Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas

The Beastlands

Shortly after their arrival, Gwyn’s dragonling flew off on its own down a game trail. The party decided to follow seaching for signs of life. They saw numerous animal tracks and heard many sounds, but no animals were found. As they traveled, each felt a hunger within to partake in a hunt and feel the wind on their face. Although the sensation was powerful, each resisted the urge.

A Test of Morality
Herman and LizzyAfter many hours of travel the sounds of a struggle and a cry for help broke through the background noise of the mangrove forest. When they moved to investigate, they saw an odd sight – a large jackalope was perched on a limb of a tree. Below it was a fox, also of large proportions, which was trying to attack the jackalope.

The jackalope looked over to your group and shouted – “Help me, this foul beast intends to make me its meal!” Equally strange, the fox turned to the party as well and spoke – “This vermin is my lunch and has great treasure. Help me defeat it and I’ll let you have first pick of his loot.”

After a heated debate, and many questions, the party decided to try and diffuse the situation by offering the fox, Lizzy, some gems in order for it to stop attacking the jackalope, Herman. Jax hoped that the animals might provide information or be guides in the strange land. Before too much more could be discussed, there was a disturbance in the forest, and two new creatures appeared.

New Friends
Bursting through the underbrush two creatures emerged. A tall, muscular and hairless male humanoid with opalescent green skin and white-feathered wings, brandishing a massive sword appeared first. It was followed by a small creature that appeared to be a miniature elephant with luminous gold fur and small, rapidly fluttering wings.

The humanoid, Abehk, and his companion, Gem, learned what had transpired and then revealed the situation was a test of the party’s intentions. Abehk appeared satisfied that the party was of a generally good heart and agreed to provide information and assistance. They party learned many things…

  • They were in a place called Krigala, on another plane of existance called the Beastlands where all manner of beasts can be found. The beasts here are the souls of animals and others of kindred lives who have died.
  • Abehk appeared unconcerned about the activities of Trinth and her Githyanki, as it was a mortal matter.
  • Abehk and the others served the god Zivilyn and were totally unfamiliar with Athas.
  • Abehk suggested that the knowledge the party sought might be found in a different level of the Beastlands called Brux, in a place know as the Library of All Knowledge.

Gem agreed to escort the party to the library and the party set off travelling through the Beastlands and now seeing a stunning variety of animals many of whom struck up conversations as they passed by. After a few days of travel the swampy mangrove forest became a temperate forest of decidious trees. A day later Gem announded they had reached the passage to Brux and, passing between two large trees, disappeared. The party followed.

The Library of All Knowledge
The party found themsleves in a similar forest, but now in twilight with the trees stretching towards the western horizon where the sun was setting. The contrast to the perpetual noon of Krigala was intense.

After another day, the Library of All Knoweldge was reached, a massive structure the size of a city. Animals and humanoids roamed the book-lined halls, going about their business. While the party did get a lot of curious looks, they were generally left alone. They obtained the assistance of the librarian, Edna, who escorted them to a particularly dusty section of the library where the history of Athas could be found.

As the literate members of the party, Gwyn, Iorskan, Jax and Way-lynn led the effort. Birk, Banoc, Daqiq and Phyll did their best to assist in locating tomes and scrolls as best they could. A week of searching finally allowed many of the pieces to fall into place and the party learned about the Blue Age and the Green Age as well as the start of the Cleansing Wars and the start of the Red Age.

The River Oceanus

Exhange of Information
After gathering what information they could on the history of Athas, the librarian Edna approached the party with an offer. If the party would hadn over some of the books of lore and magic they acquired from Sielba’s palace in Yaramuke, the party would be allowed access to some magical tomes to enhance themselves. While eager for the opportunity, Gwyn and Way-lynn were reluctatnt to hand over the information on the defiler metamorphosis. Eventually it was agreed upon for the party to hold the dragon magic tomes and Birk and Phyll would not be allowed access to the magical tomes.

River Cruise
After a week studying the magical tomes, the party departed the Library of All Knowledge and, guided by Gem, made their way back to Krigala and to the banks of the River Oceanus. On they banks of the river, the party said goodbye to Gem and boarded a boat captained by an elephant creature called Inti.

After several weeks of travel through strange lands filled with wondrous sites, the boat approached the waterfall leading to Elysium. Although the drop was dangerous, Inti was an experienced captain and her boat was sound.

Arriving in Elysium, ther found themselves in a paradise of crystal clear waters and scattered islands, home to the warriors of good who served their causes faithfully. Banoc prayed for guidance and, to his surprise, the vial of tears he carried led them to a tropical island.

On the island they found a simple dwelling with a solitary figure asleep. They recognized the friend Thea! She was in a deep, magical slumber, but a drop from the vial caused her to wake. With tears of happiness, she embraced each of her friends and introduced herself to those she did not know.

The feeling of pure joy they all felt upon their arrival in Elysium, swelled within them.

Return to Athas

The reunion with Thea was made even more joyous by the nature of Elysium. Everyone shared stories about what had transpired since Thea fell in the Ruins of Pluton. Thea listened with care and sympathy at the struggles the party had endured and they were fascinated by Thea’s dream-like adventures to other worlds and times. Eventually the current situation on Athas was discussed and the party wished to return, except for Birk who elected to remain in Elysium, having endured too much on Athas. Thea offered to join the group not only to help her friends overcome a great evil, but for other reasons, which she elected to put aside for the time being.

Inti guided them across the water to a trading post called Portico where they resupplied and The left to gather her gear. When she returned they feasted and Thea told them of how she journeyed into Avernus to try and help save a city from being consumed. There she met an old friend of the party – Jarvix – who had ended up there after the defeat at the hands of Nibenay. She aslo told how, she encountered the archmage Evan Moreau and his friend Kira who Gwyn and others had adventured with.

Thea produced a strange cube and using its magic, brought both Kira and Jarvix to Portico. Another sweet reunion between old friends was enjoyed by all. And a plan was hatched – they would return to Athas, attempt to locate the Pristine Tower, bargain with the Shadow Giants there and learn how to use the Dark Lens to recharge Athas’ sun, and hopefully bring about a new Green Age.

Thea used the cube one final time and, guided by Iorskan, they traveled back to Athas, arriving within sight of the Pristine Tower. However, as they traveled through the Beastbarrens, they encountered a large patrol of Githyanki. Although the Githyanki were defeated, the party learned that they had begun to spread out from the Arkhosian stronghold and conquer the surrounding lands.

Return to Athas

The party moved towards the Pristine Tower, being mindful of their surroundings and vigilent for additional Githyanki forces (or other terrors of the desert). as they approached the tower, passing through different rings of vegetation, they saw a large army of Githyanki, including a red dragon, camped outside the tower. The seige engines left no doubt they were attempting to break in, yet the tower itself appeared undamaged.

The Githyanki scouts quickly spotted the adventurers and moved to engage them. The army outnumbered them, 12:1, but the party did not falter. Daqiq shot arrows, taking down the dragon before it could enter the combat. Banoc unleashed a powerful earthquake causing the land to buckle and heave. Gwyn used her fire magic to contain and incinerate the Githyanki. Iorskan and Way-lynn charged forward into the fray, neither having any weapons that were effective at range. Thea, cut off from the source of her magic, managed to help where she could, creating beams of sunlight from her spear. Jarvix used his skills with the Way to attack from a distance. Jax and Kira occupied the middle ground lending aid with spells and weapons.

The power of the adventurers proved to be more than a match for the more numerous invaders and the Githyanki eventually routed. Their escape was cut off by a large army of metal armored dwarved led by Elleandra! The few remaining Githyanki were defeated and he party contemplated how they might get into the Pristine Tower, when an army of Githyanki failed to do so.

Return to Athas

Elleandra was greeted warmly by those she know and introduced to those that she had never met before. The excitment of the reunion was dampened by the injuries they had sustained. They were quickly causing transformations into beasts, an unfortunate side effect of the Beastbarrens. None of the cures Banoc tried could remedy the situation. While they waited, the area outside the Pristine Tower was searched, without much success, as only Iorskan had been there before.

Iorskan eventually made contact with the inhabitants of the Tower, the Shadow Giants, who were convinced to allow the party to enter. The inside of the tower was significantly larger than should be possible, with a smal village of white stone, alabaster and quartz contained. After much discussion an agreement was reached and the Shadow Giants cured the corrupted wounds, removing the effects of the transformations.

While the party had some lingering suspicions about the Shadow Giants, an agreement was reached. The shadow giants claimed that with the Dark Lens, they could restore the sun to a former stage. However, it would require a tremendous amount of energy – from the sorcerer-kings or other beings or items of similar power. They told the party how a simple spell, but only one Gwyn could recreate with her most powerful magic, could trap the energy of a slain sorcercre king in the Dark Lens and then recharge some of the crystals in the tower. It would be a long and dangerous series of quests, but the only know way to restore Athas to a new Green Age Green Age.

The party had been missing from Athas for over a month, and their information was out of date. They contemplated their next moves and the information they would need to be successful…