Dark Sun: A New Dawn

Session 20
Down at the Docks
Session 19
Test subjects, Lich's Laboratory
Session 18
Entering Slither, Ritual Tower Top
Session 17
Eye See You, and $10,000 Pyramid
Session 16
An umber hulk's got your back

Session 16 – 7/28

Freedom is set into a craggy alcove of the Singing Mountains. The freed slaves have build balistrade towers for archers, among other defenses, and there are two massive boulders blocking the entrance. Guards watch the companions approach, there are half-giants on either side of the blocked entrance. Guards from the wall yell, “Who goes there?” The companions respond announcing themselves as the Brotherhood of the Sun and that they intend to see Jovan. The guard, puzzled at first, receives a light tug at his side. The group sees a glimps of a goblin hand; Chunkra is vouching for them. Some time later, the guard yells for the half-giants to open the gate. Chunkra meets the group just inside the city walls and happily leads them to Jovan’s new establishment.

The buildings of Freedom are made of sun-hardened mud with meekalot carapaces for rooves. The group is relatively silent as they wind through the hodge podge structures. Chunkra finally reaches their destination and leads the group inside Jovan’s building. Jovan greets the companions, perhaps less jovially than normal, and updates them on some happenings in Tyr. He confirms that Hammanu has retreated from the battlefield and Tyr is recovering from the war. He also informs the group that Tithian is clearly not happy with the Brotherhood of the Sun. The king has been cracking down on supporters of freed slaves and anyone who has helped the companions …

Jova next introduces Gidayu to the group as a member of the arcane arts. The group exchange introductions and get to know one another. Jovan recommends that they join forces. He then offers to complete the analysis of the potions that they discovered at Dragon’s Horns gnoll encampment. However, he cannot offer them room at his establishment any longer, there just is not enough room. So, the group sets out to rent or buy their own building in Freedom. They settle on renting, putting down 3 months of rent in advance for a 3 room building with a loft space (-1050gp) and also pick up an edrlu to pack out their equipment (-250gp).

Jovan meets the Brotherhood of the Sun some time later. He offers some good and bad news: “The good news is these potions have successfully been converted. They will now make you appear as undead for 1 day. The bad news is to complete the alchemy, I need a very rare element. You can travel either to the Dragon Alter or the great ziggurat at Tyr.” After much deliberation, the group begrudingly decides to head to Tyr. Jovan informs the group that he has remained in contact with some old friends in the city guard, and asks Aetherian if his thief friend Kelden might be of any assistance. They discuss further and plan to depart together in the morning.

Aetherian’s friend Kelden will enable the group to enter Under Tyr, ultimately gaining them access to the pyramid. First, however, they must enter the city undetected. Considering that Tithian is obviously looking for them, they must be very cautious. As dusk approaches, they near Tyr and Jovan stops to discuss the rest of their plan. As short time later, they are approached by a figure who Jovan introduces as Sandtozar, captain of the guard of Tyr. They are instructed to wait for dark to approach the Merchant Gate. Sandtozar holds serious disdain for Rikus since he has taken over as leader of the guard of Tyr. He says his guards will allow the group to enter the city without question. Night falls and the group enters the city.

The Brotherhood of the Sun quickly set out to find Kelden near the outskits of the Warrens and the Elven Market. The must move quickly and quietly, avoiding being spotted by any of Tithian’s loyal guards. As the temperatures of the day begin to receed, and after some time spent scouting and moving carefully through the growing crowd, Arzakon spots a crippled merchant closing up his cart for the day matching the description of Aetherian’s friend Kelden. Aetherian approaches his old friend quietly asking if he’ll stay open just a little while longer. As Kelden looks up to see his old friend, he is shocked to see who it is and asks what in the world they are doing back in Tyr. Aetherian informs him simply that they must enter the ziggurat undetected and he knows Kelden will be able to help. Kelden puts on a sly smile and says, “Of course I can help you, my old friend, for a small fee.” Kelden and Aetherian talk for a while and Kelden accepts 100gp worth of gems from the group now, and another 100gp worth when they reach the entrance the base of the pyramid that is hidden and accessed via Under Tyr.

Kelden leads the group to his hide out, after some time his limp becomes less obvious, and by the look of his established lifestyle, he is clearly more successful than he leads people to believe on the street. He grins and quips, “The end of Kalak’s reign and war from Hammanu has been good for business.” The space is lavish, filled with silks and gems. Kelden searches for a short time and finds a thin hide map proclaiming, “Ah, here is it. Altak!” As he shouts the name, a lumbering massive creature at least 14’ tall emerges from an alley way adjacent to the space. The creature has large claws for hands and appears somewhat insectoid (umber hulk). Kelden and Altak lead the Brotherhood of the Sun away from the Warrens and deeper into the city center, entering an unremarkable building, and heading into a cellar. From here, the group is very much at Kelden’s whim navigating the dark parts of Under Tyr. He flips a hidden switch and reveals an entrance to the darkness below.

After some time navigating the hidden space below the city above, they reach what appears to be a dead end. Kelden simply reaches his hands forward as if to part curtains, and the wall moves like fabric. Before he allows the group to proceed he asks, “Would you like Altak to stay behind and block anyone following us from entering?” His grin widens again as the group agrees to pay his fee (an additional 200gp worth of gems, a deal for old friends), realizing they need his assistance and that he is clearly in charge as Altak blocks the path back and grunts in confirmation of Kelden’s amusement. They allow the group to proceed, Altak left to stand guard, and as they enter the broken wall of the ziggurat they see glowing gems protruding from the cave walls.

Upon entering the man-made halls of the lower portion of the pyramid, they realize they are in some sort of holding area, with locked cells nearby. There is a small room adjacent to the broken entrance that appears to be a ransacked guard quarter. At first glance, the room appears to have been picked clean. Some close inspection yields some healing fruits (3x) hidden within a chest under a false bottom. There is a forebodding sense that this small bit of luck will be needed as they move ahead deeper into the ziggurat.

The next room appears to be a hallway at first, but with archer battlements on either side of the hall, and two closed doors leading to what is asssumed to be more guard quarters. This was clearly meant as some last resport of defense and to prevent escape from the cells in the previous area. The group advances immediately ahead and after the first person crosses a threshold near the battlement, the floor suddenly drops out from the middle of the group. Luckily, they catch themselves and do not fall victem to the 10’ drop to spikes below. Felegar and Aetherian spend a moment inspecting the two guard rooms and realize they can set two timed switches to the trapped door. The group advances once again, making note of the placement of the floor plate to not trigger the trap once more.

Upon entering the next area, they see additional sleeping quarters that have nothing of interest within them other than old musty blankets and overturned furniture. Across the hall from these rooms there is a collapsed stair well leading up. Ahead is a faint but terrible odor, and to the left is another apparent hallway. The group decides to inspect the left most hall. The room appears to be some sort of arcane chamber, the walls are made of glassy black rock and there are symbols etched into the floor and walls. They advance inside but are surprised from behind by a horrific, rot smelling beast and a mob of giant rats. They battle the creatures fiercely and manage to kill them. They circle back to inspect the area the monsters emerged from and find only a terrible, horrific smell.

The room with with black walls is adjacent to a set of very large double doors that appear to be locked, and another hallway leading further away from their original entrance point to the pyramid. They boldly step into another area that appears to be filled with alchemical regiments, books, and scrolls. Felegar strays a little too close to a table in the center of the room and a skull on the table comes to life and attacks his mind. Arzakon and Felegar strike out at the skull and destroy it. There are two doors and two hallways from this room. They realize one door appears to be warded, and there is fant chanting in a language they do not understand and some blue light emerging from behind the door. They decide it would be too dangerous to attempt opening that door at this time. The other room appears to be an additional library. Gidayu inspects this area further and determines the arcane nature of the materials is too dangerous to touch and the group should move on.

The room to the west holds an additional two doors and a hallway leading north. In the middle of the room appears to be a massive crank, to what the group is unaware at this point, but it would take one very strong individual or all of the companions to turn it. They inspect the doors and one is unlocked and just a storage area of some kind with nothing remarkable. The other door holds only a collapsed hallway. Arzakon advances into the north hallway and another trap is triggered as blade swing from the cieling spaced about 5-10 feet apart, and continuing into the hallway to the north and west. Arzakon is able to tumble away to the south and rejoin the group as the blade trap continues swinging. The group circles back south, east, and north to inspect a space north of the arcane room. It is more living ransacked living quarters and a hallway west toward the blade traps.

The group at this point realized they should try turning the massive pivoting crank. Some distance away toward their entrance to this room they hear movement of some mechanism. They realize this is the massive double doors they encountered in the obsidian arcane chamber. They decide to tie off the crank to one of the doors in the room using some of their giant hair rope. The rigging will clearly only hold for a short time so they quickly collect themselves and charge through the massive doors (actually a false door that retracts to the ceiling). Soon thereafter the rigging on the crank fails and the massive door comes crashing down behind them. They have the sensation of being trapped and the only way out is forward.

In the room before them the see doors to the west and and south. They check the doors for traps and locks and determine them to be safe and unlocked. The door to the south is nearly falling off the hinges, they open it and advance down a short hallway. The room appears to be a storage area. They are surpised by two carion looking creatures which they are fortunate enough to have the upper hand and dispatch very quickly. They inspect the space, find an additional antichamber with some loot and take the time for a short rest [needs some detail about what they found, my notes are lacking] …

Session 15
Of sand, blood, and time

Burke Suntouched informed the Brotherhood of the Sun that Jovan escaped Tyr and went to Freedom, a village of freed slaves 100-150 miles from Dragon’s Horns (2-3 days journey). It’s been roughly 3 weeks since the Brotherhood of the Sun raided the war wagon. At the Dragon’s Horns gnoll camp, one gnoll was left alive after the battle.

The Brotherhood of the Sun interrogate him and learn that he’s heard of Freedom. He knows it’s not on any major trade routes, the gnolls don’t know much beyond where they raid. They continue to interogate, intimidating him into revealing and extra cache of survival days, giving 9 total for the group. When they are finished with the gnoll they slaughter and butcher him, gaining 2 more survival days. No one is particularly interested in consuming the gnoll flesh, but alas that’s survival in Athas.

Mishka speaks up and has a better sense of where Freedom is located; she estimates 10 days by foot from the cross roads to Tyr. Balderdash knows of a dwarven village of Kled. It’s approximately 2-3 days walk from Dragon’s Horns to the cross roads, another 2-3 days to Kled, and the 3-5 to Freedom. The Brotherhood of the Sun packs and departs in the morning for the crossroads.

The companions encounter what appears to be the charred remains of a large battle wagon. It’s been sitting for at least 2 weeks, perhaps lost in the journey from Urik to Tyr at the start of the war. Someone from the party hears noise coming from inside the ruined husk of the massive war wagon. The Brotherhood attempt to sneak into the wagon but are spotted and they hear a Thrikreen call to warn an unknown number of enemies. As the group fights their way into the wagon, they realize the familiarity of this wagon. They spot the iron sarcophagus within the inner chamber of the wagon. This is the very wagon they themselves raided.

The fight is difficult, initially appearing to be a band of Thrikreen scavenging alone, the companions realize they are controlled by a large insect with powerful psionics. Much blood was spilled and in fact at times the tide looked grim; members of the Brotherhood were possessed for moments by the insect before they were able to overpower their foes. Balderdash bravely fought his way into the middle of the fray, having been nearly killed twice in the battle, and was integral to the group recovering.

After the battle, the Brotherhood of the Sun decide to open the sarcophagus. Inside they see what appears to be a noxious black iccor and cob webs lining the container. After some inspection, they find one level 8 magic item and pry 2 500gp gems from the lid of the sarcophagus. Further inspection of the crates that remain in the reckage of the massive wagon they find 3 healing fruits, 150 gold, and 12 survival days.

The group collects themselves and renew their trek toward the crossroads. They have a decision to make: head north-northwest at the crossroads toward Tyr or north to Freedom. Felegar notices that the caravan tracks lead away from Tyr toward the south-southeast. The group knows they do not want to head back into the war zone at Tyr, and begin their journey toward Freedom.

After some time, they enter a clearing of boulders and brush and see a man in a black cloak standing before them, some distance away. The man speaks, “Brotherhood of the Sun, your interference has become cumbersome. Destroy them.” As he speaks those last words, light shoots from his hands and rocks to the left of the group come alive, forming into a massive rock elemental. Two additional creatures appear from pits of sand, rising out of the ground. The cloaked man vanishes into a portal. The Brotherhood fight well and as the salamander-like fire elementals are turned to ash and the rock elemental returns to inanimate stone.

They continue on their journey to the freed slave village of Freedom …

Session 14

Mischka is about 4 days ride away from Alturak, south/south-east of Tyr.

The group resupplies, buying arrows, survival days, etc. Chunkra has disappeared, but the companions are eager to get on the road so they depart without him.

They set out in the morning into the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes, passing dune after dune.

