Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
Frost, Orsk, Catalina and the brotherhood made their way quickly down the corridor, frost led sniffing the air and using his keen senses to search for danger. The sounds of battle and the megapedes began to fade behind them when frost noticed that the ground in front of them looked unsafe.
Just in time he held the brotherhood back as a large section of cavern floor in front of them suddenly gave way! A hole around 30’ in diameter was left and when the dust settled they could suddenly see a vast cavern stretching to the east.
Below them was what looked like an old city street covered with stones. Surrounding this were old buildings mostly homes with a few scattered places of business. In the central area stood a large fountain whose main feature was an old statue of a bird-like creature with the head of an eagle, a huge pair of leathery wings, and the lower body of a coiled serpent.
Knowing they did not have so much time before the megapedes or Gith would come after them Orsk took charge and pulling a rope from his pack declared that he would attempt to jump to the other side so they could create a rudimentary bridge. Not waiting for a response he handed one end to one of the brotherhood half giants as he paced backwards judging the distance. With a growling grunt he set off, heavy footsteps on the soft ground. As the half-giant sailed through the air the brotherhood looked on, some in amazement and others with baited breath, but it was clear his judgment was spot on and he cleared the gap with ease, which was cause for a small (but quiet) celebration from the brotherhood
Quickly looking around for signs of danger Orsk was satisfied that it was safe for the others to cross and signalled to hurry the brotherhood over.
Frost was peering down into the vast cavern that lay below them and then he spotted something, a shimmering golden glow coming from one of the tombs below! Gold! He nearly spoke outloud but managed to restrain himself whilst trying to grab the attentions of Orsk. Frost was none too subtle and his gesturing caught the attention of the brotherhood who started looking down to whatever it was that had gotten frost excited. Gold! One of them shouted abd the rope wobbled as he nearly lost his grip. The others then began to excitedly shout to Orsk and the others of their discovery until Orsk had to snap them out of it.
Knowing that Solzak, Eben and Jekall were much further ahead and afraid of losing time Frost suggested he run on ahead to get the others to come back and investigate, any chance of extra sources of income for their endeavors would be welcomed at any rate
Frost quickly sped off down the corridor towards the others, luckily they had not gotten too far ahead and soon he called out to them to stop and they turned around to face him, tense and ready for action
As frost explained what they had potentially found Solzak stepped forward as volunteer to explore the ruins. Frost then decided he should go too – in an unspoken suggestion to the others that Solzak could not be trusted
Frost made his way back with Eben and Solzak whilst Jekall, who was with them momentarily, decided to head back and follow Athrialix and the other council members to the surface.
When they returned to Orsk he instructed the brotherhood to lower a rope to allow frost and Solzak to descend to the lower floor
When they reached the cavern below Frost and Solzak could see an assortment of mushrooms hidden within the vines which had been fed moisture by the walls. The natural funghi and moss cast an eerie greenish blue hue over the landscape and all was deathly quiet
Frost inspected the mushrooms whilst solzak drifted off into the darkness towards the tomb clearly trying to get a head start
Frost picked up a mushroom and crushed it in his clawed hands, bringing it up to his nose and inhaling. His pupils dilated and a wry smile crept across his face, he knew what this was. These mushrooms, when crushed could be placed in any body of water and after mere moments it woul be cleared of all impurities and be safe to drink, a rare find in Athas indeed! Turnin around Frost realised he had lost track of Solzak who was already a good way up the path through the ruins. Keeping low to the ground Frost began to follow, quickly and silently
Solzak made his way through the ruins, the isha moths and cave bats that flittered around as he moved meant that if anything was here it probably knew he was there. Cautiously he approached the fountain, old and cracked but a small trickle of seemingly fresh water flowed throug the basin. The statue itself had an eerie quality to it and Solzak was not sure to be afraid of this ancestral place or feel at peace. Regardless, there were more pressing matters as the glow from the tomb caught his eye once more. Frost was not far behind him so he crept up to the temple entrance and then alarm bells began to ring off in his head. His time with the toothcutters, although fairly brief, had taught him the perils of Under-Tyr, especially the stories of those who had entered tombs such as this and almost always encountered a trap or two, so instinctilvely he began to search around. Within moments as he was about to stretch past the threshold he spotted what looked to be a thin rope connected to a giant hair chain that went up to the ceiling where Solzak could see the several evenly spaced holes of a very sharp looking portcullis! Taking a small knife from his pouch he delicately wedged it into a weak spot of the trap thereby rendering it safe.
Frost approached and after seeing that Solzak had disarmed the trap held one hand out to block him from stepping inside. I’ll go first’ he said, ‘my senses are better’ and without waiting for a reply he carefully began to step down the stairs as Solzak after waiting a few moments, followed down
As Frost descended the stairs the glow begame brighter and he began to smell a strange insense. Ignoring this for now he continued carefully until the staircase opened out into a long room with no exits
Inside the tomb were 4 sarcophoghi. At the rear of the room, a chair-like rack upon which hung the remains of a dwarven warrior clutching a hammer and wearing a suit of armour that glowed bright gold! Closest to them was a table with several offerings including a some metal coins, 2 gemstones and a hammer and tongs.
Of what Solzak and Frost knew of Dwarven culture it was easy to assume this family had been craftsmen in their time.
Without hesitation Solzak began to sneak carefully into the room. Once he had reached the table something strange happened and two of the sarcophogi bumped as if being hit from the inside! Then, above the tombs appeared two silhouettes of dwarven warriors, each of them with one arm outstretched. They then spoke in low slow voices, ‘do not touch anything’, and ‘He stole from us..’
Solzak paid little heed to this warning as he neared the second set of tombs. Again the same thing happened and two more dwarven spirits appeared above the rear tombs, repeating the message.
Frost attempted to ask them who stole from them, and they just replied ‘he stole from us, the warrior’
Still ignoring the Dwarves Solzak had one thing on his mind. From the shadows he made a rush for the skeletal remains of the warrior, prized the hammer from his hand at which point the skeletal head fell to his knees and the dwarves revealed their true forms as banshees and screached a horrific sound that reverberated out of the tomb and up to where Eben, Orsk and the rest of the group stood.
Eben and Orsk looked at one another knowing full well what had happened and readied the ropes for both Frost and Solzak to make a quick escape
Solzak ran as fast as he could past the tombs as the banshees howled in anger and despair. As he neared the table he bent and effortlessly vaulted himself up and over it, spilling coins and sending the hammer and tongs crashing to the floor. He had just enough time to grab the two gemstones that were on the table and made his way as fast as he could up the staircase.
Frost, seeing the chaos that now lay before him concentrated in the spirit inside of him as Romilla had taught him, wrestling with its ego to make it help him. Within moments the silt and dust from the tomb began to whip and whirl around him picking up speed until it created a whirlwind of pure wind energy in the entrance of the tomb such that the banshees would be greatly slowed
Frost turned and ran, with the assistance of his superior athletic ability he caught and overtook Solzak to get to the ropes first
Orsk shouted down at the pair to hurry and especially Solzak whom he saw carrying some kind of ancient hammer! They had spotted the megapedes racing down the tunnel they had come from, clearly having won the battle with the gith
Frost leapt on the rope and had just enough time to swipe some of the mushrooms before Eben pulled him to safety. Solzak top was pulled up as Orsk grabbed the hammer he carried and then almost immediately the front most megapede leapt from one side of the gap, it made half way and then fell to the cavern below making a strange high pitched noise that at least indicated pain. The second megapede was more accurate and timed his jump far better managing to just claw onto the edge of the ledge. Orsk, using his new hammer took a swing at the creature but as it writhed and squirmed he managed to do little to deter it. Eben however managed to get in a solod blow and the creature squealed with pain whilst it scrabbled to gain a foothold on the crumbling edge
Without waiting to find out more the group hurried up, and utilising frost’s superior senses and Orsks sense of didection the were able to bavigate to their required destination
Finally they broke to the surface, where they saw above them the dark night sky, as the moons of Ral and guthay cast their eerie glows upon the city landscape
As they ventured out into the warrens they could feel an odd sensation. It was then they saw a strange dark mist that seemed to cling to their ankles and lower body. They felt initially no ill effect but then some members of the brotherhood began to voice their concerns about their mission, feeling it was impossible and that it was pointless to continue, but the group were strong and did not let their doubts overtake their resolve to continue. The mist was complemented by a most unnatural cold that made even the most hardy of them take a cloak from their pack. Frost sneered and snarled and said what they all thought in that it must be magic, most especially defiling.
They continued on their way back to the safe house, when they got there they saw outside several bodies on the floor. Chimal cane out to meet them and explained that members of the silt cult had come to ‘persuade’ them to leave and join them, when they refused a battle commenced. Luckily they managed to deal with the cultists before they managed to get hold of any of the slaves, however right now their morale was low and some had even considered deserting. Their thoughts were somehow dominated by hopelessness and feelings of despair.
orsk gathered them all together and, with Eben assisting gave a rousing speech that invigorated them for the moment
Eben put on his filter mask and instantly felt more at ease as they realised that this mood that had befallen them was more than a coincidence, it was the necromancers!
Those that had filter masks were ordered to put them on and those that didn’t to wrap something around their mouth to help stop the foul mist from affecting them. Being on higher ground seemed to help a little too and the tensions eased and the ex-slaves were able to relax for the moment
Thoughts turned to their plan to liberate the slave pits. More so than ever the necromancers became their number one target.
They would now need to attack almost 2 hours later so that they could recover themselves for another battle which was frustrating but necessary for them. Eben was the only one (as well as Jekall who was noticably not present still) who with Mullish endurance, did not need to rest and so set off to find Athrialix whilst debate continued long into the night of battle plans for the morning. They settled on using a caravan to get close to the slave pens when and when ready launch their surprise attack. One of the veil teams would still be located in the Artesans district to try to draw out and divide the necromancers whilst the others would assist in freeing the slaves. Other plans centred on either the mines or using house Ianto as a base of operations, but Solzak was strongly against this feeling that this would result in a drawn out military campaign which with limited forces they could not hope to win. The alternative was to ensure the warrens as a safe haven and hopefully to start taking down Kalaks forces and spreading dissent in the ranks of the regieme… As they each retired to catch what little sleep they could they slipped into uncomfortable sleep, dreams of odd shadows forming in their minds with long fingers and sharp claws…