Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas

The Island of Mytilene

Hard Choices
In the biting sand and intense wind, a debate among the party raged on whether to go back to their ship to try and save the crew or follow the head’s advice and leave them to die. The party was split and arguments were made that swayed everyone back and forth. Way-Lynn in particular was conflicted while Daqiq was steadfast in his belief that there was nothing they could actually do for the crew.

Eventually everyone’s minds were made up and the party spit. Iulius and Lena could not leave the crew to the whims of Andropinis and headed west towards the landing point. The rest of the party followed Sacha and Wyan towards their vessel.

Although none said it, they all feared it would be the last time they saw each other….

The Shadow Viper
After a half-day march through the terrible weather, the party found themselves in a somewhat sheltered part of the island. There, partially covered by the sand and silt, was the vessel that the head spoke of. Gathering inside the hull, the party found two corpses that had been badly bludgeoned, by the giants according to Sacha. Gwyn recognized them as Tithian, the king of Tyr and Agis, a noble of House Asticles, both of whom were responsible for the death of Kalak.

Although they had been dead for months, some of their gear was still in excellent condition and the party recovered two magic rings, a sword and a pair of bracers. Within the ship itself were a pair of goggles fitted with purple crystal lenses. The party had no problem helping themselves to the items, as the former owners were clearly not needing them. Banoc briefly contemplated using his magic to try and return one to life, but that wouldn’t be feasible until the present situation was resolved.

AndropinisDictator Andropinis
Lena and Iulius marched through the wind-blown sand, attempting not to choke on the silt. As they neared the shores, the weather abruptly calmed. They had spent enough time around Banoc to recognize when the weather was being controlled.

As they arrived at the shore, they saw a magnificent vessel out on the Silt Sea and the wreckage of the Sinful Kraken on the shore. A small army of half-giants and soldiers from Balic were on the beach, with the crew of the Sinful Kraken bound and on their knees before them. Andropinis stood in the middle of them.

Lena attempted a diplomatic approach and tried to bargain with information on Dregoth’s plans as well as invoking the name Rajaat. Andropinis appeared to be mostly confused by Lena’s “knowledge” and apparently knew much of it already. Lena’s guesses about Rajaat appeared to amuse the sorcerer-king more than intrigue him. However, hard Lena tried, she could not get the Dictator of Balic to release the crew and eventually grew frustrated and called him out.

The sorcerer-king obliged and engaged with Lena while his troops looked on. Lena’s lance was able to make contact with the monarch, but was unable to pierce his preternatural flesh. Drawing a flaming sword and conjuring a black shield of arcane and psionic energy, Andropinis continued to deflect Lena’s attacks are rained blow after blow onto her. As tough as she was, there was no contest and she was battered down in seconds.

The last thing she saw was Iulius being taken captive by the soldiers of Balic.

A New Plan
While huddling in the boat, which they learned was called the Shadow Viper, another debate began on how long to wait for Lena and what the next actions should be. Wyan told them that unless they obtained the Oracle, they would have no chance of defeating Borys and the sorcerer-kings. He proposed a simple solution of slaughtering all of the giants, but the party was not keen on that plan.

The eventually decided on moving the Shadow Viper closer to the crystal caves and having Jax assume the form of one of the dwarven banshees to try and draw out the giants. She could also use her magic to let the party infiltrate the caves and there, Gwyn would attempt to take control of the Oracle and they could then all escape. It was a bold plan, but the best they could come up with.

The Island of Mytilene

Tense Negotiations
Although the dwarven banshees were guarded Lena and Jax were able to coax some information out of them. Jo’orsh and Sa’ram told of their oath to protect Kemalok and avenge the dwarven people against Borys. However, they admitted to abandoning this focus and cursing themselves to eternal unlife when they found that to destroy Borys would unleash far greater evils.

If the Dragon dies, Rajaat will be freed. He’ll resume his wars on the Green Races and won’t stop until all of them have perished. We cannot condemn all the races of Athas to death to avenge the dwarves on Borys, or even to spare ourselves an eternity of suffering.

