by Shaena Tosscobble (Lisa S.)
Play Dates: 3/3/2018
Present: Shaena Tosscobble (Lisa), Glin Ybendawien Droat (Kep), Merelda (Vera), Salazar (Paul), Rhogar (Mike)
In-Game Date: 3/3 – 15/2018
TL;DR: We travelled to the Great Scale village and restored relations, staying with them until Salazar could participate in the Challenge of the Chiefs as the Kunyata Kar.
A charred and blackened lizardfolk strode into the Fort Providence tavern, catching my attention with his towering height and strangely sophisticated garb. He introduced himself as Salazar, fresh off the road from Summerport by way of Griffin’s Roost. A talkative lizard, Salazar was happy to share his story over an ale. Stolen from his clan by slavers, set free by a pirate, and eventually cast into an obelisk for 700 years, his was quite the tale.
As we talked, we were joined by Merelda, Glin, and Rhogar. Salazar told us that Theobald Peacekeeper, the Herald’s traitor, had told him of the plight of the lizardfolk in the Black River delta. We explained our experience with the lizardfolk, from their work for the hags to the death of Chief Atuji. Salazar told us of the wintry tundra of Summerport, asking Merelda to rent a locker to store his heavy marathon pelt. After deliberating our options, we decided to take news of Atuji’s death to the Greatscale clan, hoping to take advantage of their honorable nature.
We set out, north through the wetlands on a pleasantly humid day, passing the remnants of a recently slaughtered boar. We were surprised at how nice the trip was, without any blights or curses to muddy the path.
We arrived at the Greatscale village just before evening, approaching the tower by a well-established path through a tunnel of trees. As we approached the line of lizardfolk defenders, I cast Tongues and hopped up on Salazar’s tale, playing The Fall of a Noble Warrior, the dirge I had written in honor of Chief Atuji. As we approached, one of the lizardfolk called out to Salazar, asking him if he knew the words “Kunyata Kar”. My spell caused the words to ring in my head as “The Old Ones”. He did not, but he offered the Great Scale a blade as a token of good will. One of the guards ran to the village proper to ask about our admission. While we waited, the lizardfolk treated us to food and I sang them the song in full.
Upon hearing of their chief’s death, the great scale guard said they would beseech Semuanya and hold a tournament to determine the divinely appointed successor to Chief Atuji. When we asked, they told us they had been able to recover their stolen eggs from the Midden Heap’s lair after she had fallen.
After an hour, the runner returned, and we were asked to follow them to the Tribal Lands to speak with the venerable Shaman, Veka. As we passed between the hide-covered tents, lizardfolk young and old looked to Salazar, repeating the phrase “Kunyata Kar.”
We followed the runners into the long great hall, were we were introduced to Veka, the village shaman. All around us were the Great Scale spoils of combat, including half a dozen shields bearing the symbols of Black River Island. Veka welcomed us and asked me to tell of Atuji’s death. I sang The Fall of a Noble Warrior once again. She asked if we had brought his weapons and shield, that they could honor him properly. I told her that we had them preserved at Fort Providence, but that they could be returned to her and her people.
Salazar asked Veka what Kunyata Kar meant. She told him that it was the name of the ancestral lizardfolk, from whose eggs all the clans had hatched. Fragments of these shells were held by the Kunyata Kar – the progenitors. Should one return with the shells, or with the blood of the Kunyata Kar in his veins, that one could have the power to reunite the lizardfolk clans without bloodshed. She asked why Salazar so resembled the ancestors. He told her his story, and Veka invited Salazar to undertake the Challenge of the Chieftains to establish his claim of ancestral blood.
We shared a meal and a peace pipe with Veka and the other lizardfolk present. After night had fallen everyone in the village gathered to determine who would be the next chief of the Great Scale clan. We were welcomed as guests and invited to watch the ceremonial combat. Veka, as Shaman, called on many elders to determine whether they would stand for the title. Most declined, but several respected warriors stood to fight in single elimination combat. The battle was not fatal, or malicious. Instead it was civilized. When the combat ended, a younger lizardfolk, Dokkal, was victorious. Veka announced that he too would have to complete the Challenge of the Chieftains to cement his position as the new Chief of the Greatscale Clan.
Despite the late hour, a great celebration erupted. A small group of young lizardfolk ran among the crowd, seemingly without any parents. Rhagar asked after the Shimmerscale tribe, learning that the conflicts between the clans were paused until the next new moon when the Challenge would occur.
