Session 21

  • The session begins as the group are still fighting the remaining zombies and the skeletons. During the fight eben, ali and solzak are taking serious wounds from the relentless onslaught of the reaver zombies
  • The ancient skeleton warriors pull and tussle with Eben and orsk, trying to drag them into the pool but steadfast they resist. Eben uses one of the discarded spears and thrusts it into a skeleton warrior, but the robotic creature pushes on and maintains its hold on the barbarian
    the skeletons pan out from their tight formation and begin circling the group, trying to get in behind the ranks
  • Ali calls out in anguish as the last of her mercenary comrades perish to the bloodthirsty strikes of the zombies, his entrails strewn across the field like discarded rubbish
  • naraaku with pinpoint accuracy drops two of the remaining zombies, just in time as one takes a savage bite out of solzak
  • Orsk, now free of the warriors trying to pull him in the water wheels around and pulls his crodlu, rex to bear down on a reaver zombie, whipping his hammer full circle and smashing its broken body half way across the field
  • in the confusion solzak slips free of the remaining zombie and escapes the deadly melee
  • then a chilling sound penetrates the gloom as the belgoi caller announces his arrival, slowly making his way through the dust storm towards them
  • Yakala shouts to the group to make their way to the portal just as a skeleton warrior faces him down snaring him with his barbed spear and pushing him onwards towards the pool willingly but with deathly determination
  • Orsk continues to wade through the skeletons swinging his hammer and knocking the dry brittle bones further away
  • unexpectedly the skeletons land close to the belgoi and as a triumphant cry is raised by the group it quickly turns to anguish as the skeleton begins dragging the belgoi towards the pool!
  • The caller raises his twisted bone staff in the air and horrific chiming bells ring out
  • solzak is seen clutching his ears as the sound of the bells invades his mind, he whips around towards naraaku and forgets friend and foe, lashing out at him narrowly avoiding his throat
  • naraaku shouts at him to come to his senses just in time so that he does not turn for another strike
  • Then, the misshapen forms of 4 more belgoi approach through the defiled sands, each step creating a ringing crescendo of doom
  • The belgoi single out individuals and call them closer as each group member tries to get away they are pulled back again by the belgoi
  • Orsk is pulled from rex and falls to the ground as black dust and ash spreads around the battlefield
  • Eben, veins pulsing and biceps bulging pulls the skeleton warrior with sheer force back from the waters edge back into the field before realising that they are caught between a rock and a hard place
  • There seems to be no way out but then Yakala reaches the centre of the pool and dives below, bright blue light shoots up from the centre and in a moment he is gone, no-one is sure where but Farjad soon follows signalling the rest of the group to join them
  • Solzak, seeing Orsk thrown from his mount and narissa, unconscious on the saddle looking vulnerable rushes over and mounts the crodlu, spuring it on towards the pool in an act of true heroism (ahem)
  • The belgoi close in and with each step they keep ringing, creating a cacophony of psionic music that echoes in the storm
  • Eben is pulled closer by one of the belgoi and skewered viciously but the bells seem to have little effect on him, truly the stubbornness of muls is serving him well as he swings the skeleton back round to pull it back towards the pool
  • Ali is next to dive in, closely followed by Eben and Orsk, pulling the skeletons with them as they desperately try to escape the approaching belgoi
  • The caller emits a final wail of anguish as eben then orsk dive into the shadowy depths, orsk sending a jeering gesture toward him as he is the last to dive
  • down into the depths they swim and the water envelops and consumes them all. Just as individuals begin to drown they stop motionless for a few seconds before being thrust upwards, the water becoming denser and cloudier until it forms a watery sand, which becomes drier and drier until they burst out into a pool of silt
  • The bodies of the comrades lie scattered on the sand, choking but otherwise unharmed, all except Farjad who collapses from heat exhaustion and the stress of battle.The skeletons are nowhere to be seen. it is daylight once more but not quite, it is a dull kind of light that feels more like twilight. There is nothing around them but a vast silt sea to the west and north. East and south the ‘island’ as best can be surmised is comprised of great sandy dunes, much like the alluvial sands but with a lifeless and deserted feel. The sun is just as blisteringly hot, but somehow duller and darker than before
  • Yakala is stood, chanting and waving his ebony wand. Opening his eyes he says that they have been transported into the grey, the land of the dead and shadow, to which the group are filled with dread. They can only assume that whomever defiled the oasis and the caravan also created the portal, at which point we turn to narissa, now conscious to hopefully fill in some gaps

Narissa’s tale

  • She begins by telling of how she met Tybia. Tybia was deemed an orphan, found whilst wandering the wastes as a young child, barely 8 years old. She exhibited extraordinary psychic and arcane potential, so much so that it was deemed by the alliance of utmost importance that she was protected. Narissa was assigned the care of tybia and for the next 8 years took great care of her, taught and nurtured her like she was her own daughter, all the time wary of her being discovered by the templars or worse king kalak. As she grew in age so too did she grow in power until rumors and murmurs within the alliance began circulating that some senior members of the veil began seeing her as more of a threat due to her vastly accelerated growth. Some even dared say she was an illegitimate child of a sorcerer king! Around this time it was discovered that kalak‚Äôs templars had discovered an obsidian orb, one of kalid-ma’s, immediately a cell was ordered to intercept and retrieve the orb, so that it could either be destroyed or somehow used against the sorcerer king. Tybia somehow found out about the plot to kill her and for reasons i have yet to discover followed the cell out of tyr, poisoned them and took their place. Tybia allied with a tribe of elves and used them to take down the caravan. many lives were lost and tybia slipped away with the orb.
  • A week or so passed without word and the veil realised that something had gone horribly wrong as a frantic rumor spread through the templar ranks that Kalak was extremely angry, that could mean only one thing that the mission was a success but no word had come from the cell dispatched.
  • One night just about a week ago Tybia came to visit me just as I was collecting my things to leave, we talked briefly and I demanded she give me the orb but she refused saying that it trusted her and she could use it to help destroy kalak and that this way the veil would no longer see her as a threat, i continued to insist she give me the orb but then she got angry and a great fire enveloped us both, setting the shop alight! I was unable to stop her as she fled and I knew too that I would have to follow, for no-one else had a chance to reason with her but me
  • I followed Tybia on the road to Altaruk, where I found the remains of the Tyrian caravan decimated by Tybia and the Elves, it seemed to be that there was much more recent evidence of defiling too that indicated that she had been using the orb, dare say practicing on the dead, although how she managed to then transport so many of them to the oasis is unclear.
  • Tybia was not in Altaruk, she had left the path and travelled north, but i needed to know if there was any survivors, as Altaruk is a safe haven for the veil as you know
  • Ral be praised that Nasek, that tough old Dwarf had survived, albeit barely, his tough constitution saved his life. He was barely conscious but was able to tell me what i now already had suspected of Tybia, that the orb had been exerting some kind of control over her and i had a limited time to try to turn her around before it was too late and she would be lost to us all.
  • I pushed on, fearing the worst when I saw the black clouds gathering overhead, it seemed to gather at one point so I headed for it, thinking I would find nothing but death and destruction
  • The oasis was a scene of terror, bodies piled high that had been drained of all essence, the orb had been using Tybia as a conduit through which to feed and had locked her mind where I could not reach
  • I tried to reason with her, but the power she took on was too great and unstable, as I tried to free her from the enchantment the magic held within the orb was unleashed, creating the terrible storm you experienced and worse connecting our world to Kalid-ma’s bodily home, Kalidnay, and then there was a bright light and everything went black. Maybe I fainted or was knocked unconscious I don’t know, but the next thing I saw was Solzak, and those horrible undead…
  • Looking to the immediate east a small settlement is spotted a few miles away, further south in the distant haze a metropolis, black as night, and standing tall in the centre, a huge ziggurat that looks strangely familiar
  • Naraaku scouts ahead as the rest of the wounded and tired company fall in behind hoping to find shelter, food and rest in the settlement, when within sight distance Solzak joins naraaku. The wind is much harsher here, and the silt creates a stinging barrage that assaults the group as they slowly trek towards the town.
  • naraaku and solzak watch the gates and see that only 2 guards are on patrol, additionally their complexion is very different from other athasians, their skin is far paler, they wear black armour with lizardscale veils drawn across their faces and wield longspears and scimitars
  • Solzak decides to see if they will respond to talking so approaches, with naraaku covering
  • the guards are cautious, but not immediately hostile and solzak is able to talk them down to letting them in, the town is called Artan-Ak.
  • Almost immediately as Solzak crosses the threshold into the town a huge explosion an gout of black smoke erupts from the town centre, the guards leap back, holding their spears out in front of them and nervously backing off
  • Solzak continues to talk trying to calm the situation as ali and then the others catch up
    The guards seem satisfied enough for now but command the group to come with them to investigate before they will believe them totally
  • Rushing into town the narrow alleys and flat roofed buildings open out to a reasonably large open area containing a platform (for public speaking, slave auctions etc) a well and over 20 soldiers, a templar and mul lieutenant, wearing bulky armour and carrying a huge executioner axe, emblazoned with runic carvings
  • Standing in the centre of this crowd, screaming and shouting is Tybia. She seems to be surrounded by an aura of fire, an area of charred and black ground surrounding her shows recent evidence of defiling
  • The guards charge forward, their spears piercing the fiery aura as Tybia squeals and screams. Then, she lets forth a grout of flame from her body, vaporising and panicking half of the guards who had rushed her.
  • The Templar calls out to try to command her to stop, pushing her back, which only seems to enrage her further.
  • She shouts in a distorted voice that she is the spirit of Kalid-Ma, and all who stand before her must kneel or be destroyed…

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Session 21

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty