Session 20

  • Ho’ktou is busy making food as the group rest, then a strange aroma alerts pcs to what he might be cooking, first they look for the gith but he is still alive, with a vacant stare but alive. * * The aroma is elf flesh! as the soup he carries round is actually what is left of the silt stalker that was thrown inside by the belgoi! most refuse to eat but Ali being the adventurous sort gives it a try and as all the others are looking pale she actually quite enjoys it
  • discussion turns to ho’ktou’s past and he was a member of the longspears tribe in the crescent forest until his heavy handed tactics resulted in a massive tree felling that got him expelled, he wishes to someday return
  • he has lived here with doomvar for some half a century virtually undisturbed and he and doomvar are life long friends
  • the veil agents introduce themselves properly; hashtur – the red robes, dour and serious, carrying a withered weather beaten staff, Yakala – the green robed, eloquent and well spoken, carries an ivory wand and other ivory jewellery inset with green gemstones and farjad, younger than the other two, quiet but highly intelligent, dressed in desert clothing with a small cloak, wears distinctive goggles with amber lenses
  • hashtur speaks for the veil telling the group that this orb they seek is from a group of 5 that belonged to the ancient sorcerer king Kalid-Ma of the now ruined city of Kalidnay in the far south. He was trying to use these orbs in a ritual that would have made him as powerful or if not more powerful than the dragon of Tyr itself. Something went wrong and unleashed a mighty cataclysm on the city, wiping the population from the face of athas overnight, since then none have seen or heard of them until now.
  • The group talk about the dangers of Kalak potentially gaining this dragon power and the alternatives such as the silt kraken and the young girl, but who knows if either could be trusted or are viable options, for now the objective is to find narissa and so find the orb and the young girl
  • krugga communicates with naraaku and they both head off into the caves, they are gone for quite a while and at one point a chilling set of howls echoes through the cavern, when they return a mysterious glowing green collar hangs around the neck of Krugga, Naraaku does not speak of what happened
  • Ho’ktou moves to the entrance to use his psychic projection to look for the belgoi, he detects them but only just for he can feel their dark psychic energy searching for signs of life. They are further up the mountain he says so it is safe for Doomvar to move but they must leave a different way.
  • Doomvar drops into the earth and rumbles along the ground until he reaches the cavern. Extending his back he creates a stone cage which is large enough to accommodate the group. As the cage closes around them Doomvar shoots down into the earth, Ho’ktou bids farewell and continues tormenting the gith
  • down and deeper underground doomvar goes until molten rock and rivers of lava can be seen nearby, the heat reaching searing temperatures. Then he travels north for more than an hour before finally beginning the ascent to the surface, climbing slowly for what seems like hours before the rock blends into sand and Doomvar bursts out of the ground and into the cold chill of the desert sky
  • Ral and Guthay are in full view and as he lets the group down Doomvar offers his good luck wishes before dropping and descending once more into the depths
    Ahead to the north the group notice once more than dark clouds gather ahead but much closer than expected, at a small unmarked oasis on Solzaks map. The dark clouds seem to extend all the way to the ground and cover a large area (about 500 metres) above them the clouds swirl and distort forming a funnel of wind and dust that centres on the oasis pool. Naraaku scouts ahead and reports there is little visibility through the dust but a blueish-purple glow emanates from the water.
  • It is decided that stealth is the best way forward and so Naraaku and Solzak move ahead once more. The rest catch up as Solzak and Naraaku are debating who will enter through the dust storm first, but in the end Orsk takes the lead on ‘Rex’ his crodlu
  • The dust stings and burns as the group move cautiously through and it feels like life force is being steadily drained from them, with Ali getting caught by quite a large piece which burns her for minor damage.
  • Inside the dust cloud the oasis is a scene of defiling devastation. All the sand is blackened and dead, what little vegetation left is twisted and burnt to almost nothing. A chill wind descends and shadows shift menacingly around them. Ahead at the oasis a horrific sight of hundreds of dead and decaying bodies, all wearing symbols and identifiers of Tyr. The defiling is recognised as the same as seen before at the tyrian caravan
  • The chill air picks up and moments later screeching and cawing from above snake like shadows swoop down, green and long with vicious fangs that seek out fresh flesh
  • A bitter battle is fought and the group are pinned in place as the wyrm wisps swoop and attack. The defiled sand makes for very difficult movement and most are forced to huddle together and lash out when a wyrm comes close
  • The groups attacks do little to no damage as the wyrm wisps seem to drain the life and fight from the party, weakening their strength and resolve. The wyrms themselves seem to absorb this fresh life-energy and seem to renew themselves. Eben’s Axe is destroyed by the wyrms and Orsk’s ancient hammer is dulled, Solzak too has his sword destroyed as the creatures of darkness delight in the chaos they are causing.
  • Things seem to be going against the group until finally one of the wyrms is destroyed, giving a much needed morale boost
  • The group slowly gain the upper hand and then one by one the Wyrms are destroyed and each evaporates into the blackness. It is SokzaK who kills the final one and as he does the storm seems to calm enough that he can hear a dull moan coming from the piles of bodies
  • Carefully approaching the dead with long knife in hand Solzak suddenly realises he recognises the voice! Narissa! Frantically he moves bodies out of the way to find her there, still breathing but barely conscious, Ali helps to bind her wounds but mostly it seems she has been drained more by extreme stress and fatigue than anything else
  • There is little cause for celebration however as in disturbing the dead Solzak had seemed to disturb something else. Suddenly the shadows around them seem to move and shift again, weapons are drawn and the group huddle together to protect all sides
  • Naraaku’s eagle eyes spot one first and it is a terrible sight, a black sands zombie appears out of nowhere, exploding in a black mist, blinding half the group and causing panic.
  • More of them appear, lumbering creatures created by defiling magic, hungry for fresh meat and completely blind, they felt you coming from their hiding places feasting on the dead
  • In the mass of confusion and blindness Hashtur the veil mage is cut down and Farjad is badly wounded, 2 of the caravan guards also go down as the relentless assault continues
  • Then, more shapes appear in the gloom, this time coming from under the waters of the pool! The movement is steady and robotic and as they emerge from the pool the group see in horror the ancient forms of skeletal guards dressed in city guard uniforms
  • Ali had heard of these before in the stories she had read as a youth, these are the city guard of Kalidnay, the ancient city! They march forward, brandishing wicked barbed spears. Orsk and Eben reposition to confront them as they stay in tight formation.
  • 3 of the ancient guards launch themselves at Orsk, attaching their barbed spears to his armour, attempting to pull him from Rex. They do the same to Eben too, all the time trying to pull them both back towards the water.
  • Then, at the worst possible moment, the familiar sound of the Belgoi is heard closing in on the edge of the oasis, as if taunting a wounded animal before ripping off its head.
  • hearing this Yakala calls to all who are still standing to head for the water and the portal, for right now, the unknown seems to be the safest option…

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Session 20

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty