G'tok-Dra

Nemeia's Tomb

Guistenal.jpg
Lying in the center of the Tyr Region, the Ivory Triangle is a crossroads and a wasteland. Most of the area is desolate, home only to monsters and desert raiders, but it sits astride the trade routes from the cities of Raam and Draj in the north to rich Balic in the south. Every day, gigantic mekillot-drawn argosies and fleetfooted kank or crodlu pack trains make their way across the blistering salt flats. The rival city-states of Guig and Nibenay are found in the Ivory Triangle; they lie in a narrow verdant strip along its northern edge at either end of the Crescent Forest—one of the last lowland forests on Athas. The sorcerer-queen
Lalali-Puy rules as a goddess over the forest city of Guig, and the sorcerer-king Nibenay, also known as the Shadow King, holds dominion over the ancient metropolis that bears his name.

Forty miles east of Cromlin lies a ruin largely forgot ten by most ofAthas. Rumors in the Ivory Triangle speak of Giustenal, a crumbled city on the far side of the Black Spine Mountains. Silt skimmers passing by the Bay of Maray steer far out on the shoals and give the city a wide berth, seeking to pass by swiftly and in daylight. Brave souls who venture near find a maze of walls and broken ramparts encircling Giustenal, many winding down into the silt for hundreds of yards. Silt horrors thrive beneath the dust here. Within the maze, the city is half buried in silt. It appears deserted, and its ruins show evidence of a terrible sorcerous battle fought here long ago. Giustenal was destroyed swiftly but never sacked; the few looters who have raided the city claim that a great deal of treasure still lies in the ruins. No people are known to linger nearby, but dangerous beasts lair in the emains of the city.

Hot, thirsty and exhausted form their month’s trek across the waste only drawn by the pull of the Crown of Dust. It spoke to them in whispers, calling to them and became more and more agitated as the group approached the foremost ruins of Giustenal.

The scene shifts before you. Now the lay of the land looked more familiar, except where the Sea of Silt should have been there was a sea of sparkling water. The sandy wastes were covered with thick forests, and the land looked like the Forest Ridge for as far as you can see. You recognized the walls of Giustenal before you, though they were new and solid, not broken and crumbling like the ones you passed through only hours before. The city was full of people, though not one of them was a halfling. You see humans and elves and dwarves, along with a score of creatures you can’t identify. Some are small with brightly colored wings. Others look like thin dwarves. There are so many you can’t begin to absorb all of the details.

Since common Athasians are forbidden to read or write, few people know the annals of their world. They do know that Athas used to be lush and green, rich with water and thronged with cities and realms. This knowledge is no secret; any traveler can see the evidence of the former world crumbling in the deserts. Ancient bridges span empty watercourses, dilapidated castles sag on hilltops over deserted towns, shrines to vanished gods lie dusty and silent, and the ruins of great cities are filled with sand and monsters all remnants of the time known as the Green Age. Fleeting tales whisper of eras that pre
ceded the Green Age, leaving older and even more mysterious ruins, but no definite knowledge of such fantastically ancient days remains in the world unless the sorcerer-kings know more.

Over a crumbled wall they spied the crest of an ancient pyramid and a young beautiful woman running away from it. “Help, help she cried her bosom heaving, wearing a blood streaked cape and tussled hair, she ran into the strong arms of Illikan. My friends – they… I think they are all dead… oh my! You must come and help.” The men ogled her voluptuous body and stammered out their wishes to help the beautiful lass. Toox was not so easily impressed – she knew this ploy, in fact she used it often… this was a trap.

As the illusion of the young woman dissipated away leaving behind a horrid vistage of a semitransparent ghost with vampiric tentacles for hair.

A dark opening, partially hidden behind dunes, leads into the side of the pyramid. A shattered stone door sits in the opening. You hear barely perceptible moans emanating from the darkness ahead.
tomb1.jpg
The corridor ahead angles away from the room and gradually slopes deeper into the earth so that the far end—which is dark—is several feet lower than the close end. The corridor levels out and widens into a small chamber. A strange symbol has been painted onto the floor. A portcullis blocks the way out on the other side of the room. Two animated corpses, frost emanating from their decaying forms, move toward you with malice in their undead eyes.
tomb2.jpg
After ploughing down a few steps amidst more gnawed bones you see light ahead; not any mystic phosphorescence, but a filtered daylight from some fissure in the pyramid above. It is a twilit grotto of enormous height; a subterraneous world of limitless mystery and horrible suggestion. A ghoulish spectacle is presented in front of you by the general surface of the ground. For yards about the steps extend an insane tangle of human bones, or bones at least as human as those on the steps. Like a foamy sea they stretch, some fallen apart, but others wholly or partly articulated as skeletons; these latter invariably in postures of daemoniac frenzy, either fighting off some menace or clutching other forms with cannibal intent.