All the while the giants looked on with fear and awe unsure what to make of the situation. Way-lynn, Lena and Iulius stayed at the ready, prepared to strike should any hostilities start up again.

Wreathed in flames, Gwyn tried to be subtle and worked to make a connection to the Oracle, drawn to its power and curious about what she could learn from it. As the conversation turned and Banoc felt they had reached an agreement that would let them leave, Gwyn slipped up and Sa’ram charged at her. Lena’s quick strike stopped him before he could reach her.

Jax was able to persuade Sa’ram to let them go, as no harm was done. The banshee agreed, but warned the group to never mention the Lens or there would be the most dire consequences. To the rest of the groups amazement, they were able to exit the caves without any trouble from the giants or the dwarven banshees.

Two Heads are Better…
The weather outside the caves had turned worse with Banoc’s weather control magic failing. The temperature had risen to unbearable conditions and the winds were raging. As best they could, the party debated the next course of action. Daqiq wanted to find the beast-headed giants and return to attack the human-headed giants.

Sacha and WyanJax used her magic to send a message to the crew of the Slutty Kraken and the only reply was “Help, come quick”. Fearful the giants had betrayed them, Lena mounted her crodlu and prepared to march off with Iulius behind her. As she did two figures appeared out of the blowing sand – the two disembodied heads Sacha and Wyan.

I wouldn’t head in that direction, unless you’d like an untimely death."

The heads greeted Gwyn and told the group that the sorcerer-king of Balic was waiting for them. The head suggested that the party head with them to another boat on the island, one they claimed was used by Tithian and Agis, who had both been killed by the giants.

They party did not know what to do – they didn’t want to abandon the crew and didn’t trust the heads (who kept asking to drink their blood). In the midst of a raging sandstorm, they pondered their next move…

The Island of Mytilene

Last Stand
Giants of MytileneWith both the giants and the adventurers expecting the worst from each other, neither side was surprised that combat erupted…

Lena’s spear thrust was easily dodged by the chieftain but Way-Lynn took advantage of the opportunity and decapitated the giant with one swing of the Headsman’s Axe

Although taken aback by the loss of their leader, the chieftess and the giants continued their attacks. The surrounding giants started moving into melee with those who were at range pelting the party with spears and rocks….

Banoc was hit several times with the thrown rocks, losing his control over the weather, however this allowed him to more fully focus on the fight at hand…

A distant horn blast brought a moment of hope that the beastheaded giants might have arrived, but after a few moments, there was no sign of them, and the hope dwindled…

Gwyn summoned a ring of flame attempting to hold off a group of the younger giants and, although they were burned by the flames, they pushed through…

Daqiq brought down the chieftess with a volley of perfectly aimed arrows…

Giant FightersMore giants from the surrounding rooms moved in and the party could hear the sounds of bears as well…

Jax and Banoc used their magic to keep the party fighting as long as they could, but as they tired and the giants kept coming, a change in tactics was needed…

At the urging of Iulius and Lena, the party fell back towards the Oracle, hoping to use it as cover or possibly threaten to destroy it as a last resort to gain their freedom…

Banoc attempted to conjure a wall of blades to cover their retreat but mis-judged things and a well-timed blow from a giant’s club broke his concentration causing the wall to disappear…

Flames raced across Gwyn’s body as her wing’s came out, shedding bright light and empowering her fire magic…

Lena threatened to destroy the Oracle and the giants paused for a moment…

Jo’orsh and Sa’ram
Dwarven BansheeOn the platform holding the orb, Jax could sense two powerful spirits and attempted to contact them…

The spirits of Jo’orsh and Sa’ram appeared and gained physical form standing near the Oracle…

When questioned, they revealed that they had been using the giants to guard the Lens (as they called the Oracle) and cared not who was in control as long as they were strong and could defend it…

When the party tried to sway their opinions by mentioning that the death of Borys was one of their goals, the undead dwarves responded that despite their hatred of the Butcher of Dwarves, Borys must not be destroyed…

The Island of Mytilene

Liars and Giants and Bears
The party decides that entering the cave cautiously was the best plan, as they did not know how the Joorsh giants would be positioned to defend their lair. Jax and Daqiq went ahead of the group to sneak in and scout out the caverns. Jax demonstrated that she more than equal to Daqiq in her ability to remain hidden. They found several guards but were able to sneak past them without any trouble. The majority of the accessible passageways they found were dead ends, but they did encounter some bears which appeared to be somewhat domesticated by the giants. They were able to keep the bears calm by providing them some food and the bears were curious but content to let them be.

After giving Jax and Daqiq some time, Lena and the others approached the guards who were surprised but not immediately hostile. Lena, acting as the spokesperson for the group was able to convince the giants that they should be given an audience with the chief. Although somewhat suspicious, because of recent encounters with other humans, they agreed. However, only Banoc and Lena were allowed to meet with the chief.

Caverns of Mytilene

Lena and Banoc were escorted to the chief past many other guards and even what appeared to be a classroom. At the far south end of the cavern, they saw what they assumed was the Oracle, a massive polished piece of obsidian, which radiated intense heat. When they met the chief they proposed that Banoc could control the weather for them in return for access to the Oracle. The subtle details of the deal changed several times with Lena attempting to get more, and planning on deceiving at least one of the giant groups.

Eventually the bargain was struck and they all went to the entrance to witness Banoc controlling the weather. At the mouth of the caverns, Banoc concentrated and showed that he could manipulate the winds and temperatures. The giant chief was impressed and pleased withe the results.

Bored of waiting, Gwyn distracted the remaining guard while Iulius and Way-Lynn uncovered a chamber with more bears and a sizeable amount of treasure. Joined by Dax and Daqiq they managed to grab the more valuable pieces in time to join the Lena as they returned from the cave. They all traveled back into the caves and found themselves before the Oracle.

Oh My!
With the permission of the chief, Gwyn and Jax attempted to use the Oracle to learn about the Green Age and the location of Ehwahla. Banoc used his magic to try and determine the nature of the Oracle and was amazed at the intensity of the magic it possessed. The Oracle appeared to be strong in all types of magic that Banoc was familiar with, including dragon magic, as well as other types he could not identify. The rest watched and waited.

Gwyn experienced a vision of a white tower in the middle of a forested land. The tower was surrounded by a group of humanoids performing some ritual. As the ritual was completed, the sun changed from blue to yellow and the humanoids left the tower. As they did so, they transformed into various familiar races and some that Gwyn had only heard about or seen in ancient carvings. Although it was difficult to tell for sure, Gwyn felt that she knew the approximate location of the white tower.

The vision seen by Jax took her from Mytilene to the east for several hundred miles to a region of the Sea of Silt that churned and undulated. From beneath the silt arose a great worm-like creature, more massive than the large sink worm they encountered. A single piece of gold could be seen near the being’s head. After the vision faded, Jax retained a sense of direction to the location of Ehwahla.

As Lena attempted to work out the fine details with the chief, hoping that these giants would help them in the near future before they demanded that Banoc be turned over to them. The giant chief stated that he felt the bargain was unfair and decided that Banoc should remain with the giants and the others could leave, without any future help. Lena sounded shocked and asked how the giant could go back on his word after promising the help the party.

The giant chief simply leaned forward and responded “I lied”. Lena’s response was simple – she tried to drive a spear into the giants face…

The Island of Mytilene

Sailing to the Island
Having decided to head towards the giant’s island, the party turns the Sinful Kraken northward and follows the edge of the Silt Sea and their giant guides. Although they might have been able to move faster with the giant’s carrying them, the party did not want to abandon the ship and its crew for fear of being stranded on a strange island. The giants complained a bit about the slower pace, but the promise of the power to control weather was enough to placate them.

The weather took a turn for the worse as the temperatures and winds increased significantly, threatening the party and the giants with the gray death. Banoc was able to continue to use his magic during the day to suppress the winds and bring the temperatures down. During the cooler nights, he rested for the next day.

The pirates and the legionaires found something to agree on – their distrust of the giants and began to question the wisdom of the party’s plan. Lena and Jax were able to convince them that the plan was sound and ultimately in their best interests. Their travel was mercifully free from encounters, no doubt to the presence of the giants and other than the weather, they encountered no hardships.

After four day’s of travel, they arrived in at the island of Mytilene, the home of the giants. Daqiq had learned that the two clans of giants, the Jorsh and the Saram had traded possession of the Oracle and gained wisdom from it for as long as they could remember. From time to time, when one clan became more powerful than the other, they refused to let go of the Oracle. This was one of those times. The Saram were clear that they didn’t want the Jorsh slaughtered, but just driven from the caves.

The Dwarven Ruins
Just east of the shore the party discovered some curious ruins. They deduced that the ruins were ancient dwarven buildings, which had withstood the ravages of time. There were other ruins of lesser quality and built for larger beings that had not held up as well.

Dwarven Ruins

In one of the more intact ruins, Way-Lynn discovered a stone chest containing an ancient book. Gwyn had seen a book nearly identical to this one in the village of Kled – a copy of the Book of Kemalok Kings. Jax used her magic to help translate the ancient writing and they made a profound discovery. This tome contained more information about the fate of the last dwarven knights of Kemalok Jo’orsh and Sa’ram. They deduced that the two dwarves had ended up on this island and were somehow the progenitors of the two giant clans whose names were very similar.

The Plan
As the party made the long journey to the crystal caves they discussed many options on how to deal with the giants. The crew of the Sinful Kraken remained with the boat to guard it, but Iulius was convinced to join with the rest of the adventurers. They had learned from the giants that the cave system had but one entrance and that they would like have to face several dozen giants.

Although they prepared themselves as best they could for a battle with all the giants, they felt it was much more likely they would have to face the giants in small groups and hopefully be able to break their morale and force them to flee. They decided that, while they would not attempt to kill more than they were forced to, they would be prepared to do what was needed to obtain access to the Oracle.

Along the way the were attacked by a flock of wyverns, but the beasts proved to be little more than a minor distraction to the battle-hardened adventurers.

Sailing the Sea of Silt

Small Distractions
As the Sinful Kraken headed away from the site of the roc attack, there was more rumblings among the crew that that ship was being targeted by some unknown force. Even the party had to admit that the string of attacks they had suffered felt like more than coincidence. Banoc communed with the elemental spirits trying to determine if the ship or those aboard were being attacked for a purpose and the elements responded that the attacks were simply chance.

The crew and adventurers passed the remainder of the day socializing and gambling. Gwyn and Way-lynn joined some of the crew in a lizard racing game. Each chose one small lizard that raced through a maze. Despite Gwyn’s good intuition and Way-lynn’s coaxing of the lizard, one of the crew, Salty Kester, had luck on his side and won the race. Lena and Daqiq played a dice game called “portholes” and soundly beat the crew, although an older pirate, Blue, gave them a good challenge. Jax and one of the legionary captains, Aurelius, played a game of Balican Chess and although she rarely played the game, Jax was able to best the more experienced player.

Later that night, Lena was on watch and noticed that there was a disturbance ahead. After being alerted to the danger, the deck psion, Gloomy Rashad, identified it as a bloom of floaters. Barking orders, Lena helped secure the ship quickly to minimize the chance of a floater contacting the crew or ship and exploding. Lena’s fast action proved more than adequate and the ship passed through without any trouble.

Unseen Dangers
Shortly after midnight, Way-lynn noticed that the Sinful Kraken was slowing down and veering off course. When they confronted the deck psion on duty, Gloomy Rashad appeared calm, perhaps a little too much. However, Way-lynn soon felt it was the right choice as well. The rest of the adventurers awoke to the ship coming to a stop and moved out to see Way-lynn and Rashad heading out to a small mudflat.

Banoc guessed they might be under some type of external influence and attempted to dispel the effect on Way-lynn, but there was no change in his behavior. Before they could be reached by the party, they were found by a brown silt horror, that had apparently been calling them to their doom. Rashad was badly injured in the attacks, but the horror was easily defeated.

In the predawn hours, Gwyn was on watch and noticed a strange depression in the silt, moving towards the vessel. When alerted, the crew became panicked as it was the clear sign of a sink worm, a gargantuan creature which could easily destroy ships. They prepared as best they could, but were unable to attack the creature until it emerged from beneath the silt close to the ship.

The party unleashed a series of spells and attacks on the worm, injuring it horribly, but it continued its attack. Jax suffered some injuries but managed to avoid being swallowed by the monstrosity. Daqiq shot deadly arrow after deadly arrow into it and eventually the beast was driven off or killed. Once again, the crew looked at the adventurers with a sense of awe.

Giant Problems
Continuing on towards the Sea of Silt, the day brought temperatures rising to an unbearable level of heat. Banoc was able to use his control of the elements to make the temperature more tolerable around the ship, although doing so taxed him greatly. Mid-morning brought a new threat to the ship and crew – a group of beastheaded giants moving to intercept the Sinful Kraken. The giants did not appear hostile, but the crew manned the vessel’s weapons, just in case. They warned the adventurers that the giants were unpredictable and easily angered.

The giants stopped at a respectful distance and asked why the weather was so nice around the ship. As they talked, the party learned that the giants were hunting roc and came within range of Banoc’s weather control and investigated. The giants, who called themselves the Saram, wanted to learn how to control the weather and became somewhat agitated when Banoc didn’t think they were capable.

The groups negotiated for a bit and eventually decided that the vessel would accompany the giants back to their island and help them regain their Oracle, who had been taken by a rival group of giants, the Jorsh, and not given back. The beastheads thought that the Oracle could help them locate Ehwahla and perhaps be useful in controlling the weather.

Charting the Course

Sailing the Sea of Silt

The Plan of Attack
The Sinful Kraken headed east towards the Sea of Silt without incident until the early afternoon when they encountered at mudflat. Regulus asked the party to spend some time and explore the mudflat, as they often contain water and possibly vegetation to help provision the ship. Banoc didn’t sense that there was any ill intent, but had noticed a growing tension between Regulus and his pirates and Iulius and the legionary troops. However, all three groups needed each other, so the uneasy alliance held.

On the mudflat, the party discovered some relatively clean water but no plant life, suggesting that the mudflat was relatively new. While they were gathering the water, they were set upon by a small group of black silt horrors that burst from beneath the mud. Although initially caught off guard, they creatures were defeated without too many injuries being taken. In less than an hour, they were back underway.

Later in the afternoon, Iulius approached the party and wanted to know more about their plans for bringing about a new age of Athas. As a strategist and military captain, he was apparently uneasy about not knowing their plan. The group described many of the wonders that they had seen in their encounters including the other planes of existence, the knowledge of the true history of Athas and the powerful weapons useful for taking down the sorcerer-kings. These stories, along with the camaraderie with Lena and Way-lynn helped dispel his concerns.

Iulius shared that the stories of the giants preparing to march on Balic were a ruse to keep the citizens in a heightened state of alert. An unknown army had sacked Tyr and was marching towards Urik in the north. According to Iulius, the forces of Gulg and Nibeany were marching towards Urik as well to defend it against the unknown aggressor. He was terrified to think about what creature or army could be such a threat to Urik that two other sorcerer-kings would be willing to set aside their differences. Gwyn and Banoc recalled the tales of the sorcerer-kings moving to destroy Dregoth thousands of years ago and thought that it could be a similar situation. Banoc remembered the legends of Kalak of Tyr, Hamanu of Urik and Borys the Dragon marching on Kalidnay to stop Kalid-Ma after his transformation. With the two city-states the targets, and the forces moving from the south, they felt like the unknown aggressor might be Kalid-Ma.

Threat From Below
Early the next morning, just as dawn’s light was starting to show, Gwyn was on watch and noticed a disturbance in the silt headed towards the Sinful Kraken. It was quickly revealed to be a gray silt horror, a huge beast far more powerful and deadly than the silt horrors encountered in the mudflat. Thanks to the keen eyes of Gwyn, she and her friends had time to prepare for the attack. The horror lashed out with barbed tentacles that threatened to pull them overboard. Way-lynn started hacking at the tentacles, severing them with each powerful blow from their axe. Gwyn and Banoc launched fire spells at the creatures body, while Daqiq shot one deadly arrow after another into its partially exposed head. Just as it was about to pull Jax overboard, it was defeated and sank beneath the silt.

Later that day, while Lena and Daqiq were learning about the operation of the psionic orb Regulus approached the others to complain about Iulius and his soldiers making too many demands on the pirates. They listened to his concerns and attempted to smooth over the differences, emphasizing that they all needed each other at this time. After promising to speak to Iulius and get him to ease up a bit, Regulus appeared to feel better about the situation. Iulius and his men were unhappy about the perceived lazy attitude of the pirates but was eventually convinced that the common good would require sacrifices on everyone’s part.

Threat From Above
Just as things were starting to calm down, Daqiq noticed a large bird diving for the Sinful Kraken. The bird, a roc, was moving fast and they only had moments to prepare. Way-Lynn and Lena manned the ships weapons and fired at the gargantuan bird of prey. Although the bird was struck several times and shot by Daqiq, it was barely injured and dove towards Jax, biting her and grasping her in its talons. As it flew off it took more hits but still held onto Jax until it was over a hundred feet in the air when it let go. Luckily she landed on the deck of the Sinful Kraken instead of the silt. A final arrow from Daqiq finished off the bird and it fell into the Sea of Silt.

The crew and adventurers began to wonder if something wasn’t putting its will against their own. Each of these encounters would not be a cause for concern, but together it appeared to be suspicious. Although they were concerned, there was nothing to do but keep moving on towards the east.

Charting the Course

Sailing the Sea of Silt

Charting the Course

Boarding Action
The battle simply began as the crew of the Sinful Kraken attempted to defend themselves against the forces of the Sand Dragon. The fires started by Gwyn and Banoc occupied many of the Sand Dragon’s crew, otherwise the battle would have been even more uneven. Fireballs and flamestrikes flew back and forth attempting to kill as many of the opposing crew as possible before they became so intermixed that it would be impossible to target foes without hitting friends.

Daqiq took the high ground on a mast and fired arrow after arrow at the defiler and praetor on the Sand Dragon. Way-Lynn held the line and attempted to prevent too many enemies from reaching the Sinful Kraken, but the numbers were too great. Lena lead a charge onto the Sand Dragon hoping to do further damage to the ship and slow the advance of the crew and draw attacks away from her crew. Unfortunately she was successful and fell under the numerous attacks directed at her. Banoc moved quickly to get her back on her feet, but the tide of battle was clearly going against the adventurers.

Gwyn was able to take down the praetor but his surviving guards knocked Banoc down and if not for the quick action of Jax, he would have perished. Daqiq, ever practical, read the current situation and laid down his weapons, the other’s did so as well. Lena, however, made a desperate attempt and challenged the legionary captain, Iulius, to single-combat.

The Duel
Iulius agreed, much to Gwyn’s surprise, and even gave Lena a few moments to catch her breath and compose herself. The two combatants squared off on the deck of the Sand Dragon and Lena, seizing the moment, charged at Iulius and with a skillful lunge, knocked him over the edge of the ship into the silt. Although he began sinking quickly, his crew was able to toss him a rope and pull him out before he suffocated.

Gwyn was once again surprised when Iulius honored the outcome of the single combat and agreed to let them go. The crew of the Sinful Kraken grabbed the majority of supplies from the Sand Dragon to provision their ship for the long journey ahead. They left enough so that the other crew could make it back to Balic without danger and keep their ship in good repair.

A Change of Heart
While the supplies were being transferred to the Sinful Kraken, the adventurers had a chance to converse with Iulius. Gwyn and Way-lynn told him more about their adventures with his brother Dravus. Lena listened to the stories and attempted to convince the captain that he was better off coming with them than returning to Balic to face punishment for his failure.

