Dark Sun: Adventures in Tyr

Kidnapped!
Jailbreak Parts I and II

Part I
escaped the obsidian mansion
Ardent dressed as templar
snuck through checkpoint
utilized wall parapets, killed a few archer guards
entered temple through back door using key gained from Iago Jaffar
and it’s a traaaaap….

Part II
Priest of Hammanu ends the ritual
Sadira imprisoned in necrotic force cage
Runestone tiles seem to protect the Priest, his zombie minions, and are fueling Sadira’s cage
The battle rages on, Sadira’s life force sapped from within the cage and into the statue’s mouth
Largos is critically injured, Sadira cries for him (seems they have a secret love interest)
Another burst of energy is stolen from Sadira, leaving her pale as a ghost, eyes open in terror
Victory over the enemy, the remaining runestone tiles destroyed
Sadira freed, given healing potion to revive her; immediately calls for Largos and runs to him
The heroes climb the stairs to the top of the statue to find a charged necrotic crystal
Firtin shatters the crystal at the command of Sadira, using a thunder-blast spell
The necrotic energy swirls above and converts to pure radiant energy, dispersing back into Sadira, and out through the top of the temple spire, the temple begins to shake with an earthquake and stones lodge free from the ceiling and fall, our heroes left with only one remaining thought — RUN!

(I will flesh this out into a more standard post later)

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Kidnapped!
Dinner Party

Inivited to attend a gaila dinner at the Stel House hosted in absence of the Patriach by his colleague Maetan Lubar — a displaced noble who was seeking to restore the good graces of Urik’’s Sorcerer-King Hamanu by wining and dining his high priest Iago Jafar — the adventurers sent out Ebon and Largos to gather informaton on the fortress, its guards, and the personal bodyguards the priest and noble would both have at hand.

A plan was hatched, and while Koliya and his “attendants” went to mingle with nobility, Ebon and Largos would scale their way to the top of the observation tower once the heroes inside were able to convince them there. The plan was hatched, and after hours of business being avoided, Koliya took an opportunity to get the attention of the priest, who was looking to purchase his “slave” Arbu. The bored priest took the opportunity to begin taking his business dealings to another room, when Lubar interrupted and demanded the priest not do him dishonor by leaving, but rather join him in the observation tower. Koliya asserted that Lubar should in turn not dishonor all his guests by leaving them and demanded the rest be allowed the priveledge of such a view of the region as well. Lubar, being socially defeated, acquiessed, and opened the tower to all. Slowly each group of guests made their way up the long stairs to take in the view.

The bard Seras, who had left the group of adventurerers, her business done, made an appearance earlier in the evening to perform. She now stood just ahead of the priest’s business dealings: Koliya and Arbu, as well as a Minotaur champion from the Pits. She spoke in silence with a noble-looking man who had his head and face suspiciously covered all evening. Upon reaching the top, a commotion arose from inside the observation deck. Iago looked in and immediately asked those around him to go help. The stranger, it appeared, was out to murder Maetan Lubar! Seras, who seemed to be posturing a way to corner Lubar, noticed the group of adventurers enter. She quickly showed her true colors by alerting Lubar to more attackers, double crossing not only her partner, but also her allies. Lubar, Seras, and Lubar’s snipers and bodyguards set out attacking the adventurers, as well as their newly found friends by circumstance: the mysterious Tiefling stranger, and the minotaur gladiator. Midway through the battle, Seras attempted to slip off to the balcony, prepared to scale down to her escape, only to be met by Largos, who had ascended up with Ebon. Ebon joined the attack and let the two work out their differences. After dispatching the noble and his bodyguards, the high priest Iago made his presence known, throwing Firtin into the room from the doorway to join the others. He began to monologue about their imminent failure in opposing the might of the Lion God Hamanu, and how they would most assuredly die this evening. His speech was interrupted by a psychic dagger through the heart. As he slid down to his knees, dying, Largos stood over the priest and asserted that Iago talked too much.

Ultimately, it was learned that the traitor Seras had taken a long trip with an abrupt ending in the courtyard. With the key to the Temple Sanctuary in hand, and a pair of potential new allies, the group quickly hatched a plan to flee the Stel House, as the guards had been alerted to the trouble and were making their way to the tower.

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Kidnapped!
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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Kidnapped!
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.

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Kidnapped!
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?

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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…

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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?

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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!

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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…

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Marauders of the Dune Sea
Ambush!

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…

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