many snakes they strike down, it seems, more appear. As the battle begins to look hopeless, a group of figures condense out of the mist.

In a voice which sounds familiar, they hear “I’m sick of all these undead snakes on this lightning rail train!” A large orc, bearing resemblance to Khail, but much larger, leading a small platoon of skeletons charges into the battle. Soon, the undead snake summoner falls, and lies dead at the feet of the heroes.

Grom, the spirit of Khail’s father, and his troops help clear the tracks. This is the only way he can help them rescue Khail. His existence is fleeting, and he fades back in to the mist of the Mournlands, a haunted soul forever wandering in the dark.

As they begin to move out, they encounter the cargo of the derailed train, a Dire Turkey! It had been meant for the table of some noble’s feast in the south before the derailment, but now it was just angry. As it charged at these new foes, it was surprised by the cooing words and soothing sounds coming from Castle. Somehow, he had mimicked the exact noises that the turkey’s mother had made years before on a stormy night. Her sounds had calmed him then, as Castle’s did now. All it understood was that Castle was a friend, not an enemy. The rage in its heart cooled, and a bond was made.

They ventured on. With the conductor dead, they were forced to use the Dire Turkey, “Butterball” as a means of propulsion for the lightning rail train. This was slow going, and by the time they reached the next stop along the line, Fort Zombie, they were ready to switch to a fully functioning train.

Captain Grimes met them at the tracks, and was surprisingly convinced of their good will. It would be a day until the next train arrived, in the meantime the group could reequip at the forge, stay in the barracks, and help out on guard duty. As such, they were patrolling the walls of the keep, late at night, when a strange thing occurred.

Small packages began to fall out of the sky. When they landed, they made clicking sounds, and soon opened! Out came elves. Not the usually foresty elves, but small ones. They began declaring everyone “naughty,” and attacking. After a while of battling these elves, another thing came from the sky. A large, red-haired, barbarian riding a red sleigh with 8 undead reindeer came from the sky and landed in the courtyard. Santa Claws came out and began to battle the naughty children of the party. Brigand took this opportunity to steal the sleigh. With unnatural ease, he commanded the reindeer to take off and land heavily upon their former master. With Santa Claws defeated, Brigand began to feel a change. His desires started to switch to those of the previous Santa. He fought off the urges and the group began to search through the packages. In them they found many wondrous gifts!

They went to sleep that night with visions of sugar plums, whatever those are, dancing in their heads.

What does the new day hold for them? Who will they meet? Where will they go? Stay tuned to find out at our next game!

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