Stairs lead down to a four-way intersection. Heavy metal doors block the eastern and southern passages. An open archway to the north glows with firelight beyond. On the floor within the dark alcoves by each of the doors, you see sprawled bodies lying still and deathly quiet. This large room spreads out into darkness. To each side of the stairs stands a large brazier blazing with a crackling
fire. The fire sheds dim light down into the chamber, revealing a portion of the area. You see skeletal remains scattered here and there.
tomb3.jpg
Tal Lorvas carries 500 gp and a magic orb +2. He has also uncovered part of the treasure
of the tomb, including five 100 gp gems and the empress’s crown, which still radiates with the
taint of the devil that was tied to Nemeia in life.

View
Escape from Slither

The raider lord Yarnath prowls the wastelands in his crawling citadel called Slither. Not long ago, Yarnath bent all his effort toward recovering an artifact fragment known as the Crown of Dust. But someone beat him to it. Yarnath did not come away empty handed. Though he did not find the fragment he sought, his raiders located the crown jewel of the ancient artifact. This red stone, called the Blood Jewel, is the crystallized blood of an ancient primordial. With it, Yarnath might unlock the power of a being mighty enough to slay the ancient gods. Does anyone dare to oppose him?

Slither is built from the gargantuan skeletons of several mekillot dirks bound together by beams of fused bone. Turrets and sharp spires rise crookedly from the drik-shell structure, which looks as if it has the ability to crawl across sand, scrub plains, salt flats, and ridged foothills with equal facility. It is currently quiescent and unmoving.

Slither

Slither is a dune trader’s worst nightmare. First come the waves of raiders sworn to Yarnath: elves, dragonborn, undead, and a recently pledged monstrosity of teeth and hunger. Next, the crawling fortress heaves over a nearby ridge and appears for all the world like a living monster with a tiny citadel built upon it.

Slither, the Crawling Citadel

A mul defiler named Yarnath created this crawling
citadel of bone. Yarnath drained his own life in the
process to animate the construction, passed into
undeath, and became a powerful lich.

slither.jpg

Tower Curtain

A wall of fused bone surrounds the six towers, which were built upon animated, fused mekillot carapaces. The wall is sufficient to keep out attackers, especially when Slither is under way and a full complement of raiders patrol the space between the curtain wall and towers. Currently, just a few elf raid leaders patrol the interior of the wall

1. Yarnath’s Tower

The tower is the lich’s private quarters. No one goes here and lives, not even the crew.

2. Unknown Tower

Kivrin does not know the purpose or contents of this tower for certain. He suspects that it houses the magical contrivances which animate and power Slither, along with their guards and wards.

3. Armory Tower

This tower contains a vast array of armor and weapons and is under heavy guard.

4. Ritual Tower

This tower is where Yarnath performs his magical research..

5. and 6. Green and Gold Towers

The final two towers have more barracks, the treasury, food stores, the private quarters of Yarnath’s lieutenants, and other important chambers.

When the group sneaks to the top of the Ritual Tower they find the crenellated tower top is strewn with humanoid bones. Some are still fresh with gnawed meat. A horrifying, fourfooted beast roams the bone piles, looking for a bit of flesh it missed. Among the older bones stretch large spider webs. In the deck at the center of the tower is an opening onto a set of spiral stairs. Four statues of elf raiders with crossbows stand at silent attention surrounding the stairs.

A tembo leapsto attack the party: Everyone hates tembos. These creatures feature in stories meant to frighten children into being good. Unfortunately, tembos are not mere confabulations but all too real terrors. Tembos delight in causing ruin and heartbreak by carefully picking a means of death that creates the most anguish for the victim and his or her companions. The fact that Yarnath could put a compulsion on one to serve as his guardian to the entrance of his Ritual Tower reveals something of the lich’s wide and varied power.

After pushing the horrid beast from the tower they follow a spiral staircase down.

The spiral staircase ends in this chamber, descending no farther. You see a dank, gloomy chamber layered in shadows. Candle sconces provide flickering light. One section is closed off behind bars and holds several slumped humanoid forms, some of which are obviously dead. Opposite the barred cell is a room with no door. On the forward side of the tower is a magic circle inscribed in the floor, and opposite that is a shaft leading down.

Rook – one of Yarnath’s Master necromancers occasionally has need of live subjects for the experiments he conducts in his lower laboratory level. Thus he sometimes has captives brought to this chamber for confinement until they are needed. When Yarnath is busy with other projects, however, the captives brought here perish from starvation or predation from the cell keeper ssurran dune mystic and its two belgoi hunter guards. For that reason, the barred portion of the level contains only rotting bodies and a couple of salt zombies that spontaneously formed from the dead captives in this chamber, thanks to Slither’s undead ambience. In addition to the salt zombies that lie among the dead, a few black reaver zombies also sprawl as if mere corpses, but they remain ready to spring up as aides to Yarnath or Rook if they happen to appear in the circle. The black reaver zombies also defend the chamber if any invader appears.

After overcoming the undead prison wards the group stealthfully descends the shaft.

The floor beneath the shaft is covered in remains of prisoners dropped from above and left for dead; most have decayed to bones and powdered carcasses. On either side of the shaft’s detritus stand two statues of elf raiders holding crossbows. The central chamber holds all manner of strange equipment scattered on tables and shelves, including several chairs with restraints; two of them hold corpses that remain upright because of the chair’s numerous straps. In the center of the chamber, a circle of sigils on the floor casts a green radiance. Within that radiance stands a corpse whose eyes are lambent green liquid. Beyond it stands a hulking corpse in moldering leather and carrying a longsword.

Easily defeating the green arcanian; a corpse that Yarnath animated with a defiling acid spell the group continues down another set of spiral stairs.

This chamber is bare of any decoration except a magical circle in the floor. Three sets of doors provide entry further into the tower; two are single doors, and the central one is a double door.As the group opens the door they see Thri-kreen infest this large chamber! It is painted with a single bizarre scene: the body of a massive snake is depicted on the wall, completely surrounding the room. On the snake’s head, which is more humanoid than ophidian, rests a glowing crown. The snake’s tail coils inward along the floor from the wall and rises like a stinger in the center of the chamber. The stinger forms a stone pedestal, and on it rests a red-glowing gem beneath a sealed crystal dome. Several stone chests are arrayed along the far wall.

Deftly defeating these foes they group hears the pathetic whimpering of a half dead Dragonborn lying on a torture rack. Thinking he was some sort of undead creature the Mul viciously turned the crank – causing the creature to yelp and cry out.

He informed them he was a prisoner of this place that they were trying to extract information from him which in return for his freedom he imparted this wisdom on the party:

The Dragonborn spoke of a necromancer Tal Lorvas, who has unearthed an underground tomb that dates back to the height of the ancient Giustenal empire. Lorvas has been terrorizing the surrounding lands with his vile experiments, and now he hopes to find the crown, hidden in the tomb, that is tied to a ritual he wants to perform by the rise of the next full moon.

Unfortunately the Dragonborn perished in your escape from Slither.

Running madly from the lich’s lair you wonder if you will ever escape his clutches.

View
The Lost Cistern of Aravek and Beyond

After fighting a delaying action against the forces of Urik, the men of G’tok Dra are captured and interrogated by a Urikite templar and his surviving half-giant bodyguards. The interrogation seems to focus on the fabled Crown of Dust artifact that the group found and lost on earlier adventures. The templar pays particular attention to Ilikan, and seems to have knowledge of his recent comings and goings. Around the burning dwarven town of Kled, many dwarves have been hung up and crucified. Several of them surround the party.

As the Urikite interrogates various members of G’tok Dra, the others sense opportunity and quickly free their bonds and turn the tables on their evil captors!

Hearing a particularly vocal crucified dwarf, Oblidai engages the man who mumbles a few words about water, the high sun and another templar before falling back into unconciousness and, ultimately, death. Oblidai discovers an odd-looking gem in the dwarf’s shirt and keeps it.

G’tok Dra decides to head back to the hidden elven fortress of the Jura Dai and plot their next move. Upon returning, Sartaj accosts them about continuing their original mission to Altaruk, but the group is disinterested. They opt, instead, to follow the trail of an ancient preserver mage, Aravek, to find a location of interest.

Another day’s journey brings them to a small, hidden and verdant valley near the Ringing Mountains which contains an enormous rock column with a large cave at it’s base. The group discovers Gith basking among an apparently limitless supply of water. The group skillfully slaughters the mutants and discovers a pit in the floor that leads to an underground chamber.

Toox is the first one to explore the cave with her psychic senses. She discovers a cat-like monstrosity sleeping. Ubelievably, the rest of the party makes their way down to the water-filled chamber without immediately rousing this beast—a tembo, as it turns out. As the party approaches the beast, though, it is awakened! The beast is hit by Ilikan and quickly hops around the cramped chamber, attacking any and all of the invaders.
The battle looked dire until a loud splash was heard. It was Bost! Thought dead and left back in Kled, the mul had somehow found a way to follow the party and arrive in the nick of time!

Though the tembo was powerful and continued it’s persistent attacks, it was ultimately defeated by the heroes and it’s treasures looted.

Upon exiting the cistern, the group was again set upon by the forces of Urik, who had also discovered the location of Aravek’s cistern.

The Urikites were woefully overmatched, as G’tok Dra cut through them like a kirre does to the erdlu flesh!

G’tok Dra returns to the elven citadel and eventually bargains back the return of it’s items (taken by the Jura Dai on their slave caravan), including the First Fragment of the Crown of Dust. After this masterful negotiation is accomplished, the party is approached by a shadowy elf named Kivrin, supposedly with the Veiled Alliance. He tells them that the raider Yarnath has parked his mobile citadel, called Slither, to the south in order to study the Blood Jewel-the second fragment of the Crown, that the raider found soon after losing the first to the G’tok Dra.

Having liberated themselves from an unfortunate association with the apparently-doomed Sartaj, the G’tok Dra accepts Kivrin’s offer to act as guide for them to infiltrate the monstrous Slither and liberate the Blood Jewel.

View
The Burning of Kled

Juga Dai took a number of his elite scouts and set off for Kled with the party. As they approached Kled, Barunus came out in alarm thinking the elves had come to attack. He was accompanied by Bost and Oblidai – but upon seeing Ilikan and the strange wizard they called out a clan greeting.

“May your water skins always be full.” Oblidai explained to the group how he had returned the remains of Expech Tuhuy (DEAD) to the G’tok-dra and how his spirit was now with their ancestors. They explained what had happened in his absence and began to parley between the elves and dwarves and told them of the arrangement they had worked out. The Dwarves would help them secure and rebuild their ancient stronghold and the elves would provide the antidote for the oasis. Juga was adamant that the druid would not be released – much to Oblidai’s chagrin. Almost as soon as these arrangements were made an advance elven scout riding a Kank appeared on the horizon in obvious trouble. Both him and his steed were struck with multiple arrows and as the elf rode up to Juga he slumped in his saddle. Urik was on the warpath! They were coming – Dwarves and elves fled like sugar ants before a sand storm!

excerpts_20100716.jpg
The group decided to make a stand against the advancing army. Wave after wave of indestructible Urikite warriors left Bost and Illiacan unconscious with the sniveling wizard running with his demonic tail between his legs and the rat man hiding in some crevasse as usual…

View
Jura Dai Stronghold

The three ex-slaves are friendly toward the group, recognizing them as fellow escaped slaves, until The Tri-Kreen snuck up near the slaves and knocked scree off the rocky overlook. The group- Kollus, To-gahl, and Marista are reluctant to help them out as they’re short of water themselves. They explained how the trouble at Kled has made finding water difficult, and the tribe can’t afford to take on any more mouths. They suggest that if the groups can resolve the trouble at Kled, they can find refuge with the slave tribe. The trouble has to do with the Jura Dai elves accusing the inhabitants of Kled of telling slave takers where to find the elves. From them, they tell the group that they will be killed or returned to slavery if they try to join a caravan or return to Urik. They can also learn where the nearest oasis is and that the water there has recently turned bad. Lastly, they will find that the ex-slaves believe that the King of Urik is very evil. They find the group incapable and tell them to split before the caravan scouts captured them and took them back to Urik or worse. Feeling they had blown an opportunity to restore their water supply the party slunk away.

Traveling at night they see something slender pass before the two moons of Athas now and then. The ribbon stays at least a mile distant, it appears to be a large snake covered with an articulated shell of silver-gray chitin. The snake is about 45 feet long and two feet in diameter, and has a pair of wicked-looking fangs in its mouth. It follows all night) long, disappearing and reappearing every now and then. Just before dawn, it disappears and does not reappear.
sw1.jpg

The party wakes to the trickle of water and find a Silk Wyrm has depleted their water supply! When Korek finally figures out the silk wyrm is caught stealing the water, it attempts to paralyze him and drag him off.

Spying vegetation in the distant they come across the Oasis the Slaves told them about. The water is scalding hot, brown, muddy, and bitter smelling, in other words, normal for an Athasian oasis. There is plenty of long green grass growing on the edge of the pool, and the mudflats are covered with healthy foliage. A closer inspection reveals that the pool is surrounded by dead birds, lizards, and small mammals.

The characters recognize two mekillots as the animals that were drawing the wagon at the start of this adventure. The one lying on its side at the water’s edge is obviously dead. The other one is confused, frightened, and angry, the mekillot moves to keep itself between the adventurers and the oasis. The huge beast attacks anyone who reaches the edge of the water or the body of the dead mekillot.
sw2.jpg

Connecting with the Beast, Toox uses her telepathic powers to try to sooth the unfortunate animal. The mekillot is upset about its mate’s death. It is also extremely thirsty, but dimly realizes that drinking from the pool is a bad idea. Nevertheless, it is extremely defensive of the oasis, as this is the only water it knows of within miles. Because of the beast’s panicked state of mind it tries to drive the group away. With fire and food they cause it to leave them alone as they went to investigate the Oasis.
sw3.jpg
This oasis is also dotted with yypr trees. These stand fifty feet tall and grow equally well in the muddy areas of the oasis or the sand at its edge. They are conifers, with hard, flat needles. The mud around the oasis is steaming hot. Further, it smells terrible and is
crawling with disgusting worms and beetles. A small bridge of yypr wood leads to this marble arch which was built by the preceding Athasian civilization. At the base of the arch are a dozen clay pots, all filled with various grains, fruits, and vegetables. All of these foodstuffs are moldy. Scattered here and there on the wooden bridge are leaves and stems of a purple herb. Korek recognizes the herb as methelinoc, an extremely poisonous herb found only in the Ringing Mountains. Because this herb does not affect elves or kanks, elven tribes sometimes use it to prevent strangers from stealing their water.

A group of 20 young elves has come for water. The elves plunge their canteens into the water, bring their kanks forward to drink, and spend the next several hours drinking and loading five hundred gallons of water onto their kanks.
sw4.jpg
The group learns that these elves belong to the Jura Dai tribe (just as the raiders who attacked the caravan did) and that they have used methelinoc to poison all the wells in the vicinity as retaliation for Urik’s slave-taking.

After the elves leave the sound of giggling children drifts across the oasis. They see two dozen dwarven children moving away from the arch monument, where they have just left an offering of sugar-coated ants. They are sneaking along the mudflats toward the edge of the pond, waterskins in hand. As the party watches, a little boy suddenly disappears beneath the mud. The child has been attacked by a kluzd. After deftly slaying the massive snake-like beast the party agrees to escort the stupid children back to Kled.
sw5.jpg

A dozen angry mothers greet the group and drag the kids away, scolding them loudly. After the party met the mothers, the village leader, an ancient dwarf named Barunus greets the adventurers. He is so feeble that he can hardly walk. Barunus asks the PCs to free the druid who watches over the nearby oasis.
sw6.jpg
The Gok-ta dra agreed to help the dwarves, happy to extract revenge on the Jura Dia elves. Barunus explains how he founded Kled 150 years ago. His (and thus Kled’s) purpose is to uncover the lost city of the dwarven kings, Kemalok. When Kemalok is restored to its former splendor, Barunus believes, the world will once again be verdant and bountiful. The Jura Dai are mad at the dwarves of Kled because a legion from Urik watered from Kled.s well before attacking the elven camp. The dwarves didn.t want to let the legion water in Kled, but they had no choice. The elves are holding the druid of the nearby oasis prisoner to prevent him from reversing the effects of their toxins on the oasis. Pleased with the enthusiasm of the party, Barunus presents them with the Sword of Kemalok, a steel sword +1.

sw7.jpg
As they start toward the elven stronghold they spot an elf moving through the terrain ahead of the party. Unfortunately the party failed every skill challenge presented to them to this point and the elf escaped – to no one’s surprise as this group seems totally inept at survival under the dark sun by observing their complete lack of skill…

Moving onward they hear screams of terror as a young elf maiden was surrounded by a pack of horny Gith. Filled more with the passion of killing they slashed the Gith to pieces as the elf maiden ran away.
sw8.jpg
Following her trail they come upon the secret hideout of the elves. This region of Athas is dotted with thousand-year old ruins, but this one is unusually well-preserved. The stone walls are in good condition, but the upper floors of the towers have crumbled.
sw9.jpg
1,2: These towers are surrounded by rubble and now stand only about ten feet tall,
with no roofs. Inside each is one sentry.
3: This road, the only castle entrance, is lined by a 6. tall stone wall.
5,6: The lower two floors of these towers still stand. An elven family including two warriors (one male, one female) and three children camps on each tower floor. In each tower a sentry looks down at the band.
7,9,11: The walkways along these walls are where the tribe’s single elves sleep. You notice many crusty socks here.

8: This tower is similar to 5 and 6, save that the lower floor is occupied by five sentries.
12-14, 16-18: An elven family including two warriors (one male, one female) and three children camps in the foundations of the buildings that once stood here.
15: At any time, there are 2d10 elves in this courtyard.
19: This is where the tribe keeps its 100 kanks penned at night.
20: At any time, there are 2d10 elves gathered around the well,
21: This dry moat is now filled with offal and refuse.
sw10.jpg
The elves are not amused that this party of inept slaves found their secret fortress. The party concocted a plan to negotiate with the elves and they were bustled in to see their leader at spear point.

Tuga Dai cares only about his tribe. He told them that he would not release the druid, no matter what. He seemed surprised that they didn’t seem to press this issue. He was more interested in how they learned of his stronghold. When the party spoke of an alliance with the dwarves at Kled he was willing to listen. His daughter spoke up on behalf of the group seeing how they sort of saved her from getting raped by a gang of Gith.
Juga Dai knows that he has little chance of freeing the Jura Dai taken by the King of Urik, but he has to do something to strike
back. Perhaps they slaves could help him in some way… He decided to let them go back to Kled with an elf scout Fanan and Jengi his daughter.

View
Rocky Barrens

G’tok- Dra got a respite from the heat of the day in the thorny briar. The team took turns keeping watch as the others rested. Toox created a crystal of psionic energy and cast it beyond the briar patch. This created a psychic double of herself, allowing her to see the surroundings outside the thorny wall. She saw a tiefling man approaching, wheeling overhead a kestrel squawked – apparently communicating in some way to the devil man. Watching him setup a lean-to next to the briars she hailed him. Surprised he introduced himself as Iados, a Wizard of sorts who worked with the templars from Draj. He had been on the same caravan and had been working with Avarm, as a slave, but unlike them he seemed to have unique skills the Caravan leader was interested in. Seeing how he seemed somewhat trustworthy they decided to have him join their party. As the merciless sun finally set and the twin moons rose in the night sky they set off again in search of the oasis.

There are dozens of different kinds of cactus in the Stony Barrens. Three different varieties dominate the region however: a spherical purple kind roughly two feet in diameter, a tubular kind that resembles a mass of writhing brains and covers the ground for twenty square yards and a tall tree-like kind with 1-6 branches.
cactus.jpg
Bounding unknowingly into the middle of them the plants animated and attacked the group, seeking to draw the blood from the adventurers to feed their own roots. Sensing that they could turn the table around – the saguaros appeared to contain moisture. The group hacked away at the man-eating plants and was rewarded with a day’s supply of cactus juice which was amply satisfying for one dying of thirst in this barren wasteland.
As the PCs climb a small dune, they heard a loud frantic buzzing on the other side. The aarakocra are both coal black with naked heads entirely devoid of feathers wicked looking red eye and wingspans of about 20 feet. They are attacking a wezer. Which resembles a wasp but also has many things in common with a bee it has a red body is about five feet long, three feet in diameter and has no apparent stinger at the end of its abdomen. The sphere attached to its mouth is a ball of wax the size of a one gallon jug. The wezer is no match for the aarakocra.
aacocra.jpg
Driving off the aarakocra – the Wezer takes one last wheezing breath and gives up his ball of wax as his life-spirit left his carapace.

Over the next sand dune they see a number of hills. The size of the domes varies between three and eight feet tall but that all are about five feet in diameter. The domes are apparently constructed of sand glued together in some way. Only one, near the center of the area, has an obvious entrance. The entrance is four feet in diameter. The group deduces this must be the home of the late Wezer they found. Even though they were pretty sure to find plenty more balls of wax – they decided that walking into a hive of mad wezers wasn’t worth the risk.
hive.jpg
Traveling through the night they came upon another apparent group of ex-slaves sneaking up on three inix-drawn wagons, hoping to steal some water. When the PCs make their presence known, the woman angrily tells them to keep out of sight before they blow the ambush.
slaveatack.jpg

View
Jura Dai Raid

under_a_dark_sun_by_jasonengle.jpg

Outside the hold, look-outs sound the alarm. An instant later, a loud voice can be heard from outside the wagon: “The Jura Dai are not slaves your king must release our people or all his caravans will perish in the desert.” Shortly after the events detailed above occur, a loud explosion sounds at the front of the wagon. It stops amid astonished cries of “You can’t stop a mekillot wagon!” “They stopped us!” and “_We’re doomed!” (The attackers’s defiler used a fireball to sever the shaft by which the wagon is pulled.) The booming voice sounds again: “_Leave now—taking nothing with you or we will burn you out!”
elfattack.jpg
The psionicist hands you crossbows and 20 obsidian bolts each and tells you to defend the caravan.

