Dark Sun: A New Dawn

Session 10, War Wagon Raid

You have the sensation of moving, without movement. In an instant, the Brotherhood of the Sun feel the still, cool shadow of the palace at Balic fade to harsh Athasian desert. The overall experience is enthralling yet somehow unsettling; the companions are left disoriented and mildly nauseated. After a short rest, the group to regains their composure and the reality of their situation returns. The rumbling of a massive army can be heard in the distance toward the south-west, beyond the dunes.

Maurus stands before the group with two small war wagons at the ready. There is a small contingent of armed soldiers aboard one of the wagons, they shift impatiently while awaiting orders. Maurus motions for the party to join him and speaks, “Here’s the plan. You will ride aboard this wagon,” he motions to the wagon with one guard holding the reins, “while I ride along side in the other. We are leaving immediately to intercept the target. Your number one priority is to board, capture, and deliver the war wagon to Balic. Do not fail.”

The Brotherhood of the Sun climb aboard and within moments the wagons are bounding over the dunes. Almost immediately, the party sees their target through the haze of dust. The wagon is gargantuan. Two mekillots pull the nearly four-story tall wagon, moving at a surprisingly rapid pace. Maurus yells from his wagon, “We will approach from the rear, be ready!” As the raiding party approaches their target, the Brotherhood notice activity aboard the upper decks of the wagon, including the arming of a foreboding looking ballista. Then, from the sides of the war wagon they spot two giants slowing their pace, and turning to engage the smaller wagons. It’s clear they must approach the war wagon and board with haste.

The giants, set upon the raiding party, dispatch a number of guards from Maurus’ wagon, who himself has sustained little damage however looks visibly stirred. Volleys from the ballista soar overhead or land just short of the fast-moving wagons. The moving-melee persists for a short while as the Brotherhood prepares their grapple hooks to board the war wagon. Once within range, they hurl their line to the war wagon and begin boarding. With their line tethered, they begin to move across one at a time.

At the same moment that Balderdash is making his way across as the last to board the war wagon, the guard keeping the wagon steady apace the massive war wagon is struck by a projectile from the ballista. This, combined with some unsure coordination by the Dwarven priest, nearly sends Balderdash to his doom under the enormity of the war wagon and ill fate in the desert. T’kkyl manages to grab Balderdash just in time, leaving the Dwarf dangling by one leg over the edge of the caravan. The moment passes as the team is able to recover their companion, but the irony of the situation is not lost and a valuable lesson is learned.

Pressing on, the companions compose themselves for the fight to come. Guards on the upper-most deck hurl fire down upon the group, pinning them as they attempt to break into the inner cabin of the war wagon. Guards make their way outside from the front of the war wagon to surround the group. With anxiety building, Felegar and Athaerien manage to pick the lock of one of the doors and proceed immediately inside. Once T’kkyl and Balderdash follow behind them, they lock the door from the inside to buy themselves some time.

As the Brotherhood catch their breath, the guards outside yell to their comrades above and begin to circle back to the front of the wagon. The group advance inward and find themselves at a junction with doors on either side of a hallway to the left, and a corridor in front of them with stairs heading up. They proceed left and trigger a trap on one of the doors, injuring Felegar as he inspects the seal on the door. It’s clearly arcane in origin and they are not equipped to handle it. They sense there is something of great value and importance in that room. The next set of doors opposite the trapped room are most convenient as they hear guards approaching, they duck into the room and bar the doors behind them. Taking some time to rest, they inspect their surroundings.

The room is full of crates, miscellaneous supplies, sacks, and one dead guard they pulled from the hallway to try and cover their tracks. There are barred double doors at either end of the room, those that they entered and another set returning outside to the unforgiving desert. The room appears to have nothing of obvious value, but they are intrigued by an odd structural difference in the corner of the room. Upon further inspection, they decide to pry away the panels of the wall to determine what is held within the mysterious space. They are struck, nearly floored, with the overwhelming stench of latrine. The floor to ceiling (ceiling to floor in this case) chamber is a poop chute. For a brief moment, they consider climbing the column as a “sneaky” short-cut to the upper decks of the wagon. That strategy quickly fades as they realize the slime covered walls, obscured exit at the top of the chamber, and opening to the axle and wheels and desert below would spell certain doom. They return the panel to the wall and move on, never to speak of the incident again.

Having reseted briefly, the Brotherhood of the Sun press on to capture the caravan. They carefully listen and peer through the door to the hallway and see one guard. They have the upper hand and attack. They dispatch the guard, inspect the surrounding area once more, discover a trapdoor in front of another trapped door to what they can only assume is what the King of Balic is after. They move on toward the second floor of the caravan with haste.

As they turn the first corner on their way to the stairs, a massive explosion rips through the outside wall of the caravan in front of them. Smoke and debris fill the hallway as the wall catches fire and blocks their path. Shouting erupts from outside and the deck above them. The companions peer around the corner to see an outline of a guard on the other side of the fire. He’s speaking with another guard working to put out the fire outside through and open doorway. The companions yell to the guard, “We’ll work on it from this side,” to which the guard replies, “Who is that?” The Brotherhood open fire, surprising the guard at the other end of the hallway, killing him.

The companions proceed through the door which they first entered the war wagon. War rages all around them. The guard who was working on the fire outside is surprised to see them, as T’kkyl leads the charge to engage him. They quickly dispatch the guard, circling around the inferno, and head back inside the war wagon to the diminishing smoke and stairs in front of them. Whether or not the fire was started by a siege engine or arcane powers is unclear. However, it is clear to the Brotherhood that they have limited time to capture the caravan as it heads into the war zone.

At the top of the stairs, they surprise another guard in the mess peering into a trapdoor within the floor yelling below, “Hey, do you see them?” The companions take advantage of his poor defenses and attack. With the clock ticking, and after exchanging a few blows, they decide to simply push him into the opening in the floor and move on. At the end of the mess is another door that is slightly ajar. Felegar uses his ability to alter his line of site within his mind to peer into the next room. He sees one figure in the room, stairs to the upper-most deck, and what appears to be a lavatory in the corner. Movement above and from the latrine and two more figures enter the room. The team charge in and take down the guards in their living quarters. The guard coming from the latrine seems most surprised.

With no time to lose, the Brotherhood decide not to dwell on the second deck, skipping inspection of the forward compartment in favor of advancing up the aft staircase to the top deck of the war wagon. Their time is running short to capture the wagon before it approaches the front lines of the invasion of Tyr. They move cautiously up the stairs and onto the roof with the intention of circling back to the front of the war wagon where they assume they will find the drivers cabin. The companions emerge into the howling wind, sand, and oppressive sun of the desert once more.

