Dark Sun: Adventures in Tyr

Silt Runner Whack-a-Lizard Part I
A Mission of Mercenary Mayhem

After some time spent recovering from several weeks of training in the city-state of Tyr, our heroes were summoned to the Golden Inix by their quartermaster Neeva. The female Mul with her typical angsty disposition, after griping under her breath about her most recent ex-lover-spat with Rikus divulged to the party assembled that training was over and it was time they proved their worth to the Crimson Legion.

The task laid before them was to put an end to a group of silt runner raiders plaguing small merchant caravans in the area just North of the city near the Iron Mines. She explained that while that area is generally fairly protected due to traffic to and from the mines, small caravans without the ability to afford much in the way of armed guards were easy prey for the runners. In order to protect the safety of these small-time merchants, the party would be sent North under the guise of a small merchant troupe. Upon being attacked, they would track the raiding party back to their warrens, clear them out, and then blow the tunnel line with an alchemical bomb.

The group accepted the task at hand, being promised good pay, and after being disguised and given a small wagon and inix transport, were sent half a day’s journey North, where the attacks had been reported. After being slowed a bit by a minor sand storm, the party discovered a mostly sand-covered wagon that bore the hallmarks of a silt runner attack. They set up camp and just after dusk were able to get the jump on a silt runner raiding party.

After finding the terrain a bit difficult to navigate after the storm, and pitted against the quick-moving runners who were more familiar with the area, the party eventually managed to defend their camp and track the runners back to their warrens, laying out markers to retrace in the morning. Upon awaking from an extended rest, the group were met by their contact from the Legion who escorted their merchant wagon and inix mount back to the city, as the adventurers set off toward the mountain warrens ready to complete the task at hand.

Silt Runner Whack-a-Lizard Part II
Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet...

After trekking back to the cave entrance that our heroes had tracked the silt runner scouts, they secured their traveling gear and mount, and ventured into the dark tunnels beneath the Ringing Mountains. With the aid of a “Light” cantrip and stealth, they were able to sneak through the natural caverns and runner-made tunnels undetected and avoiding the primitive traps of the lizard-kin. After getting the jump on one of the silt runner raiding groups camping in one of their warrens, they continued sneaking and searching their way through the tunnels.

Upon reaching the next cavern they found a recently abandoned warren, as the shrieks and clamoring of the first engagement must have tipped the runners off to the presence of intruders. After a little time sniffing out the area, some haphazardly hidden tracks came to light, and the group of heroes ventured on with caution. Upon more exploration, another “Light” cantrip, and a short rest (not necessarily in that order), the sounds of Draconic chatter filled the cavernous opening before them.

The group managed to get the drop on the runners yet again, only to find that this group had a tactician with them, inciting them to fight with ferocity not seen before. Oddly, the runners refused to flee when the engagement got difficult for them, as they were known to do. After several of the heroes took serious wounds requiring a healing potion or two to renew their resolve, the rest of the spastic runners were eventually put down.

After careful consideration, the group decided to rest a moment and proceed with even more caution, as something or someone seemed to be making the silt runners behave abnormally…

Marauders of the Dune Sea

As our heroes slept in the camp, Ebon awoke with a nightmare of a devouring sandstorm on the wings of an enormous dust devil, remembering only “the Face in the Stone”…

On the way back to Tyr, the group met up with a merchant caravan from the House of Shom. Upon reaching the gates of the city-state, they were given word that members of their house have been harassed by the raiders of Yarnath the Skull, and that mercenary rewards and favors from the house are in order for whoever finds the Face in the Stone which Yarnath and his raiders seek. They were also directed to speak with Karlen at his shop in Tyr, as he might well be interested in anything they might find within the ruins, should they choose to go there.

Rumors buzzed throughout the Free City of a spy from Urik, leaking secrets to Hamanu, the Lion God Sorcerer King. After reporting to Neeva of their successful job and receiving their payment, they were given a release from their duties with the Crimson Legion to pursue the Face in the Stone. Some supplies were purchased, loot was sold, and after meeting with Karlen, the party met up to set out for their mission.