We tried to make ourselves helpful as our talents allowed. Rhagar offered healing to several of the older villagers. Glin helped by mending a variety of objects. By the end of the evening, the people had begun calling us the Shaman People. Salazar and Merelda engaged in a grapple competition to entertain the villagers. After a long, drawn out battle, Salazar won out, much to the crowd’s joy.
At the Greatscale’s invitation, we stayed in their village until the new moon, and the gathering of the lizardfolk clans. Rhogar spoke to Veka and Dokkal about the possibility of harvesting sorrel eggs so they can be domesticated and ridden. He promised to return in the spring when the season was right. Glin traded Dokkal a health potion for a hag fetish for his employer. Merelda returned to Fort Providence and retrieved Atuji’s weapons and shield. Their return caused another celebration, though this more somber than the last.
I spent the time getting to know the Great Scale and their culture. They worship Semuanya, a goddess of survival and propagation of the lizardfolk. They see themselves as superior to the bullywugs and the sahaugin, which they see as animals. They were eager to learn military techniques and strategies from us, including mounted combat from Rhogar, two-handed combat from Salazar, and music from me. Glin demonstrated his arcane magic by racing one of the town’s fastest scout with the spell Expeditious Retreat. The Great Scale were fascinated by this magic that comes from the earth rather than the gods, and agreed they may send some villagers to Fort Providence to train in the arcane arts.
As the new moon approached, we traveled together with the Great Scale to the stepped pyramid to the East. As we gathered around the pyramid, Salazar and the four newly appointed chiefs came forward to complete the Challenge of the Chieftains: Katlung of Clan Deepbreath, Meekharr of Clan Strongclaw, Lyfkal of Clan Shimmerscale, and Dokkal of Great Scale. Veka and Dalor, the two remaining shamans, invited the five challengers to the top of the pyramid as we and the tribes remained at the bottom.
After what seemed like an eternity, their forms emerged again at the top of the pyramid. Salazar and Dokkal stepped to the edge of the top step and flung the body of Lyfkal down to the feet of the Shimmerscale tribe. The shamans introduced the chiefs to the 4 tribes, and said Shimmerscale had its shame to overcome. Salazar was then announced to the collected tribes as Kunyata Kar, of the progenitor race.
In the time that followed, Salazar told us what had happened within the pyramid. The shamans had blessed them and told them that their Challenge would show them the danger they must keep apart from the world. They were told to descend to the bottom of the pyramid and touch the blue stone together. One by one, the chieftains jumped into the hole in the top of the pyramid into still water. Four giant stone statues rose into the water depicting Merrow screaming up on their tails, straining toward the point of entry.
As the chiefs swam down to the base of the pyramid, Salazar saw infernal text inscribed into the floor:
“You stand before the eye of his greatest prince, Lord of all who swims in the darkness, Demogorgon.”
One by one, starting with Katlung of Deepbreath, the chieftains touched the large icy sapphire. As the final clawed hand touched the stone it pulsed blue, light flooding through the area, and the water buzzed with energy. Above, the Merrow statues’ tridents began to glow. Living Merrow appeared and swam toward the assembled chieftains. Three merrow attacked the chieftains as the forth swam for the sapphire.
Lyfkal of Shimmerscale withdrew, leaving his allies to fight the Merrow. When the one in the center touched the stone, it pulsed again, and above one of the tridents glowed. One by one, the Merrow fell, with Lyfkal joining in the fray. Salazar and Dokkal took blows from their opponents, but they were ultimately victorious. But before the last one fell, Lyfkal swam over and touched the stone on his way past. His eyes widened and he went feral with rage, attacking Meekharr of Strongclaw. Meekharr pulled away to join Katlung in fighting a fifth summoned Merrow, while Dokkal and Salazar dealt with their fallen comrade.
As the last Merrow fell, Salazar saw the flailing mouths and limbs of the Demogorgon itself, straining to enter this world. Then the water cleared, and the four remaining chiefs swam back to the top of the pyramid. Salazar and Dokkal each lifting one arm of the fallen Lyfkal. Salazar said that it was clear the Demogorgon must never be allowed to enter this world, and that the lizardfolk together stand between the demon and its goal.
With the ritual over, the lizardfolk departed. Rhogar went with the Shimmerscale as they sought to appoint a new chief. The rest of us returned with the Great Scale clan, where Salazar remained, and the rest traveled back to Fort Providence.
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast