Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
From over the sand dune bundled the chathrang, obviously wounded and stuggling, as it saw the caravan it sped up but then from beyond the crest came a swarm of giant ants, angrily following the creature
Eben slowed the caravan for a monent so that they could assess the danger. The chathrang slowed as it neared them and then finally collapsed exhausted or dead it was difficult to tell
The ants then swarmed straight for the caravan, swooping over their heads and buzzing angrily around them. Naraaku warned against attacking for they would leave the group alone as long as they were left alone, the chathrang had obviously disturbed their nest so they were making sure that it had left
As a precaution they moved from the top deck, as at least down below they would be more protected. As they did so a few of the ants dove down, making warning strikes in the air, but none of the group were harmed and the ants soon moved off
Farjad, who had been complaining of feeling ill the last day or so and taking extra water suddenly collapsed, narissa and yakal rushed to his aid. The prognosis was not good, it seemed he had contracted sun sickness, and he was delusional. Yakala cursed himself for allowing such an inexperienced mage on such a dangerous mission. Farjad was taken down to rest in the lower deck, where Yrkoon would watch over him and ask the spirits for aid
With heavy hearts they moved on, full speed to try to reach tyr as soon as possible, but they all knew they were still 3 or 4 days away
The rest of the day passed without incident and they were all relieved when the caravan settled to a stop and the cooling evening breeze floated through the cabins
As the night wore on and it seemed as if the group would have some peace an explosion suddenly rocked the caravan!
Panic ripped through the group as they frantically shouted and scrambled to the lower decks
kagero cautiously approached the door to the store room from where the explosions came as orsk headed outside and naraaku headed to the main deck.
bursting through the door kagero was surprised to see several small silt runners and their shamen master handing barrels of water and food down through the hole in the floor. They screached and drew their weapons, moving to protect their ill gotten gains
Eben rushed into the room, imposing and fearless, bringing his axe to bear against the snickering lizards
two brandishing wicked spears jumped forwards trying to flank the barbarian as he attempted to wade in whilst two more behind shot at him with their poisoned blowdarts
eben was unfazed and made short work of the critters and as kagero stood by his side the diminutive lizards knew they would not win the fight
the lizard shamen chanted arcane utterings and brought forth a blast of energy, sending the other runners into a frenzied excitement as some of the food barrels were vaporised
seeing the peril of losing their precious resources eben and kagero drove the silt runners back down the hole but some were already escaping
on top of the caravan naraaku called out to orsk as he spotted some of the runners with barrels on their backs scurrying off into the desert. In quick succession and with deadly accuracy he fired off volley after volley of arrows, more to slow them than anything else, but it was clear these creatures were experienced raiders, weaving in and out to avoid the shots
Orsk on the other hand had spotted some more raiders popping their heads out the other side of the caravan. Spurring rex on they leapt forward catching one of the runners by surprise. Unfortunately he was so surprised that he dropped the barrel splashing precious water onto the hot sand and soaking himself in the process.
another two emerged on orsks side and immediately split to go in different directions, due to their speed compared to rex it was possible that orsk would still catch them both eventually but it would require a chase, of which he was fully prepared for
Inside eben closed in on the shaman after having despatched his minions. the shamen squealed as he tried to unleash his incantations but eben was not in the mood for games. Swinging his huge axe around he brought it down on the shamans skull, splitting it in two
meanwhile kagero set upon the two blowpipers, roaring intimidatingly at them and they began to lose their nerve, moving away from her and trying to steal food so that it could escape. She cut one of them down whilst the other, seeing eben close in, picked up a barrel and threw it at him! Eben dodged nimbly out the way and luckily the barrel bounced off the wall and did not break, settling on the floor
naraaku, still firing off volleys from the deck, managed to drop two of the runners before the third escaped into the night, the precious water barrel lying on the sand, still intact. One barrel had been smashed in the battle but in all it could have been worse
As the group took stock of the situation orsk and rex continued to pursue the final raider, cheerfully scurrying away into the night not realising that he was being chased or how close the predator was. When Orsk brought his hammer to bear, the raider had little chance, letting out a final terrified squeal as its brains were splattered on the desert floor. Orsk returned, triumphantly returning at least one of the barrels which had made the chase worthwhile
The problem now was that there was a huge hole in the bottom of the caravan! As best they could the group and merchant slaves gathered as much scrap as possible and tried to cover the hole, the repaies were simplistic at best but moving all of the water supplies to a different hold seemed to put them all a little more at ease. Orsk volunteered to sleep in the lower hold too in the hope that he could be an early warning in case of further attack
the rest of the night passed peacefully much to their relief and the morning blazing sun was greeted with joy to all but one, Farjad. Despite all their efforts his condition had not improved and he had slipped into unconciousness. He was not done for but he would need serious rest and a good bed to stand any real chance of recovery, Yakala prayed to the desert spirits once more to speed their journey that they may arrive in tyr sooner rather than later
progress was indeed good, and on deck spirits were lifting as the clear desert sky enabled the mekillots to speed them on their way. By their navigation they should be out of the alluvial sands by the end of the day, and there would begin the long road to tyr, sheltered by canyon walls but unfortunately no less dangerous
Yakala stared off into the distance as the ringing mountains
question black sand raiders
yakala learns more about crystal
rest of night passes ok
next day reach boulder fields, see crumbling rocks from canyon wall, solz and nar go to investigate, nar spots gnoll footprints. they give chase but gnoll is too fast and evades them
strange to see them this far north, follow trail for short while get up high spot a group in far distance heading west via a ring to the south (wide berth)
The group enter tyr, beggars line caravan way along with starving farmers. Templars and their Half-giant guards are trying to move them along or at worse cart them off to the ziggurat
vordon queue outside as the signs read ‘one metal item per customer’, templars nobles rich merchants and mercenaries queue.
outside stel slave auction taking place, two nobles bid for the slaves. the slaves themselves wear the purple crystals. Debate gets heated and the nobles start squabbling then a templar and guards arrive on the scene to calm them down, templar states that to solve the argument he will take the slaves for kalak. The stel merchant, watching, sneers and gets down from the platform and talks to the templar. The group can visibly see a small bag of coins exchanging hands and as they both smile knowingly together the templar pronounces the auction to continue
Orsk and eben produce papers for vordon, head inside and offload cargo. The guard who meets with them quizzes them for a few moments until satisfied their story checks out. Thaxos is busy at this time but a meeting could be arranged for him later, for now they will head inside and meet with a mid-level merchant ‘Serifin’ who journals what group have for saleable goods. Despite price rises the group make a good sum from the sales and vordon are pleased with the haul. The caravan is given to vordon who will repair or break it down for scrap an orsk leaves rex with vordon for now
Orsk follows eben to meet with abdiel. Pass by ziggurat, as they do a couple of slaves fall from the highest tier and splatter on the hard rocks below, slaves scatter but are soon whipped back into shape. One of the overseers takes delight in wounding one slave whilst staring down at orsk and eben. A cold stare returned and he wishes he had not bothered
Upon reaching the gates to the templar quarter they are met by city (not templar) guard, who cause them a little trouble and ask for a bribe but in the end are argued down skillfully by Orsk and allowing them entry
various templars going about their ordinary business take one look at them but then scurry on their way careful not to take a second glance
The ministry of state is a grand high domed building built of sandstone but the interior decorated with marble floor tiles and pillars, several guards outside recognise Orsk and salute him quizzing on where he has been, Orsk chooses to reveal nothing. Inside the secretary upon learning their names calls forth a servant to go make abdiel aware of their arrival.
A crash and snap from above and moments later the servant comes running out clutching his singed backside as Eben and Orsk are led upstairs and into another waiting room with a high ceiling and many skylight openings creating a breezy cool hallway. More guards are waiting around here lazily eating grapes. Upon seeing Orsk they hurriedly rise to attention and offer him the bowl of fruit which he and Eben gleefully consume
The two grand hardwood doors are opened to Abdiel’s very White chamber, and sat cloaked in regal dark purple robes is abdiel. His hooded cloak covering his horned forehead and only his sharp features and wicked fangs protruding from his cunning smile
he offers a sly but seemingly genuine greeting as they enter and his eyes flare as he notices the package they are carrying
Orsk places the box of ankheg eggs on his desk and abdiel waves his hand over them, causing a red glow. ‘Still warm’ he proclaims with a smile, ‘this will add nicely to my collection’
abdiel, orsk and eben have a brief information exchange, abdiel informs them that the prices of all goods have been raised by 15% at a minimum, farmlands have been deserted as most slaves have been requisitioned for the ziggurat. Templar and thug ‘press gangs’ roam the streets capturing all without a better excuse (or enough money to bribe). The silt cult activities seemed to go quiet after the party at blacksun villa but recently their activities have increased once more, with the slaves of stel being an example of their influence. Gorask and Hirik, the two templars who tried to have abdiel killed have not been found. An organised group of escaped slaves calling themselves ‘the free’ have begun causing trouble around the city, in particular close to the slave pens. Orsk briefly explains their travels to find narissa and tybia and trip to the shadowfell but manages to convince abdiel that it was little more than a rescue mission. They ask about narissa’s shop which burned down but as far as abdiel knows it is still there (or what is left of it). He suggests speaking to Gennet or Calvalus (preferably the latter) to see about the land. Eben then comes forward and speaks slowly ‘and what of our bargain abdiel, you are still alive no?’ ‘of course, he replied ’how could i forget?’ with that he clapped his hands and through a seperate entrance, shuffled a man dressed in ragged clothing, a little less thin than when they last saw him but not quite as ‘full’ as he once was. His characteristic moustache and golden tan still remained however and he nearly dropped his drink tray upon seeing eben
My friend! he cried and although tied with giant hair rope he did his best (once the tray was on the table) at greeting the mul as warmly as he could. Eben looked a little uncomfortable at this over affection and abdiel laughed sarcastically. ‘Have you come to set me free?’ helandrez whispered. ‘indeed he has’ replied abdiel and drawing a knife made of pure silver from under his robes sliced through the giant hair as if it were a single fibre. Helandrez was overjoyed. ‘we are even now i believe?’ replied abdiel with a smile and with that the three left the statesmen to his business.
Eben and helandrez parted ways with orsk and continued on their business elsewhere in tyr whilst orsk headed to the golden inix, where he would try to track down neebit and the other street children
Solzak had kept himself quiet during the talks with vordon, aware that at this time anyone could recognise him and therefore jeopardise his and possibly the groups safety. It was important to maintain his cover as the scholar ‘Sokura’ from the nibernese noble house ‘Vita’. Wary that he was being followed Solzak slipped into the shadows along iron square, watching out for would-be assassins or spies.
He made his way out of the square and headed south east towards the noble district as at its edge there was a shop called ‘Athas revealed’ which stocked maps, journals and other explorer related curios. The owner, a noble named ‘Farran’ was pleased to see a fellow explorer (or so he thought). Farran had once been an adventurer and had travelled far and wide from the shores of the silt sea to the east and the great city of Draj, to the north with Urik and the south of balic and ledopolus. Solzak was after something different however and asked about ancient tomes of family lineage, in particular house ‘le’
Farren had heard of an old library buried in the depths of under tyr, in an area called ‘the sorrows’, there was catalogued many histories and journals now lost to much of modern tyr, it is far too dangerous for ordinary citizens to venture into under tyr and that is how the king and templars like it, lest anyone discover anything that resembles truth!
Farren did not give away his maps for free however and solzak paid a heavy price in coin, but the map was of exquisite quality and draftsmanship and in an ivory case with gold inlaid detail on the lock. Additionally solzak purchased maps of the forest ridge and of the location of the druid tarn.
The two bid farewell (until solzak would return the next day to collect the maps) and he headed back up to caravan way
Solzak was on the lookout for a group of thieves calling themselves Tyrs ‘eyes’, known to operate in and around the way.
After some waiting and discrete ‘thieves cant’ signs and signals Solzak is directed to a small side street where he is met by a scrawny toothless man called ‘Ranvir’.
Ranvir was suspicious of the foreigner, but soon realised he was dealing in one who was master at the art of deception and became more intrigued.
Solzak was looking for protection, essentially some members of the eyes to shadow his every move and to warn him of possible attack/assassination while he is in tyr.
the deal is done swiftly and solzak slips out from the alleyway, it is late afternoon turning to early evening, and he heads off silently past the thinning crowds to the warrens…
Orsk had left eben mid afternoon and headed back up to caravan way in order to try to find neebit and the other street kids whom he was technically the employer for. The streets bustled but he more or less blended in, any double looks were quickly stared down. As he approached the inix the familiar face of Jaryx beamed a huge smile at him
The two chatted enthusiastically and the usual jokes of who would lose out at the next game of arm wrestling was of some comfort. At least one thing hasn’t changed, he thought to himself as he entered the hazy, smoky inn
Mila was behind the bar as always whilst the thri-kreen slaves served bowls of soup, lizard kebabs and other delicacies. Mila after a few moments recognised Orsk and almost subconsciously began playing with her hair and looking a little self conscious.