Iulius was eventually convinced to join the crew of the Sinful Kraken and air them in the quest. Despite his military training and loyalty to Balic, he appeared to be genuinely interested in the groups quest to try and make Athas into a better place. He said that he would be dishonoring his ancestors and the people of Balic if he were to pass up a change to truly improve the lives of all.

Iulius was such a charismatic and popular leader that a number of the Sand Dragon’s crew and some of the legionary joined with him. The combined crew was enough to keep the vessel moving and they could function in combat, although they would not be at optimal efficiency. Once everything was secured, the Sinful Kraken started east towards the Sea of Silt.

Sailing the Sea of Silt

Convincing the Crew
After two hours of sailing into the rising sun, Banoc’s charm on the officer began to diminish. The adventurers quickly tried to convince the crew of their vessel, the Sinful Kraken, that templar Haraxes (still being impersonated by Jax) had a change of heart and was heading out on a mission to make Athas into a better world. Although Jax was convincing, the party, especially Way-Lynn, Lena and Gwyn, tried a heavy-handed approach and it was not well received by the crew. In a moment of desperation, Banoc revealed himself as a water genasi, but the crew turned out to be superstitious about water elementals, and thought that he was an ill omen.

Despite their best efforts, the crew was not convinced and decided to attack the party, hoping they could turn around and make it back to Balic quickly to sort things out. The crew underestimated the abilities of the adventurers and the battle was over quickly, with the last half-dozen crew surrendering rather than be killed. They held fast to their sense of duty and were confined to the lower deck as prisoners.

The group decided to take the south turn around the Dragon’s Palate in hopes of making it to the Sea of Silt as quickly as possible. Tired from their long night, the party rested, although they still took watch, not fully trusting the pirate crew. Banoc did not take to their mode of travel well and suffered from silt sickness for the first few hours. Eventually he got a bit of rest and was refreshed.

The Sand Dragon

The Sand Dragon
Daqiq startled from his nap to a commotion on the upper deck. He ran up to see what was the matter and found everyone looking behind at another silt dromond moving to intercept them. The vessel was similar to their own, but moving much faster, indicating a more powerful psion at the helm. As it approached they could see the sail had a icon of a dragon atop a mound of sand.

Helpless, the pirates and adventurers watched as the Sand Dragon closed on them. Banoc thought of trying to cover their movements by controlling the weather, but the Sand Dragon would be in range to fire long before his magic could start to take effect. They crew prepared for battle, knowing that they were outnumbered by least a factor of two.

As the Sand Dragon neared to two-hundred feet, they party heard the voice of the Sand Dragon’s commander ordering them to stand down and prepare to be boarded. Gwyn recognized the voice as that of Kelvor’s brother. He had apparently decided to hunt down their group personally. The party unanimously agreed to not give up without a fight. Banoc and Gwyn moved to the back of the Sinful Kraken while the rest started to man the ship’s weapons.

The two ships exchanged a volley of shots from ballista and mangonel with only minimal damage to either ship. Gwyn and Banoc release a storm of fire at the Sand Dragon as it closed to just over a hundred feet. The fire ripped through the vessel, destroying most of its weapons and setting it ablaze. The Sand Dragon’s crew was able to take cover and avoid the majority of the fire, but now had to concern themselves with the ship, which was damaged.

The Sand Dragon’s helm was becoming mangled by fire as it continued on at full speed directly into the aft of the Sinful Kraken. The horrible sounds of splintering wood and bone from the ships was soon quieted and overtaken by the shouts of both crews as they prepared to do battle. To the surprise and terror of those aboard the Sinful Kraken, they appeared to be outnumbered three-to-one.

City of Sails

Infiltrating the Arsenal
Jax (still in the form of Darian Haraxes), Gwyn (still posing as Darian’s companion for the evening) and Lena made their way towards the Arsenal. Trusting in Jax’s ability to convincingly play the part of the templar, they simply marched up to one of the gates and demanded entrance. Although there was a little confusion about the unorthodox nature of an inspection so early in the morning and the presence of an elf companion, the gate guards decided not to question the powerful templar and allowed them in.

