Despite nightfall, the heroes continued to press on, fearful that the Obsidian Storm would catch them. The cold desert mountain night tested their endurance, but persevered and managed to stay ahead of their pursuers. As the first morning light began to appear, a small campfire was noticed and in need of a short rest they decided to investigate.
Sitting near the campfire was an old dwarf who was surprised when the group announced themselves. Morg conversed with the dwarf in his own language asking about the dwarf and telling him of their encounters with the obsidian storm.
My name is Ralo and I was once a miner in the iron mines of Tyr, but my mine was destroyed by a frightening band of brigands known as Hejkin. They burrow through the earth and have a particular dislike for arcanists, even preservers such as myself, and pointy-eared folk.
Sandstorms are commonplace here, but I’ve never seen obsidian rain from the sky before. I have heard tales of a twisted lizardfolk shaman called the Wastewalker who uses storms and other primal forces of the destert to destroy arcane magic users. It could be that you’ve aroused his wrath somehow.
The heroes and Ralo came up with a plan to avoid the obsidian storm by using caves in the area to hide out. Ralo led the way deeper into the mountains where there were likely to be caves. Along the way Gwyn learned some of his magic that he used to escape detection while out in the desert.
After several hours of travel, dust began to kick up all around the party, swirling in ever denser patterns. Steeling themselves against the alkaline taste of the sand in their mouths the heroes were suddenly set upon by the desert itself. The blowing sand coalesced into three whirlwinds which attacked Vinara, Morg and Ralo, while a lizardfolk magus attacked Gwyn from a distance.
Hampered by the blinding dust of the whirlwinds, the heores attacks were much less effective. Vinara, who was able to resist the blinding sands of the whirlwinds, was able to dispatch her foe and assisted Ralo. Morg was able to quickly defeat his attacker but ended up being pushed into a pool of deep silt while helping Ralo and was immobilized. Gwyn was able to defeat the magus with a conjured orb of poison.
After the whirlwinds were defeated, the group attempted to interrogate the shaman before the poison finished its work, however none spoke the creatures hissing language. Just then the small drake they had encountered earlier descended and perched near Gwyn, who was then able to make out some of the creatures words. He was apparently sent by the Wastewalker to find and kill Ralo and Gwyn. He then died, a combination of the poison and a sharp blow to the head by Gwyn’s staff.
Backs Against the Wall
Ralo continued to lead them on into the mountains, searching for the cave entrance. The day was particular dusty and windy, with no relief from the heat of the day. After a few hours their path was blocked by the sheer face of a cliff which towered above. Although the obsidian storm still pursued them throughout the day, it halted it’s advance when the reached the cliff face. In the distance hissing and screeching could be heard while Ralo continued to look for the cave entrance.
With little surprise, the group was set upon by four lizardfolk who attacked with spears and javelins, causing severe injuries to Morg and Vinara. The leader of the ssurrans called forth the power of the sun which barely missed Gwyn and blasted the sand at her feet into glass. The tide of the fight turned with the arrival of a giant scorpion which Vinara was able to influence into attacking the shaman. With the ssurrans distracted by the insect, the heroes made short work of them without taking any more serious injuries.
When the lizardfolk were defeated, the scorpion turned on the heroes, Vinara’s influence broken by the creatures hunger for food. Weakened by the ssurrans, the scorpion was slain in short order. The obsidian storm clouds began to move in again, but Ralo was able to locate the secret cave entrance and they fled underground, and were finally able to rest after their long journey across the desert.