Greetings mr orsk, it has been a while since we saw you here? Is mr eben with you at all? she fluttered her eyelids slightly. No he is still attending to business, orsk replied, but he will be here later. With that remark she blushed and served orsk his broy
orsk sat in the inn for a couple of hours before a boy noticed him and approached. Orsk? It was Zantus, Neebits elected lieutenant. Where is neebit? Zantus looked nervous, he’s in hiding, afraid in case he is caught by the templar with the lion symbol.
Zantus goes on to explain that neebit was watching a tiefling talking to a templar dressed in strange clothes with a lion symbol on them when the man noticed and chased him, luckily he got away but he has been frightened to go out ever since.
As well as the other information previously told to him by abdiel Zantus told him that drax had met with shalaya and they had been observing silt cult comings and goings via a house in the warrens called stigius manor. The kids have not been able to get any closer because the noises and lights at night make them fear for their own safety. Orsk insists that he needs to see neebit, Zantus thinks he is staying with his mother but will need to look for him. Orsk sends him off with a coin for his trouble
solzak goes to warrens to meet with Ja-gray leader of the toothcutters and old friend of solzak’s. As he enters the warrens he detects the presence of two individuals following him. He is relaxed however as this is as he expects it to be
He finds himself in a square where he is approached by shadowy figures. Crossbowmen are trained on him from the rooftops and he is quizzed by associates of the toothcutters
He is a tall thin man with drawn features a small wisp of a grey goatee, and eye patch and greyish brown skin. He is dressed in black with a small cloak that seems to bend light around him making his movements seem like jumps rather than fluid, suddenly appearing in one location and then reappearing at the next in an instant
asks for access to a safe house and to meet with forger
Ja-gray asks for him to do a favour and rid them of some troublesome halflings called the ‘ruincreepers’ who have been harassing his men as a return for these favours, solzak agrees
one of his men takes solzak to the forger ‘rinaldo’ who resides close to shadow square. Solzak is taken via a deliberately long route to the residence (to lose the ‘scent’ of their trail). Finally they find a small broken down shop with boarded and blocked windows letting little or no light inside. His guide knocked on the door with a very specific rhythm and a man answered and Solzak assumed it to be Rinaldo. They were let in to the house and by the light of a small candle this average looking ‘bookish’ man stood before them. He was distinguishable by his soft slippers which dampened the sound of his footsteps so that they were near silent and the various layered fine clothings he wore, strange for one who lived in such simple surrounds. The room was plain and the only furnishings were a small wooden table, a single chair and several shelves holding pots of inks, writing feathers, papyrus scrolls, wax and other writing materials.
Solzak outlined the terms of what he wanted. Papers identifying himself as Sokura, a member of House Vita in nibernay, and 4 additional identity papers of a squad of bodyguard. This was of no great difficulty for rinaldo, but solzak wanted these papers tonight, so much coin would need to be parted with. In the end Rinaldo agreed and the papers would be ready in an hour
Solzak left Rinaldo to his work and set off deeper into the warrens to speak with his benefactor, for he had not seen nor spoken to him in many days.
As solzak headed towards the meeting place he realised that he was being followed once more, but once he had waited a moment and listened he was reassured in that it was as he’d expected.
Once he reached the meeting place he saw an orange glow from the ruin into which they would ordinarily arrive. This was unusual but only in that normally their meetings were planned or he was summoned. The glow dissipated and Solzak entered as the vines parted for him. As he walked down the steps he suddenly heard a voice behind him, a garbled ‘solzak!’ Realising what was happening he quickly rushed upstairs to find his two ‘followers’ strung up in the vines as they pulled tighter around their neck
By moving away from the entrance the vines relaxed and Solzak called off the followers as they were just about to attack the vine, ‘leave me here for a moment’. They gave him a look as if he was mad, but complied and retreated to the shadows
Inside as his eyes adjusted to the darkness Solzak saw his benefactor, the man with mysterious motives that had thus far seen him well employed and looked after within the city.
They talked about the state of life in the city. As calm as he normally was, Solzak detected an edge in the voice of his benefactor. Could it have been nerves or something else he could not be sure. Solzak informed him of much of what had been going on, including finding the orbs and the curse of Laylon-Ka.
Reaching out his hand, the cloaked man held it over the circlet secured to Solzak’s head. This circlet will allow Ka to transfer her soul to the last of Le’s line as you slay them, causing her to live again in this world. I belive she will attempt to use you and the circlet as a conduit for this transfer. To stop her we will be very difficult and may involve a fight over your very soul. For now you should carry out her wishes as she suspects nothing, and then we shall find a way to intercept and stop her.
Solzak asked if there was anything the benefactor wanted him to do and he asked him to send word to the eight major noble houses: Mericles, Asticles, minthur, vladivar, Sharam, , and . Tell the head of house to come to the sweetwater inn on 12th of Hoard. There we will test each on their loyalty to Kalak. Those that seem open we will recruit to the cause of uniting against the tyrant. Those that are loyal to the king shall be persuaded or they will never leave the inn…In this task I offer what monetary assistance i can, and with that under his cloak he produces a bag of coins, use this wisely.
Sokzak asks if there is anything he can do to help him for now to evade those who hunt him and also assist him in the task of getting the nobles to listen to him. The benefactor waves his hands in incantation for a moment, swirls of orange arcane mist and the smell of sulphur fill the air as he weaves a spell. Black cloud surrounds Solzak like a fog, covering his body, and then it settles like silt becoming absorbed into his skin and armour and disappearing from sight. This will conceal you from their sight for the next few days as long as you remain in tyr. After that I can do little for my powers cannot follow everywhere you tread.
Solzak leaves and heads back towards Rinaldo to see if he has completed the work he had commissioned.
Eben and Helandrez head to the golden inix so that eben can instruct him of what has been going on since his capture and likewise helandrez can fill eben in on any knowledge he had, be that as little as it might be.
Once in the inix mila immediately recognises and waves at eben. When he gets close however she turns and slaps him in the face! That was for leaving and not telling me where you went! Pas that however she is actually glad to see him and they soon are chatting away happily
Eben takes mila into the back room of the inix and confesses his deep love for her and a desire to be married! Mila is shocked but overjoyed and immediately says yes! They both rejoin the others in the main part of the inn and mila makes the announcement. Orsk and Helandrez look at each other somewhat in disbelief. Helandrez shrugs and then cheers with the rest of the inn. Mila is in good spirits and offers everyone a drink on the house and the inn erupts into music and celebration
Orsk is waiting a couple of hours until finally Zantus shows up. He needs to take him to meet neebit as he is afraid it is a trick and wants to know it is the real Orsk, so begrudgingly he follows. Outside on caravan way the street is deathly quiet but they quickly move off into the side streets to cut across to the warrens where neebit is staying in a house for street children run by the old woman Azariel
The house itself is standard for one so close to the warrens, slightly dilapidated and crumbling and constructed of hard baked mud bricks. It seems small for something that holds over 40 children.
Zantus knocks on the door and a slow shuffling sound reveals the approach of the old woman. She comes to the door demanding what all the noise is about as its late. She is hunched over a withered cane, thick leathery skin covers her face and body and her eyes are slightly sunk into her cheeks with large bags under her eyes and thin, greyish white hair. At once she might have been quite an attractive woman, but years of isolation and worry have worn away any joy from her features.
She begins by berating them both. Zantus for arriving late and Orsk for demanding to see neebit, whom she is taking extra special care of. Orsk changes his tactic and offers the lady some kindness, to which her eyes soften and she begins to change her tune
Orsk speaks to neebit who updates him on what he has seen, much of which is the same as abdiel, but he mentions the free a lot, a new group formed of escaped slaves in the city, he has not met any of them however but just knows of their deeds in helping slaves of the city. orsk asks if any of the street kids can help in tracking them down. neebit says it will be difficult but he will make sure they do all they can
orsk asks about the knife he gave him. Neebit takes it out and shows him that he has been practicing. Orsk is pleased and says that he will teach him more if he is patient. neebit asks if orsk is sticking around and not going away anymore, he replies he has some business outside of tyr to attend to but that afterwards he will be back
neebit seems disappointed but glad he was honest. orsk then asks one more thing in that to find and arrange a meeting with shallaya and drax too from the veil for they need to update them. Handing them a little coin too neebit and Zantus receive it gratefully, thanking orsk
with that orsk leaves neebit who scurries off into the night and Zantus heads off to find other kids who might know the free
Walking back towards caravan way and the inix orsk notices a group of thugs walking slowly down caravan lane, in the distance he sees them harrying a beggar in the street and as they wrestle with him for a moment, laughing and joking he slips away and they stand there laughing even harder saying they will come back the next night to get him
Orsk decides to wait, and hand on the head of his hammer taps it impatiently. The thugs notice him and jab each other, sniggering. They call out to him, he looks like a strong individual who likes physical work? He would do well in a manual labour job, they laugh together. Orsk is deadly serious and as they turn to him again they say ‘so what will it be? fancy a change of career?’ Orsk just smiles, beckoning them closer and uttering the words ‘just try it’
The thugs rushed in, laughing and jeering as Orsk stood firm. Pulling his arms back and lashing out with perfect timing two of the thugs went down like whimpering dogs as the others came in hard, only to be deflected by Orsk’s return strike. In just a few seconds the thugs were left beaten and bruised. Shouting curses at Orsk as they slipped off into the night with their tails firmly between their legs
Back in the inix the party is in full swing as the drinking, dancing and celebrations reach to a fever of smiles and joviality. Eben is partaking fully but as usual his hardy constitution is seeing him the most sober of all the revellers
Solzak knocks on the door to Rinaldo’s and is greeted by the cautious loner once more. The work was complete and of a perfect standard as far as he could tell. Solzak knew that it was getting late and that the others were waiting for him at the inix so he quickly thanked Rinaldo and slipped off into the shadows
On the way back to caravan way Solzak realised once more that he was being followed. This put him at ease once more for he knew he would at least gain an early warning as to any would be ambushers
As luck would have it the walk back was uneventful until he reached Caravan way for there he saw a group of soldiers led by none other than Dorjan! She looked in a foul mood and she was discussing something with the rat Rowan from the inix! Creeping as close as he dared Solzak tried to listen in on what they were saying. Rowan it seems was reassuring Dorjan that it was true that he had seen Eben in the arms of Mila and that he was in the inn now, returned to rub salt into fresh wounds. Additionally he asked again if this is all proved true that his side of the bargain will remain true, that he would take over the inn from the traitor Mila! This she agreed to and then gathered the soldiers around her once more to proceed onward
Solzak knew this would not be good so hurried as quickly and as stealthily as he could back towards the inix. Climbing up onto the rooftops though he slipped and nearly fell, alerting the guards. Summoning his inner will he again manipulated the shadows around him to create the image of a birdman, an aaracokra to fly off into the sky and make it look as though that was what caused the noise
The guards stalled to fire a few shots at the fleeting mirage which gave solzak enough time to recover his senses and slip ahead to try to warn the others
Jaryx on the door was shocked to see him suddenly appear but recognising him and the panicked look on his face was enough that he waved him in
Inside naraaku, eben and orsk were happily drinking and cheering to the merriment that was rife in the inn, it seemed like some kind of celebration was taking place.
Solzak wasted no time and pulled eben to one side, saying he had approximately 2 minutes to get out of the inn before Dorjan would arrive for him with a group of Tyrian guard
Hastily the group formed a plan. If they attack Dorjan must not know it was Eben that was a perpetrator and so they shall use the disguise of being agents of the free to surprise and ambush them before they get to the inn as if it were a coincidence
Dark clouds gathered in the night’s sky obscuring Ral and Guthay for a moment and a foul breeze gathered sand and debris from the alleys on caravan way into the streets. Eben
called out the challenge that in the name of the free they would now die. The guards demanded the traitors surrender but almost as soon as the fight began Dorjan screamed as she was hit with multiple arrows and a deadly blow gun dart that was enough to knock her from her feet, badly wounded with her life force seeping from her wounds. In moments she lay still and the horror of what they had done became apparent as the stunned guards looked on. In the fight Rowan slipped away and as the group closed in it looked as if they might escape when all of a sudden there was a chime of several small bells. The sound volume increased and then – as a crack of thunder erupted above them – there, standing in front of them are the Belgoi and 3 of Kalaks necromancers! The group fell to stunned silence as the Belgoi and necromancers closed in, but then the sandstorm broke and for a few moments the streets were covered in burning sand and wind, obscuring all vision. The group were tired and wounded but saw this as an opportunity to escape, just as from an alley they heard a tiny voice, Neebit! With him was Shallaya and Drax who set about providing a screen for the group to retreat, but then Orsk, who up until this time was holding the line with Eben, became cut off from the others and through the wall of sand, dust and black necrotic energy Eben could see the Half-Giant fall. For a moment all seemed to be slow motion as Shallaya rushed forward to stop Eben from becoming another casualty, and they had to run and not look back. The belgoi closed in and the necromancers let out an evil laugh, for they had Orsk and they had won.
Neebit led the group through the dark alleys as quickly as he could, trying to hold back the urge to cry. What would happen to his friend? He cursed himself for not finding the veil agents sooner and he hoped above all else that this night would not be the last time they saw him…