As they moved through the Elven Market, they were taken by surprise, as a mercenary force lead by Urik’s Templar, Sarhan, . Waylaid on all sides by Thri-Kreen bounders, Elven snipers, and Dwarven conscripts, the powerful psion unleashed powerful attacks on the group. However, when the dust had settled, Sarhan and all his forces, save one elf who had escaped, lay bloodied in the dirt of the market, their dead faces telling the only tale of their purpose…

Marauders of the Dune Sea
Are we there yet?

As the town guard finally reached the site of the ambush, our heroes met with a who’s who of Tyr, as apparently a Council meeting had been disrupted by the commotion. Murter Dyan argued with another noble, Shoshana Beryl over the importance of the matter of investigating the Ziggurat and insinuated that someone must be orchestrating these outbursts in town to coincide with such discussions. Luther Herthgaard the Minister of Intelligence along with Rikus disclosed the information they’d uncovered from the captured elven sniper, revealing Hamanu’s intent to learn the importance of the Face in the Stone. The party was given a new member, Koliya, a skilled natural Wilder and an Ardent of the Way. They were instructed by Neeva that their mission to find the Face in the Stone was now a Crimson Legion matter, and that they would be paid handsomely for whatever information it was that Hamanu was seeking. What was intriguing to Hamanu was worthwhile for Tyr to know first.

Our heroes traversed the harsh desert for days, enduring the elements, navigating difficult sand dunes and rocky escarpments, potentially dodging danger around every turn. They encountered a pair of crystalline spiders who attacked them mercilessly by blinding them with their shimmering carapaces, and biting them with venomous fangs, using the rocks and dunes to conceal their movement. After slaying them, and Firtin cleared out their crystalline webs with thunder magic, they moved onward.

After several more days, and a small setback from a failed attempt at climbing a tall escarpment barring their path, causing a small rock slide they had to dig their way out of, the group pressed forward nearer to the general location of the Face. After comparing landmarks, they set out to the location that marked the entrance to the ruins as described by the merchants of House Shom. Upon nearing the Face, they discovered the path was barred by a dust devil, an unnatural sandstorm at least 50 feet into the air, directly blocking the only entrance into the ruins. In the distance, along the edge of the storm, on 10-20 foot high rocky cliff of an escarpment of dunes and rock, a group of raiders, likely working for Yarnath, were throwing survivors from a captured Shom caravan into the dust devil…

Marauders of the Dune Sea
Into the Maw of Death

Rescued the hostages.
Pushed through the dust devil.
Got zapped by lightning — Ouch!
Obelisk traps we hate!

—From the journal of Chitik, Thri-Kreen monk

After making short work of the raiders and only losing a handful of hostages to the Dust Devil, our heroes parted with the House of Shom survivors and used a great deal of teamwork to push their way through the storm.

Upon reaching the other side, they were confronted my the great gaping maw of a face carved into the mountainside, the entrance to the ruins of Ul-Athra At the front of the maw stood two tall stone obelisks, bounding with electricity, and a small band of Hejkin waiting to protect their home from the invading heroes. Charging in headstrong, the trap was set off, and after disposing of the Hejkins, the heroes found themselves near the brink of death in disabling the trap. After a brief rest, they passed down another corridor, waiting to examine the rune-inscribed entrance to the ruins for the next day.

Down the caves they found a running freshwater stream, something few if any of them had ever encountered before. At the bottom there seemed to be something magical emanating, however there was no way to see deep down. The heroes instead jumped across and were met by the remainder of the Hejkin tribe, whose chieftain quickly ran up and sounded a massive chittin gong, summoning forth a fledgling Chuul from the pool. After a valiant fight, the party cleared the area and found a safe place to encamp for the night in the now abandoned Heijkin warrens. Now with a key to the ruins and a small amount of loot uncovered in the caverns, the heroes make their way into the halls of Ul-Athra!