Two individuals stand opposite the group, toward the control room at the front of the war wagon. At first glance, considering the numbers are in the Brotherhood’s favor, the companions are forthright and begin their charge, sticking tightly together as they weave between the deck rigging and armaments. Soon, however, they realize their over-confidence was a mistake as they are burned and divided. The majority of the group are pushed over the edges of the war wagon like rag dolls, and Felegar is left alone behind cover to fend for himself. Battered and bloody, the companions manage to climb back to the top deck using rope tied off by Felegar. Humbled by their initial failure brought on by hubris, the Brotherhood of the Sun rally and regain their stride, overcoming the final two foes to capture the war wagon.

Having eliminated all barriers before them, the next challenge means bringing the mekillots under their control. They drop from the top deck into the control room for the massive, hulking war wagon. They discover a control orb that focuses psionic energy and thought to maintain control over the lumbering drakes pulling the war wagon. Athaerien takes control of the orb and manages to slow the pace of the mekillots and the wagon begins to change course to the south-east, toward Balic to return the prize to King Andropinis and claim their reward.

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The Negotiation (Session 9.5)

After spending the night on House Baleth’s estate recovering, you are led into the city proper.

Balic lies near the eastern end of the Balican Peninsula, a range of arid hills between the arms of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue. The slopes of the hills are mild and verdant by Athasian standards; grain fields, vineyards, olive groves, and progressively drier pastures extend about thirty miles west of the city-state’s walls before giving way to stony barrens and brown mountain peaks. Large, slave-worked noble estates along the peninsula provide most of Balic’s
food supply.

Like most travelers bound for the city-state you follow the Road of Legions, the major passage along the spine of the peninsula. Balic’s wall cuts off the tip of the peninsula, running about two miles between the arms of the Estuary. The city-state sits atop an array of hills on a natural harbor formed by high hills ringing a bay of silt. Most of the finer houses are on the leeward side of the hills, providing them protection from the wind driven silt from the sea.

Balic is divided into five administrative precincts plus the Megaleneon, which is the civic center, both literally and figuratively. The other districts include the Arena Precinct, Guidler’s precinct, Harbor Precinct, Market Precinct, and Villa Precinct.

You are led to the Megaleneon, a high, rocky hill overlooking the harbor. Andropinis rules from the White Palace, a majestic structure at the top of the hill. The Chamber of Patricians and the barracks of the First Legion sit farther down the slope of the Megaleneon. Near the Chamber of Patricians you see a large structure identified as the Praetorium, your apparent destination. Your guide explains that the Praetorium is the center of civic business in Balic, and where you can request audience with the king.

Once in the Praetorium, your guide speaks to a clerk at the main desk who then runs down a hall to a large office. A few minutes later he returns and speaks to your guide. Your guide turns and tells you, "you have been granted an audience with the Chamberlain, he will be able to schedule your audience with the King if he deems you worthy. Your guide leaves and you are lead into a large room with a large opulent desk, where a young templar is seated. There is a large window behind the desk looking out onto the harbor.

The young templar looks up from his work and says, “I am Maurus, Praetor of Balic and Chamberlain to his majesty Andropinis, King of Balic. What is your business in Balic?”

Balderdash looks around the room and sees he is are standing in a wide double doorway, in which three of you can stand abreast easily. The doors open inward and block your view to your sides, focusing your eyes to the alabaster white desk where the Chamberlain sits. Besides the large window behind him you see no other entrances to the room. On either side of the window and spaced equidistant around the perimeter of the room are large Ionic columns made from gleaming white marble easily standing 25-30 feet high. Behind the thick, tall, ornate doors you can faintly hear calm breathing.

Balderdash then says, “Tithian sent us here to be the emissaries to Balik and to garner favor from the sorcerer king Andrupinise. He has given us a scroll to personally deliver to Andrupinis.”

“Ah, emissaries of the Usurper. I’m sure it must be a matter of supreme importance for the King of Tyr to send the likes of you to garner favor with His Majesty.” (You can detect a not so subtle hint of sarcasm and derision in Maurus’s tone). “I would have thought Tithian would have sent his noble confidant Agis, or even the Mul Slave, Rikus, to deliver such a request.”

“Please step into my office, and explain why Andropinis should grant you an audience. He has a very busy schedule, running a prosperous city-state such as Balic takes a lot of attention.”

Balderdash replies, “Maurus, I realize our appearance doesn’t invoke extreme importance but do not judge the weight of the message on our appearance. We were not Tithian’s first or second choice. Avis and Rikus we’re sent by Tithian on a task of far greater importance. We would not be hear if Tithian did not think it wasn’t life altering for his city and other prosperous cities. With that said, he would also not send this mere group without a significant value(holding up the scroll and shaking it)to garner favor with Andropinis.”

As you enter the room to speak to Maurus, the doors close. At first it seems as if by magic, but quickly, you realize they were pushed closed by the enormous hulking hill giants who were standing quietly behind them.

“Ah, it’s good for those such as yourselves to understand their station in life. You could probably teach your king a thing or two about it. Tithian and Tyr must be in quite dire straits if he has come to Balic looking for help. Even if Andropinis honors his request, the payment may be more than your king can handle. I suspect if you had a true Sorcerer King running Tyr still, you would not be in this predicament. So why is Tithian so desperate for Andropinis’s support anyway?”

The hill giants let out a quiet huff behind you.

Balderdash impatiently replies, “With all do respect to you Maurus and your title, as emissaries to the King of Tyr we must speak to the king with all do haste!!!”

Maurus scowls, "“If you DID respect my title, you would understand that my duty is to review all those wishing an audience with the King. You are in no position to make demands. For all I know you could be assassins sent to kill the King. If you are unwilling to provide me at least some basic insight into WHY you want audience with the King, beyond ‘Tithian told us it was important’ you are wasting my time. So tell me why Tithian needs the King’s support, or leave.”

The hill giants shift there enormous clubs in their now tense hands.

Balderdash replies, “Our apologizes Maurus. We are not authorized to give details to anyone besides Andropinus on this manner. The danger from the north is not something your scouts and informants would have missed. We believe you already know why we are here and it is not to assassinate the king. We are willing to leave our weapons here to speak with the king.”

Maurus scowls at you and the giants begin to lift their enormous clubs. Maurus’s face is then overcome by a devilish grin as he waves off his guards.

“So the reports are true, Urik has indeed moved against Tyr. The Lion of the Desert has always been ambitious. Control over Urik and Tyr would give him a significant advantage and could make him a threat to even the Dragon. I understand why Tithian is so desperate now, there is little chance Hamanu would let him survive a siege.”

“Tithian was wise or lucky to send you here instead of Gulg, Lalali-Puy is so self absorbed she’d be as likely to assist Urik as you, assuming she didn’t just kill you for assuming you could beg for her favor. King Andropinis is wise, and understands there is importance in the balance of power, and the need of mutual trade for profit.”

