Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
Secured the doorway of the Gith Lair and cleared the dead
As the sun was setting a twin beam of light shone through a specific hole above the door
It shone on the far wall and as their eyes followed it they noticed bumps on the wall like markings on a map – specifically the area where they were
The light stopped at two raised bumps beneath which could be seen two small holes wide enough for narrow and bony fingers
Orsk ripped off a hand from one of the Gith and inserted the fingers into the holes. Almost instantly the wall shimmered and became insubstantial before raising to reveal a long natural carved corridor heading downwards to an opening. The corridor was lit by bluish-hued crystals
Yakala stroked his beared wizenly and Jekall scratched his head. As Jekall seemed lost for words Yakala piped up that there was a strong psionic energy source here
They all agreed that waiting for morning would be better than exploring now whilst wounded so after looking up to see the hand still inserted into the door orsk pulled it out and the doorway fell back into place
Heading back into the Gith throneroom they settled down to rest – weary from the travel and fight.
The Brohg again sit and meditate on the battles of the day and sing to the earth spirits for their victory. During the song they ask Orsk for his hammer and holding it they ask the earth spirits to imbue it with the power of earth. Thrusting the head into the rock the stone swallows it whole and for a moment it looks lost but then the Brohg pulls it back out
Frost, suspecting Solzak for his missing gems decided to get his own back and after offering first watch waited patiently for the Solzak family to fall asleep and promptly went through his pack – pocketing several items
After first watch Eben took over and although sounds of zhackals and other creatures echoed in the canyon all was quiet
Third watch was Orsk and little over half way into his watch he was alerted to some crunching and squelching sounds outside. Listening a little closer he was then further alerted to a sound outside the door! It was a clicking and scratching sound of a creature testing at the entrance for a way inside
Orsk signalled to the Brohg to step up and one of the warriors crept up with him. Without hesitation they readied their weapons and upon hearing a hissing and melting sound from the door they could wait no longer – smashing the door out and reeling as they were greeted with the horrific tentacles of a Carrion Crawler! Behind it feasting on the remains of the gith were two more of the abominations
The Brogh warrior leapt forward thrusting its spear into the swirling tentacles spraying poisonous blood on the floor
Orsk rushed past the crawler as its tentacles raked across his back and ran into the centre of the crawlers shouting at them to come at him. The creatures obeyed as they smelt fresh meat. Orsk swung his hammer with pride causing a crushing blow on the side of one of the slugs
Solzak moved closer and took careful aim. Applying a poison to his crossbow bolt. Letting loose at a crawler the creature roared as the poison sank into its blubbery flesh
The crawlers closed in on Orsk, tentacles dripping poison like saliva to soften up their meal. Their tentacles came lashing out at Orsk, finding weak spots in his armour as he desperately tried to fend them off calling on all his inner strength to stay on his feet. Determined however he pushed back the onslaught and shouted defiantly
Narissa knew what was needed and after carefully judging the distance and height she let loose a fireball blast that lit up the sky in the canyon in magnificent flame. Orsk ducked to avoid the blast but the creatures were not so lucky, only their thick hide to lessen the impact of the blast
Tybia giggled with glee as she stepped out of the throneroom and spread her fingers out in front, calling from within the fire of her soul to blast the creatures. A jet of flame escaped her hands and the creatures squealed in pain
The blind muls leapt forward, wrist razors flashing in the night to devastating effect as they surrounded a crawler
The brohg picked up the debris from nearby and threw it at the crawlers, knocking them down with their accurate throws
Eben, axe in hand strode forward before picking up the pace to a jog, striding forward weapon raised before leaping into the crawler raking his weapon and ripping the side walls of the blubbery creature spilling guts on the floor
Yakala wearily gathered his robes and leaning heavily on his staff moved over to get a better view of what was going on
Orsk battled on as one of the crawlers began to show signs of weakness. With their combined efforts one of the crawlers fell in a shower of poisonous blood
The other two, seemingly roaring for the death of their companion fought on harder, but by now Kagero had joined the fray shouting inspiration to the rest of the group and keeping Orsk on his feet
The remaining two crawlers put up a desperate but ultimately doomed fight as the group close in on them before eventually defeating them.
Assessing the creatures Solzak directs Frost to extract their lungs which he does with a surgeons precision. With those, Solzak states, a very powerful poison can be made.
The Brohg and Orsk pile up the remains of the crawlers and the doors to block the entrance (more as discouragement than anythig else)and they all return to rest. The rest of the night passes quietly.
Next morning they decide to explore the tunnel beyond the throne room, following the way down carefully until they reach a large room covered in the crystals giving off a bluish glow. In the centre of the cavern a raised carved stone plinth sits. Cut into the top of the plinth are two large slots each wide enough for a sword.