A: Cargo Hold.
B: Crew Quarters. Twelve sleeping hammocks. Obsidian Bastard sword
C: Psionicist.s Quarters. 25 cp (hidden in bunk). +2 wand
D: Captain Avarm’s Quarters.
E: Kitchen. Gruel. 500 gallons of water in a barrel. 20 one-quart vessels (PCs can carry two per hand).

Two rounds after the party is freed, three dozen elves board the wagon, slaying the psionicist and half-a-dozen guards who remained behind. After the adventurers (slaves) abandon the wagon, they start setting fire to it.

Outside, the wagon is surrounded by three hundred elves. They don’t bother the now-freed slaves, but, offer no help either. Korek suffers a deluge of insults (the elves are well aware of the thri-kreen.s taste for elf-meat). The elves drive the slaves off with arrows that fall uncomfortably close but do not intentionally hit the group.

fuckinghot.jpg
Burned Wreck. When the group returns to the wagon they discover that it has been completely burned and looted. The cargo is now missing

Not much survived the fire, but, here is a list of what G’tok Dra finds:

1. Charcoal (the wagon was made of wood), for all practical purposes an unlimited supply.
2. Dozens of obsidian shards (broken weapons) as long as four feet and razor sharp.
3. Burn leather (straps and clothing).
4. Burnt bone (human).
5. Burnt cloth (hammocks. clothing. etc.).
6. Sheets of glass under wagon where sand melted.
7. Captain Avram’s burnt remains. He died when the fire ball freed the mekillots.
8. Bone case with map

As the group is searching the burnt caravan they are surrounded by 12 guards. The guards demand any water the party has. Battle ensues when G’tok Dra refuse to hand over their precious water supply.

Following this Illikan spies a thicket of vegetation a mile distant. The thicket is silhouetted by Athas twin moons, Ral and Guthay. The thicket is nearly a half-mile across. From its center glistens a scintillating, silver reflection—the unmistakable gleam of water?
deadlyprickers.jpg

As Illikan, Korek and their fellow freed-slave Akar proceed to enter the seeming oasis, they are set upon by a green slime and several oozes. G’tok Dra struggles against the vicious pricker bushes and disgusting monsters, enduring lethal damage from both. Akar, the kenku who joined the party when freed from the caravan, is the first to be killed, while trying to escape the “oasis.” He is pummeled by damage from the slime and oozes and is finally finished off by the prickers.

Illikan and Korek soon turn the tables on their assailants with a few well-placed attacks. After defeating the slimy monsters, they discover the “water” is actually a shallow pool of viscous liquid, but, none of it water. The harsh cruelties of Athas’s environment become more evident as the group continues on, in search of the town of Kled.

View
Slaves!

Copy_of_mellikotcaravan.jpg
You, your leader Sartaj, and your companions are now slaves in Avram’s caravan, leaving at sunrise for Balic on the South Road out of Tyr. You quickly learn that Avram, the caravan master, is a half-elven Balican man and you are now his property and treated no better than animals.

Under way, Avram’s caravan seems almost like a small town. A harnessed pair of mekillots pulls a giant walled wagon, while a trio of inix carries howdas with guards. Avram has hired additional guards while his caravan is near Tyr, presumably lest any of his property try to take advantage of the `Free City’.

Sartaj was grievously burned and seriously wounded in the raid. It will take much time before she is completely healed. You do your best to make her comfortable but the jarring of the wagon makes her release pitiful gasps of pain from her charred lips.

She tells you of the situation as you have much time to contemplate your fate:

She and Marama were on their way to meet with the adventurers when the attack began. Sartaj fell to Obadias while trying to cover Marama’s escape. When you tell her of Marama’s fate she is visably upset but somewhat in shock.

She explains she has heard of Obadias before. Her information suggests that while he is a warlock of some power, the elemental made him much stronger. She has heard of Obadias in connection with a group known as The True; a secretive group of defilers recently active in Tyr. She had asked the adventurers to meet hoping to secure their aid in an investigation of The True. The attack could not have been carried out so successfully without inside information on the activities of the Veiled Alliance – either there is a traitor inside the Alliance, or someone has been turned.

You also know:
The trip to Balic should take about 15 days.
MaptoBalic.jpg

You are tied inside of the wagon’s slave hold – a dark, hot room with no ventilation and a door on each side barred from the outside. You have no possessions besides your clothing. (please make sure to adjust stats)

The wagon moves at daybreak; a hour later five guards (one appears to be some sort of psionicist) feed the slaves (gruel and water) and check your shackles. They return in the evening with an additional quart of water per slave. This routine never varies.

Copy_of_1.jpg
You are in location F.

View
True Raid
the forces of evil attack G'tok Dra!

G’tok Dra was on the run. Mere minutes ago, the meeting they were supposed to have with Sartaj and Marama was raided by half-giant and human thugs, led by a dray defiler mage. After repulsing the initial attack, the young rebels fled into the chaotic streets of the Warrens. Buildings were ablaze as an armed force of the True massacred real and suspected Alliance members. Ducking quickly into the sewers, G’tok Dra emerged a short distance away from the mayhem. Human soldiers and dray mages scoured an empty, burned-out block from stragglers and quickly spotted them in the glow of a monstrous fire elemental. The 15-foot tall inferno towered over the human soldiers and inside of it, a hairless mul seemed to be controlling it!

“You see how easy this is, Marama? Soon, I’ll crush the Veiled Alliance and the last obstacle to resurrecting King Kalak will be removed! It’s such a shame you won’t be here to witness the totality of your FAILURE.”

The elemental-wearing mul grabbed the plump and lifeless body of G’tok Dra’s tutor and threw it into the side of a building that was burning furiously. The mul quickly turned his attention on the party.

“Well, well, well! Look at this collection of baazrag dung! You must be Marama’s students! Illikan, Oblidai, and Toox—perhaps I’ll show you mercy…by selling you to the highest bidder!”

The mul laughed as the forces of the True surrounded G’tok Dra, weapons drawn._

View
Marauders of the Dune Sea

After saying our goodbyes to our friend and leader we decided to explore the Cave some more. This place appears to be some sort of crypt and it held some intrigue to the events that had unfolded thus far. Exploring a side passageway we came to a door that opened into a passageway with four doors in each direction and a hejkin skeletal remains lying on the floor in the middle. Opening the northern door exposed a brightly lit room and roars of flame accompany the dancing lights from 4 massive braziers that burn, one in each corner of the chamber. The skeleton of a snakelike creature lies crumbling on the floor, its eye sockets seeming to smolder with embers. A alter carved of bone stands along the northern wall. As we hesitantly entered the room a puff of smoke indicated the entrance of a skeletal form appearing in each of the two northern braziers, burning but undamaged by the flames. Fire flares in the eye sockets of the skeletal creature on the floor, it tail rose and struck at us! Smoke puffed from the two southern braziers and shambling forms of zombies appeared next to them. Two of the zombies were encrusted with salt and their deathly groans assaulted our ears and attempted to suck the mineral from G’tok Dra’s bodies. The skeleton animates and swings it’s tail in wide arcs, hitting a few party members. The heroes manage to beat back the undead and destroy the skeletal trap.

The party delves further, encountering a nasty trap and a Boneshard Skeleton, defeating both. They encountered a room, littered with corpses which reanimate due to an unseen force, powerful defiling magic. After clearing the room, the heroes are surprised to find another party, standing in the doorway of the chamber. Turns out that others have answered the call of House Shom to investigate the Face in Stone. This group, The Red Chord, is comprised of 3 adventurers—malcontents, all.

After a brief but furious combat, the heroes emerge victorious-again. The party continues on, encountering minor distractions until they reach a large chamber with pit in the center. Shadow wraiths attack, along with an adult Silk Wyrm—a snake-like monster. The heroes easily beat back the wraiths, while Korek riikqhari jumps into the pit to discover a fragment of a powerful artifact Crown of Dust, once owned by a mighty primordial.

Silk wyrm
The party heads back towards the cavern entrance, only to discover a party of elves with Skull symbols painted on their faces. They claim to represent the raider Yarnath—a powerful lich who prowls the Tablelands in a gigantic, moving fortress called Slither. A group of outriders are seen, riding crodlu and approaching at a rapid pace. The heroes make a hasty retreat into the mountains near the cave and eventually lose their pursuers.
Slither

Several days later, the heroes return to the city of Tyr to rest and claim their reward from House Shom. Ilikan is approached by a man who introduces himself as Xorann Kreb, who inquires about Toox and the debt she owes to him. The party feigns ignorance and a fight ensues. Kreb has several allies, including a knife-master, who dances around the battlefield, slicing and dicing the heroes.

Xorann Kreb is quickly killed, as the party concentrates on taking him down. His allies throw rocks at the party, hitting several.

A female figure and a large centipede-like creature are spotted by Illikan, on top of a nearby roof. The woman begins pelting the party with arcane spells and the cilops is knocked down by Korek. The cilops makes a target of Tirshel and continues to attack him, solely, throughout the rest of the battle.

The party manages to hold their own-and then some-against the new and old foes. Suddenly, though, a group of masked men appear around the marketplace. They are led by a woman wielding a sword, who casts a spell, killing the cilops.

“You have to get out of here! Come with me!!” She yells to the party.

View

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.