Marauders of the Dune Sea
Ruins of the Cult of Dust

Ready to unlock the mysteries behind the Dust devil and the Face in the Stone, the heroes delved deep into the ruins of the great temple of Ul-Athra to explore the remains of the Cult of Dust.

Uncovering rare forgotten treasures, facing dangers from intricate magical traps and the undead guardians that had taken up residence in the tomb after the cult’s demise, the adventurers soon discovered they were not the only band hired by House Shom to seek out the Face. Trapped between a rock and hard place, the heroes engaged the fierce mercenaries known as the Red Chord, ultimately putting an end to their somewhat famed, but unscrupulous, rivals from Tyr.

Pushing forward through the ruins, the adventurers slaughtered a docile family of myconids who had taken up home in a storage room, misunderstanding the nature of the peaceful fae-plants. What dangers might lay in store for them as they journey into the final dark recesses of the ruins?

Marauders of the Dune Sea
The House of Ul-Athra

The party, tired from days of the perilous exploration of the ruins of the Cult of Dust decided to take a night’s rest deep in the tomb, feeling that no other mercenaries from House Shom would dare to press on past the bodies of the Red Chord. Waking refreshed, the heroes pushed on into a long hall with another door, sealed by runes and trapped like the others. After hours searching the nearby area, the monk, Chitik discovered under some dust in the hall a small square of ancient primordial text. Firthik was able to decipher it, unveiling a riddle. The quick and resourceful ardent Kolya quickly solved it, and the adventurers broke the crystal shard key from the wall and opened the final depths of the ruins.

What laid before them was a deep pit, and at its center stood a raised platform bearing a glowing artifact from a lost age. Guarding the artifact, however, was a treacherous silk wyrm and a phasing squad of 10 wisp wraiths. After disposing of the protective monsters, the shard of the Crown of Dust was recovered, and the party made their way back to the entrance of the temple.

However, when they stepped outside they had discovered that the Dust Devil had vanished, and that a hunting party of Yarnath’s raiders had noticed the lack of said threat and had come to investigate. Kolya quickly used his wit and smooth tongue to turn the raiders against each other, while Ebon put to work on their Jhakar tracker, winning its affection as a pet during the chaos. After the raiders were dispatched, the horizon began to darken with dust, as the crawling citadel Slither began to make its way toward the ruins!

The party dodged and crawled through dunes and rock, hiding in the shadows, braving the raging heat, and running like they’d never run before, the sand sliding under their feet making them tire quickly. The fortress continued to move closer and closer to them, eventually trying to cut them off down a rocky passage. However, the heroes quickly evaded and ducked through an underpass. After hours of pursuit, they managed to find a safe hiding place, and eventually made their way back to the road to the Free City. All along the way the group discussed their plans of what to do with their loot, as Firthin pondered over the strange relic that seemed to have ideas of its own, thinking of what interest Sadira and the alliance might have for it. As they approached the gates to Tyr with the Crown shard and a sand-sled stacked high with their uncovered treasures, a large commotion clamored along the ramparts, as something important was surely happening…

Divine Right

The commotion raged through the Free City as word spread quickly far and wide of the covert act which had taken place just the night before our heroes returned from their excursion into the ruins of Ul-Athra. The vile Sorcerer King, Hamanu of Urik, the self-proclaimed Lion God and King of the World, had sent a raiding party, aided by a spy with power enough in the city’s leadership to assist in the act of kidnapping Sadira completely undetected.

Rikkus, enraged by this, had petitioned King Tithian to grant the Crimson Legion the right to lay siege to Urik and retrieve Sadira. The plan seemed foolish, however with the nudging of powerful political sway from the Legion and the Veiled Alliance, he could not back down, and formally proclaimed Urik’s kidnapping of Sadira as the final in a series of acts of war by Hamanu, making the proclamation with much fanfare and ritual behind it. He professed to the entire city of Tyr gathered before him en masse at the gladiatorial arena and spilling out into the streets, that while Hamanu may think himself a Lion God, Tyr’s divine providence came from the Sun itself! The entire Crimson Legion was blessed by the dwarven cleric Caelum, a high-ranking leader among Tyr’s relatively new religious faction known as the Sunpriests, and Neeva’s new fiancĂ©e.

After hours of gladiator battles and festivities, those assembled made their way slowly to the places they came from to re-open their shops or spend time with their families before going off to war. Rikkus met with the adventurers, who had been discovering as much information about what they had missed, while selling the loot they had acquired in the ancient ruins. They approached Rikkus about what to do with the strange, and almost-sentient relic they had acquired, but without Sadira’s special talents, it seemed best to simply lock it away in storage until her safe return. A plan was unveiled to the party gathered. The war itself would be a distraction, a simple skirmish meant to draw attention away from the real strike force who would infiltrate the City of Lions and extract Tyr’s beloved Sadira. Backed by a scouting force and Veiled Alliance agents embedded in Urik, the party was asked to put their lives on the line to act as the special unit, due to their recent successes and their own ties to the outcome. Now the adventurers set out on a dangerous mission, one with no clear set rules, nor any expectation of success. Can they save Sadira before it is too late, or will their fates be intertwined by the sword of Hamanu?

What's the Password?

Disguised and armed with forged paperwork with the signet of a fallen Templar from Urik, the heroes set out for the city of Urik. They were ready to infiltrate the city, meet with a recon team from Tyr, and extract the kidnapped Sadira. They were able to pass through the main gate of the city without much trouble. Once inside, they discreetly made their way to the Old Market, where they found a Mul peddling salt. After exchanging the proper passwords, the Mul’s assistant took them into the storage tents to meet with the recon team.

The meeting disclosed word of an informant, a former Templar, exiled form public life to live as a begger. He has word of a secret place where Hamanu tends to have prisoners taken for information extraction. The informant, they said, can be found in a small shack in the foreign quarter, in an area known as the Beggar’s Palace.

The meeting also uncovered another option, speaking with Silan the Serpent, key player in the underbelly of Urik. Also, the Veiled Alliance has contacted Firtin and seeks a secret meeting to give his group information pertinent to their mission.

The group is left with a tough decision, who to trust first, and by what means they wish to uncover the information necessary to find Sadira before the forces of Tyr and the Crimson Legion arrive for their suicide mission designed to lay diversionary seige to the city.

This is the pits!

Thania, leader of the Veiled Alliance cell in Urik, contacted Firtin discreetly in the city and arranged a meeting with him at the King’s Cup, their secret headquarters in Urik. She unraveled to him a plan that would be dangerous, potentially quite effective.

It was discovered that one of the Lion God‘s high priests, Iago Jaffar is quite privy to watching arena events. That day would be a special one, celebrating Urik’s moral victory over Tyr in capturing a high profile member of the Crimson Legion. Gladiators would fight in some of the bloodiest and highest profile matches of the year. This would surely draw the priest out, especially if one of the participants were making a name for him/herself by performing exceptionally well.

It was proposed that if one of the heroes were able to enter the competition and draw the high priest out to the event, the others along with Veiled Alliance members, could raise a diversion enough to steal his key to the Temple sanctuary, where the Alliance believes Sadira is being held. However, this plan is extremely dangerous, and could get everyone involved arrested…and likely dead.

Knowing that time was of the essence, and that the Legion was on their way to attack Urik, they met with the agents, Largos Rithkin, whom Firtin had overheard debating something with Thania upon meeting with her. Also there was his companion Seras. The plan was hatched that while the bard Seras ran the gambling tent in the Pit of Black Death, the others would scout for the arrival of the priest and gather information where they could among the crowds. Arbu was entered into the tournament under the guise of Koliya’s slave. The hope was for the Goliath to fare so well in the tournament that he would draw the attention of the Lion priest, who has been known to woo gladiators into his service as bodyguards.

After making a good show in the Pits, Largos made his part of the plan come to light as he squared off as a champion against Arbu. After making a good showing, Arbu was told to kill Largos, who mysteriously vanished. Arbu and Koliya were invited by a servant of the priest to attend dinner with him later that evening at Stel House.


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