Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas

Galanki

The swarms of cranium rats attacked both physically and psychically, their massive numbers causing the party to be worn down by the repeated attacks. However, with the continued support of Iorskan and Birk, Gwyn and her allies were able to emerge victorious.

Blight LordThe final two doors were opened and a massive tree blight and black dragon emerged. Trinth justified this with the party having “cheated” by allying with Iorskan and Birk. Fighting two creatures after the swarms caused the party to adjust their tactics. These fierce creatues were tough and strong and during the fight Banoc Ma’an fell, but was kept from dying by Jax.

Following the death of the dragon, Trinth addressed the party…

Congratulations, you have survived my trials and earned your freedom. I am surprised by your fortitude and prowess in battle, perhaps you Athasians are not as primitive as we suspected. Exit the arena through the doorway before you so that you may kneel and receive my blessing. Should you not wish to join my cause and liberate Athas, you shall be granted your freedom.

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Galanaki

TrinthThe party passed through Trinth’s portal and found themselves in a chamber looking at Trinth and her guards. The queen was an impressive figure, standing over 9 feet tall. She was dressed in clothing and armor that could purchase a city on Athas. She held a scepter with a pulsing ruby in one hand and a large silver greatsword in the other.

I have decided to allow you a rare honor – to become my Adlishar, the first of many who will serve me. Kneel before me and pledge your undying fidelity me.

The party debated the lich-queen’s offer, but were split in their opinions about the best decision. They questioned Trinth and believed that she was not completely honest about her intentions. Birk, Phyll, Daqiq and Jax felt allying with Trinth was the better option, as the destruction of the sorcerer-kings would be for the benefit of all Athas. Gwyn, Way-lynn, Banoc and Iorskan felt that exchanging one tyrrant for another was not an acceptable option.

The situation changed when Birk knelt and Trinth used her scepter to magically compell him to follow her orders. This was unacceptable to Phyll, Daqiq and Jax who decided to leave, however, Trinth’s true definition of freedom was death and a battle ensued. Banoc, who was severely injured from the arena fights dropped to a lightning blast from Trinth. An attempt was made to push past the guards and Trinth, but the party was cut off.

Gwyn used the last of her magic to wish the party back to the gateway they used to enter the Astral Sea. Once again, her focus was off and they all arrived in a remote and empty region of the Astral Sea. They stabilized Banoc and rested, recovering their strength. For lack of any better option, they followed Way-lynn’s lead and started moving through the Astral Sea. After over a day of travel, they happened across an emeral green portal. Entering the portal, the party found themselves in a dark forest growing from swampy, brackish water. Phyll believed that they were now all in the outer plane known as the Beastlands.

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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.

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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.

Elysium
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.

Elysium

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.

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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's Cube

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.

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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.

Githyanki Army

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.

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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.

Pristine Tower

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.

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…

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Return to Athas

Inside the Pristine Tower, the party got down to the business of gathering information and planning their next moves. Through a combination of magic, the Way and informatoin gained through more mundane methods, they learned about the current state of affairs in the Tyr Region. The process took several weeks, but their combined efforts revealed information regarding…

After discussing the current situation, the group decided to travel to Nibenay and learn of the Shadow King’s motives and goals, as well as attempt to recover the items held by him. Gwyn planned to take Banoc, Way-lynn, Daqiq and Elleandra to gain an audience with Nibenay. Jax planned to take Kira, Iorskan, Thea and Jarvix into the crypts below the city, where they felt many of their items would be.

Tyr Region Map

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Homecoming

The party left the safety of the Pristine Tower and journeyed west towards the city-state of Nibeany. The increasing heat of the High Sun Season was a shock after the relatively cool environment inside the Tower. Their first stop was Fort Inix, a trading outpost of House Shom. However, instead of finding a decadent fort, they found death and destruction. The fort and been attacked about a week ago, and although there were some dead, the group suspected that many had been taken away. All items of value, save the ceramic coins, had been plundered from the fort. They suspected that githyanki raiders from the nearby Black Spine Mountains were responsible. Although they were curious about the motivations, all felt that sticking to their current objective was the best choice for now.

Githyanki Raiders

They continued west toward the Bremil Pass at the southern edge of the mountains. While travelling over the pass, they were setup by githyanki raiders. The raiders were well armed and armored and would have been more than a match for a normal caravan or group of travelers. However, the party easily dispatched them. During the conflict, Kira and Banoc went missing, victims of the githyanki’s planar magic. Both found there way back to Athas – Kira from the elemental plane of Earth where she navigated the merchants in the City of Jewels, and Banoc from the elemental plane of Air.

Despite this setback, the party eventually arrived at the city-state of Nibeany, which they found to have mostly recovered from the cataclysm that had affected it months ago. They split into their two groups and Kira led half the party to the catacombs. In the catacombs, luck was with them as they located the Seventh Sword of Tyr, and Jax merged it with her other swords. Later they discovered the body of Elleandra, still wrapped in the burial cloth. They decided to leave it untouched.

Gwyn led the others into the Temple of Law to arrange an audience with her father – the sorcerer-king. There they were joined by Siemhouk and eventually Nibenay arrived, curious about his daughter’s intentions.

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Homecoming

Nibenay was curious about the partys intentions towards himself, the other sorcerer-kings and the world in general. Gwyn and Banoc carefully steered the conversation to avoid potentially dangerous topics and did not want to reveal too much about their specfic plans. During the conversation Nibenay revealed more of the history of the world, Rajaat and the champions, including the true purpose of the dragon’s levy – to power magic that contains Rajaat. If the magic were to fail, Rajaat would gain his freedom and the world would suffer greatly. Nibenay reveled the Rajaat’s plan was to return Athas to the Blue Age where halflings ruled.

Catacombs

In the catacombs beneath Nibenay, Jax and the other searched for more lost treasures. They happened across many of their corpses and remained confused as to what that meant for them. They found a magical deck of cards and Iorskan and Jarvix drew from it – each was affected by the magic. Jarvix lost some of his intelligence but gained the knowledge he could undue one event. Iorskan ended up loosing all of the magical items he possesed. None else dared to draw from the deck and Thea, being protective of the group, took the deck before any further trouble could be caused.

Way-lynn, Daqiq and Elleandra felt the best course of action was to head to Balic and confront Ul-Athra before the city-state was completely consumed. Having no further need to bother Nibenay, they left, and were allowed to leave without incident. The group reconnected in the catacombs and searched for the remainder of the day, eventually finding the Standard of Arkhosia as well as the Axe of Rkard. A number of other items were found, but they appeared to be cursed.

Iorskan arranged for the unwanted items to be sold and Gwyn used her magic to teleport the group to Balic, hoping they could defeat Ul-Athra and claim his power to help restore the dark sun.

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