“If you wish audience with King Andropinis, you will meet with him in the Chamber of Patricians. No one from outside Balic is granted lone audience with the King, the Patricians will have their say in how Balic reacts to this. You may leave your weapons here with my guards, you may may take a meal while I inform the Chamber of your request. Hopefully they will be able to fit you in their schedule soon.”

After you disarm, one of Maurus’s aids takes you to a small banquet hall where a meal is ready and waiting. Various olives and citrus fruits are served in large bowls with platters of lamb and silt crab were provided as protein along with flat breads and aromatic sauces. A large carafe of wine is also on the table for refreshment.

After the relaxing meal Maurus enters the room and asks you to follow him. “You are in luck, as Andropinis was already planning to meet with the Patricians this afternoon, and your request has been added to the schedule. Apparently you’ve peaked our King’s curiosity as well as my own.”

Maurus and a few guardslead you down a corridor lined by lifelike statues of ancient Balican statesmen, then across a courtyard to the white marble faced assembly hall, Chamber of Patricians. The building was perfectly square, with a colonnade of fluted pillars supporting an ornate tablature. Maurus opens the door and waves you into the building. You pass into a small anteroom, where a halfgiant sentry stands in front of a pair of massive doors. After raising his hand to salute the chamberlain, the guard pulls the doors open and steps aside.

“It is important that you be respectful to the King and follow proper decorum while in the Chamber. Do not address the King until he acknowledges you. We have little tolerance for those who would scoff at our ways.”

In the next chamber is murky and dark, and the air feels hot and moist against your skin and reeks of perfumed flesh. Save for the soft scrapes of your own feet on the marble floors, the room is dead quiet.

As your eyes adjust to the dim light in the chamber you realize you are not along at all. A gallery of marble benches runs down both sides of the huge chamber, partially concealed by two lines of marble pillars that support the ceiling. Several hundred men and women of various races wait patiently in the tiers, all dressed in white togas hemmed with silver and gold. All remained absolutely motionless and quiet.

At the far end of the chamber stood an empty throne, constructed of translucent alabaster and stationed upon a pedestal of pink jade. Inlays of blue tinted stone decorated the back of the magnificent seat, while the arms have been shaped from solid blocks of chalcedony, and the legs from limpid citrine. All of the light that passed through the narrow windows in the room seems to flow directly into the chair, which casts a radiance back into the chamber as a muted white glow.

Maurus points you to a group of open seats in front of the throne, a half dozen rows from it. Patricians sit on either side of your group, while Maurus takes a seat just behind you. Looking closer at the Patricians you notice they have no eyes, and their ears seem malformed. Maurus notices you attention on them and place his finger on one’s lower lip. The patrician, startled at first, then opens her mouth, revealing a useless stump of a tongue.

“King Andropinis values the advise of his patricians, but he also wishes to be certain anything occurring here is never discussed outside the Chamber.”

As Maurus finishes his explanation you hear a booming voice in your heads “We are in chamber my advisors.” As one all the patricians stand and bow. Before you can even decide to do the same, you feel yourself stand involuntarily, followed by a huge weight on your shoulders, forcing you into a bow.

As the weight lifts, you look to the throne and see a huge man standing before the pedestal. Standing taller than a half giant and as heavily muscled as a mul gladiator. On his head, a fringe of chalk colored hair hung from beneath a jagged crown of silver. He has a slender face and a long nose with dark egg shaped nostrils. His cracked lips are pulled back revealing a mouth full of teeth filed as sharp as daggers. Unlike the patricians, he did not dress in a toga. Instead he wore a sleeveless tunic of white silk, a breechcloth of silver fabric,and soft leather boots. It is King Andropinis.

As the King takes his throne you hear in your mind “Advisors, we have guests from Tyr with us today. Allow our guests to introduce themselves, and explain what brings them to the Great City of Balic.”

Felegar replies, “Great King Andropinis of Balic, we are The Brotherhood of the Sun and we humbly seek your audience as emissaries of King Tithian of Tyr. It is with great fortitude and urgency that we have trekked across the wastes for this opportunity. We are humbled by your greatness and very grateful for your generous hospitality. We will never forget the generosity of Balic. Please great King, will you hear what we have to say?”

After your initial request, you hear Andropinis’s voice in your mind repeating repeating your request for audience to the Patricians. With a nod and a smile he grants you audience and to continue.

“Tithian has requested that we deliver this [presenting the scroll] to you, and you alone. He holds nothing but respect for you, great King, and hopes that you will hear his plea for aide. Hamanu leads a force from Urik and means to sack Tyr. We cannot allow him to control the iron mines; Hamanu could rival the power of the Dragon and create an imbalance of power in the world that King Tithian is certain that you, in all your wisdom, will know to be true. King Tithian sent us to request two legions of your forces to aide Tyr’s efforts to turn back the Urikites.” [holding the scroll up again] “Tithian presented us this scroll detailing his proposal. We would never presume to know the ways of a King, just that we are Tithian’s humble emissaries and he believes this accord to be favorable for you, should you as ruler of the great city state of Balic, choose to review it. We have also brought with us a chest, from King Tithian, to be delivered to you, we can only presume to further illustrate Tithian’s intention to work with you as an ally, in a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

Maurus, following a gesture from the King takes the offered scroll from you and presents it to Andropinis.

Before opening the scroll he allows you to finish and summarizes your request telepathically for the Patricians.

Andropinis then announces telepathically and with his voice, “Tithian was wise to request aid in defending Tyr, Hamanu is an ambitious man with much power. Tithian was also wise to send servants as humble and respectful as yourselves. Many are under the impression Tyr is now under the rule of slaves and barbaric gladiators, not civilized folk such as yourselves. Maybe it is worth saving. Tithian’s request for two full legions is a large one though. As you are apparently aware, Giants constantly plague our city, and sending two legions could cost us dearly. Let us look at Tithians offer and see if it is truly worth it for Balic.”

With that, Andropinis breaks open the scroll and motions for a pair of Templar to bring the chest forward. They open the chest while Andropinis is still reading silently revealing it contains an obsidian orb as large as a mul’s head and several steel rods covered in strange patterns that appear ingrained in the metal.

Andropinis looks up from his reading to inspect the interior of the chest, then looks at the group with an eyebrow raised. “While Tithian has been very generous with his offer, it is still a lot to ask me to give up two legions. If you are willing to perform a small task for me, Brotherhood of the Sun, in order to seal this pact, and I will send my legions to assist Tyr. Are you interested?”

Balderdash replies, “Thank you, Great King Andropinis. We are committed to completing our mission for our King and Tyr. We humbly accept your offer and are at your command, gracious king.”

Andropinis smiles and speaks, “Very well then. Patricians, if any of you oppose providing the assistance to Tyr that I have so graciously offered, please let it be known now.” Though you hear a few robes shuffle, no Patricians answer Andropinis’s request.

“Realize that this task I ask you perform is for Balic, not Tyr, and is for us to know alone. Tithian and Tyr have no need to concern themselves with this part of our bargain, as they will profit greatly from it, as will you, Brotherhood of the Sun.”

“In the rear ranks of the Urikite caravan is a war wagon that I want for Balic. It is lightly defended and should not be too much trouble for a group such as yourselves. I will send along a small detachment of Balican soldiers to assist in harrying the war wagons protectors while you board it, over power the crew and bring it to me.”

“This must be done without Tyrian knowledge or interference, so you must complete your task before the war wagon engages Rikus’s army at sundown in 2 days. Before you concern yourself with the distance that must be travelled, trust me when I tell you I have ways to get you there in time.”

“I have already moved the 2 legions Tithian requested via silt skiff to a forward base near Altaruk, and I will send word to them to meet up with Tithian’s forces. Hamanu’s generals will be in for much more than they bargained for.” Andropinis finishes with a devilish grin.

“Do you have any questions before we adjourn this session? Afterward Maurus will assist you with stocking your supplies and preparing you for the journey.”

Balderdash replies, “Yes, Great King, we do have some questions we hope your grace would be willing to address.

Do you have any of your troops engaged with this covert operation, and if so how will they be commanded? How will we know we have the correct caravan and what is the cargo so we are certain to deliver what you desire?

Any additional information you can give us regarding the asset will surely enhance our ability to retrieve it for you with haste. Will you be on the battlefield, Great King, or should we return to Balic?”

“As I mentioned, I will be sending a detachment of Balican soldiers to assist you by drawing the attention of the war wagon’s guards so you can attempt to board and take it over. I will be sending Maurus with you to supervise the detachment, he will ensure you engage the correct war wagon.” Maurus’s eyes open widely, and turns a bit green. “It should be well separated from the main Urikite forces, otherwise you’d have little hope of breaching their defenses with such a small group. Do not worry yourselves about what I want, just complete the task. My appearance on a Tyrian-Urikite Battlefield could lead to a true multi-national war, so I will be here in Balic, waiting for your return. Maurus will take you to get your belongings and get prepared for your trip. This meeting is adjourned.” Andropinis stands and leaves the chamber. As if on queue the Patricians all stand up and begin filing out.

Maurus leads you back to his office to retrieve your belongings, though he seems a bit consumed in thought. After retrieving your things, and Maurus retrieving his own from a trunk near his desk, he hands each of you a small shimmering crystal that seems to almost vibrate in your hand. Then he leads you to a small domed building near the White Palace.

Maurus explains, “This building is very ancient and can be used as a focus for arcane and psionic power. Andropinis has been able to use it to transport small groups of people and items over great distances in the blink of an eye. That is what he intends to do with us now.”

Inside the building it is very dark, lit only by a few torches. On the far wall you see what appears to be a large frame for a painting or mirror, but with no picture in it. You then notice Andropinis and a small group of people entering from a door that most likely leads to the White Palace.

“Brotherhood of the Sun, I will be opening a portal for you to travel to a staging area not too far from the Urikite war wagon. You will be able to resupply there and carryout your mission. Once the portal is open you must cross through it quickly as it cannot be held open long, as it may attract the attention of Hamanu. Make sure you carry the crystals Maurus gave you on your person, or you may end up somewhere…. much less pleasant.”

Andropnis moves to the center of the room with his six follower circling him. As he focuses his power and chants in a strange language you see the space in what you thought was a picture frame begin to shimmer and become cloudy and opaque. The people with Andropinis show looks of strain and beig to groan, one even falls to his knees. After a few more moments you can see what looks to be a blurry veiw of a rocky desert. The portal has been opened.

Urgently Maurus says to you “We must go now!” and steps through the portal.

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Session 9, DRAFT

>> DRAFT

Session 9

Several hundred men with labor animals, armed to the teeth

Sessin, indicates that Tithian has been seeking out the adventurers. Advises that the group seek him immediately. From the caravans there are rumors of an army from Urik. Make haste, Sessin advises that other templar will not be as friendly as he is Felegar’s acquantance.

Marak loading a cart of supplies. Clear that there is a war afoot. Must complete his tasks knowing that the templar will come down on him. Asks if the group has seen Mishka, she seems to have been distraught the last time Marak saw her.

The group heads with haste directly to Jovan’s to rest, collect their thoughts. Mercinaries make up the crowd. Most of the activity is nearer the gates, mobilization of a defense force for war against the Urikian army who advance due to the lack of iron coming from Tyr. Greet Jovan he is happy to see the group, notes that Templar have been looking for the group. The heroes tell him of the dragon, note that there was no defiling. He notes that the lack of bodies, typical for him to take slaves. Felegar notes that the dragon’s tracks lead out of the village, walking. Jovan indicates that is really strange: why would he walk into the desert when he can fly? Jovan indicates that he will stay to support and supply the war effort, and the people of Tyr. B and Jovan discuss the ornate nature of the sundial from the dwarven village, Jovan will do some investigation regarding the dial as it seems to have a very ancient form of dwarven writing. The group then described the beholder (Gauth) like creature. Jovan is concerned about portals to the elemental planes, but this is from the Far Realms. Speaks about the planes, the Fey, the dark plane. Mirages of castles and ancient forests are seen. Athas, the dark, and the Fey, exist at the same space at the same time. Pockets of these touch points occur with Athas. Extremely powerful magic and items in the Fey but acquiring them come at extreme costs, many pay with their life. Realm of extreme chaos and demons and elementals. The Far Realm is the exception to the rule. It does not have a direct tie to Athas in the same way that the dark and the fey do. The Far Realm contains creatures that are mad and an extremely dangerous, any creatures encountered should be avoided or destroyed. Gauth are known to rally creatures around them to do their bidding. They have extreme psyonic type powers and are very powerful and dangerous.

The group rests for the evening, overnight. Chunkra makes the group a meal, surprisingly good chef. (The group quarters need drawn up.) Jovan and two templar knock on the group chambers, call down to the group and brings the companions to Tithian. They are led inside the ziggurat, excessively ornate interior of marble, leaf gold, entire suits of steel armor lining coradors. They seem so ancient and indescribable. Thousands of years old, none in the group has seen that much steel in one form, let alone in that place. Tithian appers before the group sitting on an obsidian throne. He appears somewhat sickly to the group, eyes appear beady, unusual, and almost coniving looking. The crown of the former king Kalak rests upon his head. He holds a sceptar of steal with an obsidian orb on top and a steal sword on his hip.

“Matters are too urgent for pleasantries, no need to kneel” Describes that the army is preparing for war, but clearly your aide is one of more strategic. Your initiatve and ingeniutiy make you a clear pick for this mission. We simply cannot hold the army of Urik at the gates of Tyr. They have the power of their templar and the backing of their sorcery king Hamanu. They see us as weak. Allowing Hamanu and his city to control the mines would create an imbalance in the world. His power could potentially rival that of the Dragon. He would not let any of us live, we must stop him. I must leverage some favor and power from some of the other city states. Gulg, Lollapui, is a mad woman who sees herself as a demi-god and cannot be reasoned wiht. You must be the emissaries to Balik, garner favor from the sorcerer king Andrupinise who sees himself as a diplomat and is more favorable in negotiations. Bring this scroll to him and negotiate bringing two legions back to Tyr to turn back the Urikites. He hands the group the ornate scroll detailing his proposal and he believes it will be extremely favorable. He will supply the group with a kank and an innex and a map of the area to assist the group making their way to Balik. There is a chest and crate of supplies. Supplies for the group and the chest must be delivered to Andrewpinis.

Aetherian cannot locate his Mischka, she hasn’t been seen for days.

Under Warrens – Under Tyr people have been attacked. Ramsydor appears to be beaten and bruised, not willing to discuss what happened.

The group heads out of Tyr. There are enough supplies to last the group to Alturak. Four to five day journey to Alturak which is relatively uneventful.

Felegar thought he witnessed some mirages, he thought he heard some bells at one point. He passes it off as an oddity and they continue on to Alturak.

House Torg is Idris’s house based in Alturak.

Beltrar, stocky human, one of the keepers of House Torg. Surprised to see Felegar alive. Breaks the bad news about Idris being assassinated by a bounty hunter. They believe that House Wyvr may be to blame for the loss of their main warehouse being burnt down. The group is on their way to Balik and Beltrar warns them to keep their head down because if House Wyvr is after House Torg, they are also after the group of heroes. They had four caravans come through from Gulg and Nibanay. The road to Balik is a treaturaous one, this is an area of giants, for example, so be on your guard. Hand over Idris tags and belongings from the hunter to deliver to his family. The group resupplies and heads south continuing on to Balik.

Felegar notices that the kank has been twitching his head around as if his is uneasy about something. He notices circling birds of prey off in the distance, south-south-west of the group and keeps an eye on the birds and they appear to be getting closer. The group approaches an outcropping of rock. The birds appear to not be birds at all but humanoid-bird men of a sort, legs like men and heads like vultures. They are scavengers. They head directly for the same rock outcrop that the group is headed for.

Kill giants

Introducing lesser Noble of House Baleth outside of Balek – invites the team in to the out-building at the plantation for a meal, saying it’s the least he could do to repay the group for their assistance and saving the lives of himself, the farmers, and the slaves. During discussion they find out that House Baleth is aligned with Trade House Tumblidor and they are the arch enemy of Trade House Wyvr. Tumblidor controls most of Balek silt skimmers.

King Andripinse dictator for life. Each noble house has a vote in the Senate of Balek, and all of the templar are elected. No one votes against the

You need to go to the Chamber of Patricians, in thanks he will have someone from the House Baleth to escort you. The group will need to address the senate to present their case to the king. Watch out for the templar in the senate, they are the key/right hands to the king.

<< DRAFT

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Session 8: DRAFT

>> DRAFT

Foreman disturbed by the presence of the beholder

Gave the group Surefoot Boots as reward

Foreman also offers the group a tent to rest and clean themselves up, the team rests.

Tyr has not received shipments for several weeks from the caravan encampment/route in the south, Dwarven merchants.

The group decides between traveling directly to the encampment, about 3 days, versus stopping in Tyr first, which would be about 4 days plus whatever time spent in the city.

The party departs the mines and down the mountain trail they travelled previously. They make decent time, arriving to rolling foothills. The group expends survival days – keeping themselves and their pet mushroom alive.

They encounter a caravan making their way out of Tyr. They hear that Tyr may be mobilizing for war. They make some trades with the caravan and promptly return to their journey.

After some time they are attacked. They learn this bounty hunter, with his pack of animals. After a fierce battle, they group is victorious. They search this bounty hunter and learn that he has killed Marcus (they find his dogtags).

DRAFT <<

The group carries ever onward, making their way toward the Dwarven village. Soon they see thick billowing black smoke on the horizon, in the direction of the village, and they realize the situation must be worse than anyone feared. Some hours later, they arrive at the outskirts of the village and are greeted only by an eerie, calm silence. As they approach, they observe no movement and see thick layers of silt covering patches of the ground. Upon closer inspection, they are shocked to realize that some large depressions in the ground resemble the humongous feet of what they can only assume is the Dragon of Athas. Fear begins to creep in but the group continues into the village. Keeping their senses honed to their surroundings they see sudden movement, as lizard-like creatures dart between the broken, rubble strew huts.

>> DRAFT

Incomplete account, more to come

DRAFT <<

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Session 7, They all float down here
Never underestimate animated corpses.

After the events at the aquifer, the companions shared their experience with Jovan. He was surprised and alarmed by the presence of the bullywugs, elementals, and oozes. He informed the group he will speak with his contacts in the Vieled Alliance regarding the appearance of these creatures and their intentions. Jovan also referred to ancient myths that Athas was once entirely lush, a rare sight like the mountainous regions north of Tyr, and considered impossible by most. As the group mentioned the troubles in the iron mines, he stressed that iron trading to Balic is paramount and insisted that action be taken immediately.

The group continued to the iron mines with haste and without rest, departing Tyr and traveling north-east into the mountains toward the mines. The main road to the mines seemed strangely devoid of activity. Feeling cautious and concerned about time, the companions decided to trek off-road, along a path that no caravan or cart could manage to traverse. Some of the group was weakened as the day progressed, the sun beat down and the air became thin as they climbed the high mountains. As they neared the entrance to the mines, a sudden rock slide narrowly missed Felegar as the elf tumbled away from the the bounding boulders. Whether the slide was malicious or natural remains unknown.

The group was shaken but carried on, finally arriving at the mining encampment near the entrance to the mine. There was a mix of humans, half-elves, dwarves, and few elves idly resting, conversing, or otherwise not actively engaged in work. They were in fact keeping an obviously safe distance from the mine entrance. Aetherian and the rest of the group approached a small group of dwarves playing dice, with a half-elf watching nearby who they addressed directly. The half-elf introduced himself as Tijora and said the workers aren’t willing to return to the mine — they are no longer slaves to the Tyrant King Kalak. Furthermore, they believe something happening in the mine and anyone who enters to investigate has not come back. An eerie, necrotic presence was felt and some have said disturbing moaning has come out of the mine.

