Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas

Marauders of the Dune Sea

The Face in the Stone

Crown Wyrm
As Morg, Vinara and Gwyn were making up their minds about which way to go, a rumbling sound was heard in front of them. The wall in front of the group began to shift and Castri appeared, torch in hand. He informed his allies that he had grown impatient waiting and located a secret door while searching for artifacts for his friend Karlen. Once Castri was brought up to speed on the encounters they had, the group decided to investigate the western door.

Source of MagicThe doors to the room were heavy, but unlocked and with a little effort, they were pushed open to reveal a cavernous chamber, illuminated with a flickering purple light that shone up from a pit in the floor. The source of the light could not be seen from the doorway. The room also had two large fountains on the northern edge, from which water could be heard. To the south there was a large obsidian slab, from which Gwyn detected powerful defiling magic.

Castri and Gwyn moved into the room and were lowered into the pit by Morg, while Vinara went to investigate the fountains. Gwyn could detect magic, but not defiling in nature coming from the source of the light – a fragment of a golden crown. Castri decided to pick it up and as he did so, the room was plunged into darkness. All at once, the party shared a vision…

Through the vast desert a gigantic worm with numerous tentacles traveled at great speed, approaching a rocky outcropping. A golden crown was visible on the worm’s head. Perched on top of the rock loomed what could only be the great Dragon of Tyr. As the worm neared the rocks the Dragon took flight and the two were quickly engaged in a titanic battle. The land around the Dragon turned to ash as it’s powerful magic assaulted the worm. Eventually the Dragon dealt a fatal blow to the worm, shattering the crown. As the dragon flew away, the worm and the crown were swallowed by the desert.

As soon as the vision ended, Vinara screamed in pain. Still in total darkness, Gwyn and Vinara attempted to light torches while Castri climbed out of the pit, assisted by Morg. When the torches were finally lit a massive serpent could be seen biting at Vinara, while around the room nearly a dozen wraiths were seen moving out of the walls.

Morg charged into the nearest group of wraiths, defeating them with several swings of his axe. Gwyn, surrounded by wraiths as well used her magic and was propelled out of the pit on a thunderclap, destroying the wraiths in the pit and those near where she landed.

Vinara, her zephyr and Bear struck back at the wyrm, while Castri fired arrows into it. Although the beast was struck many times it kept attacking Vinara and Bear. Morg enraged and joined the fight while Gwyn let loose bolts of lighting at the creature. The worm latched onto Morg’s chest, sucking the life out of him and healing its own wounds.

While the group continued to attack the creature, another wave of wraiths appeared. Castri turned on them and managed to destroy them all with few volley’s from his great bow. Eventually the wyrm was defeated by Gwyn, who blasted it with an orb of fire as Morg’s axe nearly took off its head.

After the long fight, the party’s wounds were too great to continue, so they rested for several hours before continuing on. During this time they all searched the room, looking for any secrets, but none were found. They decided to finish the exploration of the Face before heading back outside.

Rot Bloom
As the heroes made their way out of the room and headed towards the other unopened door, the air became slightly damp and began to smell of rot. The passage ended at a door which was covered in an uneven layer of slightly phosphorescent fungus. Opening the door they were surprised to see fungus blanketing the floor. The moist cavern walls and ceiling were glowing dimly in cool tones of green, blue and yellow. The rotted detritus of barrels, crates ans shelves littered the side walls. Fungal stalks, a few of which read 5 or 6 feet in height were growing from the debris. The floor appeared to have collapsed, leaving a dark cavity in the center of the room.

Seeing nothing unusual and curious about the fungus, Morg ventured into the room and moved to cut down some of the stalks to investigate further. Just as he was about to strike, the fungus turned and released a cloud of spores, temporarily pacifying him. Another clump of fungus moved towards the Mul and released spores as well. Morg, severely wounded, was still unable to act because of the spores.

Only able to see the moving fungus creatures from the doorway, Gwyen rushed into the room and attempted to communicate with the creatures. One of the larger creatures appeared to be able to communicate telepathically and demanded why they were attacked. Although they were angry and being disturbed and attacked, Gwyn was able to convince them that it was a misunderstanding. The heroes promised to leave them in peace and left the room cautiously, in case they fungus creatures changed their minds.

Storm Seat
Curious about the sections of the Face in the Stone that they passed by, the group retraced their steps through the Ancestor Hall and back towards the Storm Seat. Along the way the noticed the the braziers had gone out. They investigated the large stone urns, and heedless of the warnings, opened them. After an explosion of blinding ash, all they found inside were dust and bones.

In the Storm Seat, Morg wanted to investigate the cauldron more and ventured too close to the statues. With a powerful gust of wind, he was tossed into the cauldron and was immediately wracked with pain as if his very essence was being pulled out of his body. At the same moment, the giant skeleton moved from its resting place and hurried over the the cauldron, ready to strike at Morg.

Castri opened fire on the skeleton as it marched towards the cauldron, but failed to dissuade it from attacking Morg. Gwyen stepped into the room and used her arcane magic to damage the skeleton and make Morg invisible to it. Vinara moved in as well, hurling stones from her dejada. Morg became enraged and with fresh vitality he struck a mighty blow with his axe, causing bone fragments to fly out from the skeleton. Within moments it succumbed to the assault of magic and weapons and as it fell, another blast of bone shards hit the party.

While they were searching the room, Castri felt an urge to sit upon the throne and did so. When he did so, he saw a vision of Ul-Athra – a massive worm slithering across a green Athas. The worm wore a a crown that shone with gold and shed whirlwinds of spectacular grandeur. Castri couldn’t help but be impressed by the vision of the Green Age.

Leaving the Face
After a quick rest to treat their wounds, the party journeyed further back in the the Face, through the room that held the whipping skeletal tail. Here too the braziers that had once been burning, were now dark. Down the southern hallway they moved until they came upon the last two unopened doorways.

Through the eastern door was only a large empty room with a stone basin in it. Inside the basin was an aquamarine colored liquid. Behind the western door they found any empty room with a basin containing a maroon liquid. The group took samples of each liquid into their water skins and tried mixing them, creating a foul smelling purple liquid. The effect was the same when mixed in the basin or when they tried to mix it in the whispering cauldron.

Confused as to the nature of the fluid or its purpose, they kept the samples and made their way back into the Face so as to avoid the lightning traps and headed out through the secret passage uncovered by Castri. As they emerged from the dark corridor into the bright sunlight, they immediately noticed that the awful roar of the dust storm that had raged outside the Face in the Stone had ceased.

The outside air was clear and free of whirling sand; the cloaking wind storm had collapsed. They then noticed several raiders arrayed around the entrance to the Face. They all appeared to be elves, with a tattoo of a snake skull branded on their forehead. Behind the rocks came several shambling human forms, each caked in what looked like salt.

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EvanMoreau

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