Out on the fringes of the outside of the Alluvial Wastes, the companions take a less travelled path that the Sun Touched had given them advice to try.

As they pass a dune with foliage, their innex is nervous, Felegar takes a moment to gather his sense to the situation and the sand appears to be shifting to the left side of the cart. He alerts his companions, but it’s too late. A moment later one of the wheels of the cart sinks into the sand and two undead looking humanoids rise from the sand where Felegar saw the shifting sands.

In the heat of the battle, their cart and innex are chased away by a pack of hyenna.

They continue on foot for a day and a half, bruised and feeling defeated after losing their cart and innex.

Delayed start == bloodied in the first round

After an EXHAUSTIVE battle, Aetheran runs to Mischka, tearful enbrace, long passionate kiss. He unlocks his love and the chest inside the main camp.

There is one bow, a bunch of handaxes, 3 survival days among the various containers.

Level 9 magic item, about 600 gp worth of gems and gold. There also a case of 8 (10 if we get another player) potions of unidentifiable type. Mishka tells us that they use the potions to turn themselves into a more humanoid form. They managed to trick her into thinking they were longtooth shifters using the potions.

Suntouched mentioned that Jovan might be able to help us out with the shapeshifting needs.

Session 13 - Tavern Showdown
Greedo shot first . . .

Upon entering Alturak, the companions are approached by a wild-eyed dwarf by the name of Burke Sun-Touched. He indicates that he has some knowledge of Kalak being still alive somehow, and that he has moved on to “the next stage”. For a couple of gold, he joins them at a bar called “Kreen Korners”. They procure a room and go upstairs with their crystalline companion. In the tavern, it is revealed to them that he is actually a member of the Veiled Alliance, and is acquainted with Jovan. He was given an assignment to give us help and information. They find out that Tyr is still under siege, with their army weakened and split. A large number of former slaves have actually gone on the offensive. Jovan fled to the city of Freedom, which was formed shortly after the fall of the sorceror king. Burke tells Atharien that a female shifter was inquiring after him, and has since left the city with others that claimed that they were also shifters, but he isn’t convinced of that – they may have a means of changing their appearance, which could help the Companions with their infiltration of Bodach. They supposedly were heading for the Dragon’s Horn.

When returning to the room, they find Chunkra standing over the crystalline form, hanging his own crystal over it. Both are glowing. Chunkra then mutters a phrase in an unknown language, and the crystalline form glows very brightly, and then dissolves, leaving a humanoid being there. He freaks out scurries to a corner and asks who they are and how he got there. He does recognize Balderdash but is unsure why. He calls him Arzakon. His last recollection of being outside in a city, running from something. He agrees to join the Companions in order to eventually get back to the Oracle and ask it questions about himself.

They go back downstairs in order to go shopping, and find that most of the inn’s regular patrons seem to have vacated the premises . . . and lo and behold, their old friend the Taurek shaman just happened to be having a drink downstairs with some compatriots. The expected outcome was realized . . . at the end of the battle, Arzakon removed his shirt, revealing a mark on his chest in the shape of a six-fingered hand. He then uses this marking to intimidate the authorities into letting him leave the inn. The rest of the party offers up a donation to the yearly Alturak Guard’s Ball, and are able to leave.

Session 12, Obsidian Oracle
"And here's Brush Landy with the weather."

Several days ride from Balic, the group makes it to Grak’s pool. The group rides on a cart with an inix pulling it, a driver from Balic is driving the cart. Chunkra is along for the ride. The mountains rise to the north and west … the group instructs Chunkra to take the cart and meet up at Alturak. They split up to continue on foot into the mountains. The terrain is lowland rolling foothills, not too rocky at first. Early evening approaches and the group comes across an area covered with tree-like plants, entering the upper foothills, still approximately 1 day away from the mountains. While T’kkyl is on watch, he takes a tinkle and the group is surprised by chicken looking vampire hobbits (anakores and hejkin).

Another day of travel after the encounter, the characters see the mouth of a cave entrance where they assume the oracle resides. The mountains are less impressive, have less height/girth than the Ringing Mountains near Tyr that the companions are accustom, with their peaks burning in the sun rather than the ringing with peaks obscured by clouds of mist from the northern forests.

Cave entrance feels like light is being “absorbed”, light only extends 5 feet from the companions and dim light for a further. 30 feet to the right there is a straight drop down. THe group turns around, the path narrows past the entrance to 5, which B realizes was broken open and patched in some ancient time, the hallway opens again to approximately 15 feet a short while later. Walls are rough, ground is still relatively flat, there is a bend to the right. They encounter a “Y” shape split.

T’ykkl knows of an oracle, “Temple of Delphi” kind of situation, ancient. He’s sure that the oracle will be deep within the mountain. The party turns right and encounters another split, they know the path meets up again shortly ahead. They continue on the right and another junction before them with hard split. The path here is narrow, about 5 feet. The dwarf feels warmth to the right. They proceed to the right and there is a 4 way junction. The warmth is clearly in front of them, with some mild warmth to the right. The path lowers slightly in front and right. The group proceeds to the right, after about 30 feet the floor slopes gently about 15 feet downward and there is a bridge above. T’ykkl decides to jump up to the bridge. On the right he sees a cave-in. On the left he feels more warmth. The group decides to climb a rope up. They fail miserably but finally succeed.

They proceed forward. After a short time, the hallway widens into a cavern. There is a sulfur smell and there is some old bat guano along the floor. They group continues to the right along the wall to about “3 o’clock” having entered from “9 o’clock”. There is another opening to the right and they can see light and high heat emanating from the opening. They continue along the wall and find a small room adjacent with a broken alter inside. The script is not something that B can recognize. It was a humanoid structure, whatever sat atop is gone, the alter is rubble. After some careful study, there are markings on the alter that seem to reflect some connection to the rubbing of the sundial.

The group decides to go into the light/heat hallway and the path curves to the right. The heat is intensifying greatly. There is an opening to the right, the straight path is immensely hot. The path to the right has a 10 foot drop straight down. They proceed ahead and there is a lake of lava in front of them. Molten rock blocks their path. There is an island approximately 15 feet in front of them, on the other side of the lake. There is a path on the left curve. The group turns around and drops down the 10 foot drop. It’s clear this is a much larger open space and the floor is clearly not natural. They listen for signs of life but hear nothing.

They follow along to the right and … [encounter] There are spires that appear to have burst or erupted from the floor.

The Obsidian Oracle emerges from the portal.

“Imix, one of the elemental princes fought Pelor over the sun and imprisioned Pelor, one of the old gods. Use the dial to open a gateway to Pelor’s prision. His prision is on the sun. While freeing Pelor could turn some of the balance in this world, you must find artifacts and other evidence of lost gods of this world.”

“Balderdash is a servant of Pelor. The primordials have held this world in servitude for too long. Find the missing pieces of the “sun dial”, they are spread around the world. One is in the City of Bodach, the city of the dead. This is a powerful undead city, it is not impossible to get in. Find a way to disguise your “life.” There are items one can use to disguise yourself. Bodach use a mobile fortress of bone, a giant lizard. Getting onto this fortress may be a good way to gain access to the city."

“You friend did fight valiantly, I may be able to bring him back as something … different. I would need blood of something the same race, works best.” Balderdash offers his own blood, the oracle slices Balderdash’s hand using his own body having formed a knife shape.

“Dwarf blood and Thrikreen don’t mix well being on opposite sides of the arthasian species. Bugs are arcane creations from the Dawn War. Dwarves are more natural. He may not remember you at all. He may not even remember that he was a Thrikreen.”

“I am a shard mind, one who is uncommon in this world. We are actually gatekeepers who protect all parts of this world from the Far Realm. There are actually parts of the Far Realm within this idol.”

“You are not just average people, while you do have a long journey ahead of you, the odds are not insurmountable.”

The portal leads outside of Alturak — Chunkra is nearby the portal having honed into the companions using the crystal around his neck.

Session 11: Leaving Balic

The group returns to Balic with war wagon. King Andropinis has the bounty unloaded from the war wagon and the companions see what was so valuable. The object appears to be a sarcophagus. The group contemplated trying to figure out what was in the sarcophagus, even considered dealing with the king of Balic directly. Negotiating with Andropinis did not seem wise. The king rewarded the group with gold and magic items from his armory.

Tyr is under siege by Hamanu’s forces; returning to Tyr is not an option at this point. Jovan gave Chunkra a necklace with a crystal charm that helps him locate the party. Chunkra is with the party and headed on his way to Alturak while the group intends to see Obsidian Oracle in the mountains to translate the rubbing of the sundial that they received from Jovan. The group travels north to Grak’s Pool oasis then heads west into the mountains.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.