The dwarves speak of the Curse of Kalak and felt that with his death his spirit is haunting the mines to prevent anyone from continuing to mine his ore. It is clear they are not kidding and although superstitious, they are serious enough to that they are absolutely not willing to enter. They told the group to speak with their foreman, Bilarok, a female Tiefling. The companions approached the foreman’s tent to speak with her about the situation. She informed the group that her top lieutenant Chria, a Thrikreen, was sent in with two dwarves and two humans, and they have not been heard from in several days. Bilarok has since ordered the mine boarded-up hoping that nothing will come out. Tithian is raising hell to reopen the mine, so Bilarok compels the group to help but insists that she is not willing to lose any more men. It’s clear the companions are on their own. Bilarok continues and explains that the problems appear to be on the first level of the mine, and that when Kalak was defeated they sealed off the lower levels of the mine. They have been out of commission for months due to the turmoil in Tyr and the sudden ‘haunting’. She also gives the team a brief rundown of the naturally formed caverns, indicated that although there are a number of man-made passages, the mine is not an impassible labyrinth. With that, she handed the team a piece of chalk to aid in their underground navigation. Afterward, the companions visited the camp merchant to acquire rations, healing fruits, and were talked into purchasing a lantern with a glowing mushroom inside.

The group entered the mine, the air wet and stale. The cavern before them appeared to be thousands of years old. Carts appear before the group indicating a depot must be nearby. The temperature was noticeably cooler inside the mine than in the oppressive heat of the desert. The path started no wider than a caravan however in the darkness the companions noticed the cavern widen, the ceiling disappearing out of view above them. Before the group appeared lay a dead man, the smell of death surrounding them. Aetherian tossed a torch into the room and the group immediately saw two corpse-like humans standing off to either side of the dead man, staring vacantly toward them. Felegar, nervous and feeling trapped underground, lets loose a volley toward one of the standing corpses. The creature explodes in a storm of insects, a swarm of spiders erupting from within. The group is surrounded by spiders and the smaller swarms and battle ensues.

After a fierce combat, the team is confronted with a choice of paths. Three corridors are visible before them, leading into more darkness. After some discussion the group proceeds into the left-most path. Some time later the group heard faint chittering and what sounded like discussion in a language they were not able to understand. Ty’kkl attempted to sneak toward the figures in an anti-chamber when he was discovered and attacked. They managed to fend off their attackers, after reinforcements arrived, but they were weakened and tired. Deciding they did not have time nor the option to rest, they carried on further into the mine eventually arriving at a large cavern, a faint glow drawing them inside. As they entered the expansive room they realized the glow was coming from deep within a natural chasm directly in front of them. A small man-made bridge was visible just outside of their torchlight, and they had the immediate sense they were not alone. Moving toward them from the bridge they saw more of the insect-like creatures encountered previously, and to either side of the cavern, covering the expanse of the chasm into darkness they saw crystalline webs. They were immediately set upon by the monsters, and volleys of psychic attacks by giant crystalline spider-like creatures. Just when they felt things could not get any worse they witness a floating grotesque orb of flesh with dozens of eyes drifting toward them above the chasm. Furiously, the companions advanced, making short work of the creatures before them. Using the chasm and bridge to their advantage they managed to force a couple of the creatures over the edge, their fate sealed as they tumbled into glowing mushrooms that closely resemble the fungus within their lantern. Although the battle was close the group was able to overcome their foes. The beholder kin nearly made short work of some of the companions, but in the end it was the heros who were victorious. It seems the mystery of the mines was solved and they only hope that when they resurface the workers are willing to return to work in the iron mines, restoring trade and commerce to the city-state of Tyr.

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Session 6, The well runs dry ...
What's that Lassie, Timmy fell down a well?

With King Tithian established as the new King of Tyr, many weeks have passed and much has changed in the city-state. The economical and physical landscape of the city is transformed. Some of the more affluent parts of the city, most notably the Noble District near the Artisan District, have been overtaken by former slaves and gladiators, setting up ad hoc trade districts. Black markets for goods, services, and even gladiatorial events have sprung up. This shanty town is home to an apothacary house owned and operated by Jovan, with Chunkra as stock hand. Jovan has provided room and board to the companions. The heros have remained loosely banded together, working odd jobs here and there. Along the way they have they have gained information, allies, and even some followers.

As the dust settles and complacency begins to set in, rumors of disruption around the city begin to surface. The companions hear of water wells around the city mysteriously drying up, the poorer citizens of the city suffering the most. Prominent chatter regarding the miners in the iron mine to the north of the city refusing to work, the reasons unknown. Finally, reports of caravan raids south of the city, leaving desperately needed supplies to Tyr un-replenished. Brom, T’ykkl, Athaerien, and Balderdash all hear of these rumors from various sources around Tyr.

The Elven minstrel Ramsydor sings praises of the prophet sun-healer Balderdash and eagerly follows in his footsteps. He spreads word of Balderdash’s deeds while seemingly always watching the shadows over his shoulder. Balderdash appears vaguely annoyed at the presence of this Elf, but tolerates and feels compelled to watch over him, perhaps out of the kindness of his heart. Ramsydor made no small point of the lack of water in the wells, even weaving it into song, certain that the prophet Balderdash will save the people.

T’ykkl became aware of an issue with the iron mine while meeting with the mul Glot. He is a weapon merchant, black market trader, and proprietor of an illegal underground fighting ring or “fight club” where his patrons bet on former gladiators. T’ykkl has been secretly fighting in these events for Glot to earn extra wages and keep his skills sharp. Glot is eager to see iron flowing from the mines again to maintain his livelihood as an arms dealer.

As the companions realize their contacts in the city are aware of common patterns forming, they decide they must spring into action. First and foremost, the people of Tyr need water. It is the lifeblood of civilization and it must flow. They find the nearest well and make their way down into the city aquifer. After some time exploring the winding natural caverns and passages, they find themselves surprised by living molds, slimes, and oozes. Fighting their way free of the burning acidic grip of the creatures, some of which spawn more creatures from themselves, they escape largely unharmed. However during the fray Felegar was nearly killed and had to be teleported from inside one of the creatures!

The group carried on finding themselves wading further into mucky, thick mud. They came to a solid mass of hardened mud blocking one of the passages. After forcing themselves through, they heard voices on the other side, further down the next passage. The crept ever forward to confront the creatures, which they soon realized were not of Athas, but rather Outsiders (Bullywugs). Certain they were not welcome and determined to find the cause for the aquifer drying up, the companions engaged the creatures. After a swift but harrowing battle they were victorious. They discovered a golden fiery statuette on one of the creatures. Finally, they had an idea of who their foe was and continued on.

As they came to yet another of the many chambers deep below the streets of Tyr, they encountered something they had never expected to see. Before them, one of the Outsider creatures was in the middle of an arcane invocation that appeared to be binding a water elemental in the middle of the chamber! Realizing the elemental was likely in trouble, the group decided to attack the Outsider, disrupting the spell. The Outsider cursed them in what the companions could only assume was its own common tongue, and was rendered unconscious. Broken from the binding spell, the water elemental addressed the group. “How dare you attack me! This is my realm, you must stop!” Realizing the elemental had mistaken them for its attackers, they quickly realized they needed to reason with the creature. After some conversation, they decided to present the fiery statuette to the elemental. It reacted angrily, but favorably to the companions. It told them this figure represented the elemental’s natural enemy and that the aquifer was an extension of his realm on the material plane where Athas exists. It became clear that the Outsiders were intent on caging and ultimately destroying the water elemental, which would in turn eliminate the water supply for most of Tyr. As soon as the elemental acknowledged the efforts of the group it commanded them to leave and suddenly and rapidly the chamber began filling with water. The companions made as hasty an exit as possible, pleased they had succeeded in replenishing the water supply!

As they made their way to the surface, they realized the danger the city is facing even with the water supply restored. If the city is not producing iron from its mines, it has no commerce with other city-states nor iron to replenish its own armories. Without rest, the group decides to hurry to the mines, determined to meet the next challenge head on.

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Session 5, Down with the King!
Long live Chunkra!

“Kalak Kabobs! Get your mediocre arena food! Kalak Kabobs!”

Act I

As the final stone and mortar were laid for the ziggurat, the slaves of King Kalak were left pondering what their fate may be. Would Kalak murder them in some defiling ritual? What will happen in the pits and the arena? Surely most assumed chaos would ensue and all would be left to die. Then, as day light waned on the final day of toil, all slaves were granted brief solace and perhaps false sense of security with hot food and quality perhaps at a level of the poorest attending the games. It was welcome nourishment and reward from “the honorable and merciful” Sorcerer King Kalak.

On the dawn of the day most assumed was their final day, the slaves learned that they would be treated to day-long games in the arena to celebrate the Sorcery King Kalak and his most epic achievement with the completion of his mighty ziggurat. Not as fodder for mighty gladiators or monsters, but as the audience! Truly, the King is gracious. Our adventurers, along with Chunkra and their obfuscated Veiled Alliance ally Jovan, join the masses in the stands to witness the celebratory games along with many lower class and nobles. The day was more than half over, the crowd having witnessed fantastical creatures and kin alike dispatched to their merriment and amusement. As the hottest portion of the day approached, the blood caked earth in the center of the arena began to part. To the amazement of the crowd, and the companions, a scale version of the ziggurat rose from beneath the arena.

The platform was adorned with a still, serpentine statuesque figure of which the group was not immediately familiar, but their interest was certainly renewed. The four remaining groups of champions on the field also emerged from the pits. Unnaturally booming, the crowd was graced with the voice of Kalak himself, “People of Tyr, hear me. I, your omnipotent ruler. Your ultimate leader and generous provider. Your God! I, I have brought you these games. I have shown you true power and harnessed that power to build my mighty ziggurat. Now, I give you this final test. Bring me the figure on the field and you,” pointing at the center of the arena, “You will be CHAMPIONS!”

The crowd erupted into a frenzied roar while many of the slaves watched in uncomfortable silence, their own fates yet to be determined. The final pairs of gladiators fought fiercely and without remorse. The battle raged quickly and brutally. It was not long before there remained only two pairs. Many recognized the gladiator heros Rikus and Neeva, they moved with grace and determination. Just as it appeared they would be defeated, one of their remaining foes, a half-giant reached the apex of the platform, an astounding blast, flash and commotion erupted from a level below and across the arena from the companions watching the events unfold from the stands. In what felt like a matter of heart beats in time, suddenly Rikus presented a spear the likes of which appeared unmatched in history. The Heartwood Spear, presented by the Tree of Life itself, was unmistakable. In the blink of an eye, Rikus hurled the spear toward Kalak’s form, high above the arena floor in his box. His aim was true and the spear pierced the King through the chest!

Many in the crowd were stunned, stricken with not with fear, but with an unnatural sensation that sapped their energy and life force. Some remained motionless, helpless and mute. Others withered and collapse in silence while others still screamed in horror and agony. Soon, however, it became clear that many fearful cries were of the people reacting to the appearance of a dragon! The Sorcerer King Kalak had retreated toward the ziggurat, pursued by the dragon where they were assumed to engage in mortal combat.

Act II

Our companions, having been subject to the fear and sickness, were not entirely blinded to the opportunity of freedom presented. Knowing their counterpart Jovan was almost certainly aware of this plot to destroy the evil King Kalak. They were spurred into battle as he unleashed arcane furry toward their captors, who were themselves dumbfounded and distracted. After stealing some weapons from their poorer counterparts in the crowd, and with the aide of Chunkra and Jovan, they managed to dispatch their guards. They made their way down toward the arena wall. With some number of inspired slaves in tow, they attempted to climb down into the arena itself, making for one of the main ground level heavy gates. Not without some clumsy effort, the group made it to the arena floor. They patched up themselves and some of their followers, while leaving some corpses of slaves, nobles, and poor alike behind in the chaos.

The group found themselves confronted with massive stone door, their freedom waiting on the other side. They were sure the only way out was to move the massive stone door by way of the gatehouse. As they forced their way inside, they felt waves of pressure and energy emanating from the direction of the ziggurat. Surely an epic battle was underway and the urgency of escape was only heightened. Within the gatehouse they were confronted by three half-giants and a templar. All of them with a bad attitude and unwillingness to let the companions escape. As their battle raged on, they saw their freedom perhaps slipping away. Some fell into unconsciousness while others were battered nearly into the same state.

When all hope seemed lost, the companions dealt a final blow to the templar and his half-giant guards. In nearly the same moment, a sudden gargantuan release and deafening boom was felt from the ziggurat and then utter and still silence. They could only assume the King had been defeated. They rushed onto the arena floor to see Rikus emerge in the King’s box along side High Templar Tithian. Tithian held in his hand the King’s Crown, presented it to the onlookers and spoke, “King Kalak is dead. His reign of terror is over.” As he uttered the last word he put the crown to his own head, and with Rikus at his side said, “I am your King now and I declare, as my first high order, all slaves in the City State of Tyr are now free. No longer will any man be owned by another in our city. This I swear as your ruler. Justice be served.”

Deafened by a roar from the remaining crowd, King Tithian’s speach was punctuated as the companions were approached by Jovan and Sadira, accompanied by the Agis of Asticles. Jovan presented the group with treasure and gold, hard earned rewards for their part in the toppling of the most oppressive ruler ever known to Tyr, and perhaps Athas itself.

