Dark Sun: A New Dawn

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] …

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

View
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

View
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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