Before Yakala has chance to say stop Jekall has already placed the swords in the slots. Instantly the blue light of the crystals intensifies and then seems to form a shape above the plinth which splits and splits continually until it forms a disc of star like lights, each floating and swirling like they were on a watery sea. Then the stars form once more above the sea to a pair of slanted eyes and more below the sea to form a mouth. Then words begin to utter from the mouth but none in the group can understand as they are all in Gith. Jekall and Yakala listen intently and infer that the being is a memory of ancient Gith that tells their story of their origin in a place far from Athas – in the swirling stars! The mouth tells of pain and suffering that gives way to war that leads to triumph which in turn leads to division and separation of cultures. Then there is discovery and hope before crushing disapointment and misery once more.
Pondering the new knowledge they remove the swords and continue whilst Jekall takes a crystal from the wall to analyse later
Venturing further down for a little over a mile the group come to a junction where the tunnel splits west, south and south-west. South and south-west the tunnel heads down but to the west up. Rather than continue further into the unknown caverns they travel west figuring this will lead them back to the surface. Sure enough within a couple of miles Orsk and Frost in the front of the group spot the familiar glare of daylight and they surface in a canyon similar to the lair of the Gith which gives access to the main route south.
Pushing forwards they plot a new course to reach the west side of the monastery but after a few hours travel pause as up ahead they see a group of ant-like creatures carrying bodies across the canyon. Looking closer though they see that the creatures are Dune Reapers, vicious hive insects. By the number of small holes and caves in the area they can easily guess there must be a hive in this area
Diverting again they head up the steep mountain, the Brohg helping the less strong to climb and carrying others.
After a gruelling upward scramble they reach a passable area leading onward. Taking a brief glimpse back Tyr glitters in the distance and they can see how far they have climbed into the mountains. To the west the ringing mountains stand like an insurpassable wall, beyond them the lush green forest ridge while even less is known about what lies beyond that.
The sun begins its slow descent and so the group prepare for camp aware of the dangers of the mountains. It is decided Frost will scout ahead in the morning and discover all that he can about the defences they are likely to face but until then they rest.
During the night whilst on watch Eben spots a group of figures running down from the mountain. The distance is great and the light poor so he distinguishes little apart from them being tall and thin. Later Orsk experiences the same occurance but this time is able to see that they wear tattered clothing. The Blind Monks are aware of what they could be and suggest Eladrin. No ordinary group however but a group of Dune Runners! The undead Elven spirits trapped in the world doomed to forever repeat the task they failed to do in their life
In the morning Frost sets off early quickly transforming to his beast form to draw less attention and blend into the terrain. In a few short hours he reaches the higher peaks that overlook the monastery and the Eladrin ruin nearby.
Before him is a city once glittering example of Eladrin architecture now a defiled ruin. The main palace still stands and a great bridge stretches out toward the main gate. A single tower guards the entrance with a Dray manned Ballista, About 5 Dray in black armour with single red stripe running down it are standing to attention at its base seemingly basking in the early sun’s rays.
Frost thinks for a moment about the Dray. About all he can recall about them is something he’d heard from a passing traveller about nomadic bands of Dray who came from the east close to the silt sea wearing armour such as this. Each tribe was rumored to have come from the half-fabled ruins of Giustental but quite why they were interested in the monastery they would be yet to discover
The mountain appears like a dormant volcano as the shelf upon which the city stands sits below the lip of the mountain obscuring some of the city below out of view. The monastery is separate but is only accessible via a narrow path that stretches up to the west from the South-west corner of the city (unless climbing the sheer cliffs of the mountain is a desired option). A shimmering mirage effect seems to obscure much of the view around the ancient Palace but the reflection of water is clearly seen beyond it
Without risking discovery Frost can go little further and so returns back to the rest of the group where the blind muls also help to add what little they know of the comings and goings of the Dray.
Patrols of 4-6 generally change guard about once an hour at the city gates whilst from the monastery another group of 6-8 regularly march along the narrow path leading up to the main entrance.
In total there are probably about 50 Dray and 100 slaves according to the muls, of which only 8 were as well trained as themselves. 6 of them accompanied Horlax into Tyr and so this means that 2 remain. It is little more comfort though as the strength of the rest of their opponents is relatively unknown.
The only other knowledge of note is that another faction lives within the ruins, a tribe of Tareks – simple, brutal earth-wordhipping mountain ferocious raiders seemingly as unfriendly sounding as the Dray. A truce exists between the two as the Tareks loot the Eladrin city and the Dray have the monastery and the eastern part of the city connecting the pathway to the eastern gate.
The day begins to warm their weary bodies and with grim determination they set off on the next task of their mission, getting into the city…