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Intermission, Toil in the pits...

After recovering the stolen amulet from the Tarek gang, the PC’s learned that it was stolen from Jovan an elderly sorceror, and member of the Veiled Alliance in Tyr tasked with placing it in the ziggurat during construction. The arcane power of the amulet would prevent the ziggurat from being completed by blocking the arcane energy that was to be channeled through it’s corridors. This would buy time for the Veiled Alliance to find out the true purpose of the ziggurat and Sorceror King Kalak’s intentions.

Under Jovan’s instruction, Markus and Felegar were able to complete Jovan’s task, sealing up the amulet into the walls of the inner passages of the ziggurat.

The fight with the tareks had another side benefit, respect. Few of the other slaves offered the group any quarrels, and many openly thanked them for removing the scourge from the pits.

The days toiling on the ziggurat seemed unending, but it could be seen that the work would come to an end eventually, and with it many rumors circulated in the slave pit. Some believed all the slaves would be set free on it’s completion, others argued they would all be sacrificed to the dragon. Some mentioned they saw other slaves digging mass graves outside the city walls, others still mentioned preparations for a grand games commemorating the opening of the ziggurat.

Work on the ziggurat is now nearing it’s completion, and the rummors are more rampant than ever. While the amulet did slow it’s construction, it was eventually found and removed. If it did buy enough time for the Veiled Alliance, rumors of their discoveries did not find their way into the slave pits.

Now with no more work left, everyone is wondering what the next day holds…

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Session 4, That's the Sound of the Kreen, Workin on the Chain . . . Gaaaang . . .

Our careers as slaves in the great city of Tyr have taken a turn for the . . . interesting. We secured a nice corner to call our own, with the help of the ever-helpful Chunkra, who has gained a useful position handing out equipment to slaves in the pit. Markus’s contacts in the Veiled Alliance have enlisted our aid in locating an artifact in the Ziggurat that may be key in freeing the city!

Idris, T’kkyl and I were assigned ziggurat duty, along with a dwarf. The dwarf (whose name turned out to be Balderdash) turned out to be fairly handy in defeating a flying snake-thing and its spawn, whom we disturbed during our important duties (our guards predictably vacated the premises and returned once we had dispatched the vermin, probably claiming the victory themselves that night in their quarters).

We returned to the pit area and met with Felegar and Markus, who had pulled inside duty that day and discovered that the artifact we needed was in the possession of a particularly nasty gang of tarek. They were easy to find – but not to defeat! However, our band emerged triumphant with the help of our new comrade Balderdash (though I nearly perished again!). The artifact retrieved from the staff of the tarek leader, we retired to lick our wounds and plan our next moves . . .

Flyingsnakes

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Session 3, Rabble, Rumble, Rabble

“Do you like movies about gladiators?”

Before approaching the gates of Tyr, the party realized they needed to establish a more convincing ruse and present their “slave prisoners” in (loose) bonds. The guards of an outgoing caravan kept a weary eye on the rag-tag group as they approached the city. The gate templar, guards, and bowmen maintained a steady and watchful eye as well, but it was obvious the approaching group was not a true threat. The gate templar held in place but called out, demanding to know the business of the group. After a relatively brief conversation regarding the destruction of their caravan, and some successful subterfuge regarding their slaves, the templar agreed to grant passage. His conditions for passage included insisting that the slaves be processed and registered in the slave quarter – and a hefty entry fee.

Once the group was in the city, they decided to first head to the Caravan District, having learned from the gate guards that The Golden Inix is a popular refuge for travelers entering the city. Having established The Golden Inix as their staging area, the group ate, rested, and spoke with the inn staff about finding work. They were directed to Merchant House Tuk’ra and set off in search some work to sustain themselves as they decided what to do next. On their way to House Tuk’ra, they were unfortunate to quite literally “run into” and ruin a fruit merchant’s entire crop. In fact, the guards of Senator Verasi of House Churic shoved members of the group into the cart, causing the entire scene. Protesting the incident, the group had the misfortune of learning the hard truth of politics in Tyr. One of the templar guard arrived to “save” the Senator from the riff-raff, allowing the eldest son of House Churic to depart. After what felt like an eternity, the templar agreed to allow the group depart if they paid a hefty fine.

Having lost a majority of their wealth entering the city, paying the templar’s bribe, and reimbursement for the street vendor, the group realized the corruption of Tyr. It was imperative that they find work, so they spoke with Durin, the Mul ledger keeper at Merchant House Tuk’ra. He offered a caravan guard detail but the party opted for something more local considering their recent misfortune on the road. Durin offered them extermination detail at a warehouse in the Artisan District. They decided to keep their options open and split the party to investigate two different paths. Markus, Tykkl, and Chunkra depart for the Elven District to seek contact with the Veiled Alliance, as guided by Markus. In the meantime, Idris, Athaerien, and Felegar headed for House Wavir to deliver the bad news about the caravan.

Markus’s contact at The Flinging Drake, a beautiful elven woman named Shivani, informed the three companions to seek additional Veiled Alliance contacts the following night at The Laughing Giant in the Merchant District. As the group departed and evening approached, they were confronted by two thuggish elves named Nandlex and Prithen. Diplomacy failed quickly and the group was set upon by a gang of elves, were overrun and beaten badly. Chunkra managed to stay out of sight only to be captured just as the lights went out for Markus and Tykkl.

Meanwhile in the Merchant District, Idris, Athaerien, and Felegar spoke with Bilak at House Wavir. While he was displeased to hear the news of the loss of the caravan, all of the slaves, and distinct cargo, he did not take his displeasure out on the companions delivering the message. Instead, he scowled and commented that Merchant House Torg is responsible and would pay for the loss. Additionally, he mocked the group when they suggested that the sandstorm was in fact an unnatural obsidian sandstorm, the likes of which are an extreme rarity. Bilak sent the group on their way, less their papers for the caravan and the late Jorn. As evening approached, the small band made their way back to The Golden Inix only to be confronted with more misery in the wretched streets of Tyr. Within the confines of a merchant square, a brute squad blocked all exits and began forcibly rounding up many of the poorer citizens with the intention of selling the lot into slavery. Those affluent enough to pay the toll were allowed to leave. Unfortunately, our disheveled group was out of money and were forced to surrender themselves to the slave pits.

Reunion of a merry sort this was not, as the party was reunited in the Slave Pits. As Idris, Athaerien, and Felegar found their semi-conscious companions accompanied by the impeccably ironic Chunkra, they learned about the encounter in the Elven District and the thugs there had sold them into slavery after robbing them blind. Inexplicably managing to see the bright side of the situation, Chunkra gleefully took a bite of tough bread, handed the remaining bit toward his companions and piqued, “Hungry?”

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