As Gwyn passed but the gate captain, she his face and thought for a moment that he was Kelvor! The resemblance was very striking, but she knew that he was lost in Moil to the Tortured Vestige. She tried to get the captains attention in a subtle way, but he either did not notice or did not recognize Gwyn. They moved on quickly to avoid suspicions, but Gwyn was very curious about this other “Kelvor”.

The group began to search along the wall of the Arsenal for an ideal spot to help the others over. The Arsenal was well guarded and the walls were tall making the search difficult. Eventually the settled on an out-of-the-way spot that appeared to be slightly less guarded than the rest. There they waited for their friends to arrive.

Old Friends and New Enemies
Daqiq, Way-Lynn and Banoc accompanied Regulus and his crew through the Harbor Precinct towards the Arsenal. They didn’t know how long it would take for their friends to get in and find a spot, so they waited in an area that provided a good view for Daqiq. The rest tried to be as inconspicuous as possible for a group of over forty people.

While they were waiting Banoc saw his Veiled Alliance friend Sestus nearby and the two had a brief conversation. Banoc explained that the city was no longer safe for himself and his friends and, trusting Sestus, confessed to killing Darian Haraxes. Sestus was confused and shocked to hear the Praetor responsible for the virtual destruction of the Veiled Alliance was now dead. Banoc was likewise confused and shocked when Sestus turned on him and attacked, backed up by assassins and thugs.

Banoc took numerous injuries before his allies could come to his aid. He survived but Sestus did not, falling victim to several of Daqiq’s arrows. The thugs stood their ground and were likewise dispatched, however, the assassins stayed in the shadows and not even Daqiq could find them until they were almost out of range. Daqiq and Lena’s crodlu gave chase, but the assassin disappeared from sight.

With the assassin likely reporting in, the sense of urgency was even greater than before. Luckily, not long after the fight had concluded, Daqiq spotted his allies and the two groups joined back up. Through combination of Way-lynn’s massive strength and Banoc’s intuition about the patrols, the majority of the group was able to scale the wall quickly. Jax was able to distract the one patrol that got too close and the rest of the crew got over the wall with help from Daqiq to keep them in the shadows and out of sight.

The Heist
Daqiq and some of the crew went up ahead quickly and quietly to scout out a ship and hopefully start to prepare it for departure. Deciding that one ship was as good as the next, they moved to the closest dromond and started to make the adjustments to the rigging. Regulus’ crew was experienced, and this vessel was considerably better maintained, and they appeared to have no trouble.

Silt Dromond

A commotion from below deck stopped Daqiq cold – apparently the ship still had crew aboard and the activities above deck drew their attention. Doing their best to hide, Daqiq and his scouts could do nothing but wait…

Hoping they had given Daqiq enough time, the rest of the party and crew started to move out. Luck appeared to be against them as they ran into a Legionary patrol lead by the gate captain, who resembled Kelvor. Gwyn, determined to not let the opportunity slip by again addressed the captain as “Dravus” (Kelvor’s real name) while using her talent with the Way to try and determine if he was a human or something less natural. To her surprise, he did appear to be human, but her allies, except for Lena, all appeared to be undead. There was no time to explore this, but she wondered if it had something to do with the long time they had spent in the Gray.

The captain, spit at the mention of the name Dravus, who was his brother. The captain believed that Dravus had abandoned his city, his post and his family and was a traitor. Gwyn tried to convince him that that wasn’t the case and told him of how he had been subjected to horrible experiments by Tethrades and had to flee to save himself. She also told of how he had sacrificed himself to protect his friends and that he was a hero. All of the conversation appeared to shake the captains sense of reality and he was visibly having trouble processing the information. Jax was easily able to use this confusion to convince him to let the group pass without further delays.

They arrived at the silt dromond just as its crew was about to find Daqiq. Quickly Jax tried to convince them that this was a readiness drill and that he needed to take the ship out quickly. The officer appeared to believe Jax, but was required to verify the command while the prepared the ship – a new protocol. Banoc used his gift with the Way to charm the officer into believing that it wasn’t needed, and to their relief, the officer agreed. Less than 20 minutes later, the vessel was heading away from the dock, the City of Sails starting to grow smaller…