Dark Sun: The Karsto Campaigns

E20: Waking the Dead
A tormenting ritual supervenes beneath a sand-blasted hull.
The stonemasons and builders of the great incomplete bridge of North Ledopolus pour back into the village as word of an inbound raid sets in. The dwarves, led away by their fooled master architect know that a giant attack under the concealment of the approaching sandstorm could potentially be devastating. Some are clearly opposed to the order to leave their work behind for even a partial hour so the militia can send scouting parties and muscle to the edge of the bridge and the city. But the chief architect, Heqar Stonemaw has been wisped away as the wind begins to pick up and sand begins to sting the sensitive skin 'round the eyes.

The island of Ledo can be seen as a dark cowl of a storm creeps and combs over its crags, funneling into the Estuary and rolling toward the city.


10th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

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E19: Leather Strip
Headhunting in the 'Headhunter's occupation city.
"Ledopolus. The last true dwarven cities that remain on Athas. The South and North counterparts each hold their own rich history and ties to the great island of Ledo. Sadly, most of these dwarves have forgotten their culture and even their own written language. South and North Ledopolus both prop up their hollow respective 'king' and 'queen' as fading placeholders for a withering foothold in their dying civilization. Trade houses were not always as pronounced there as the occupiers would have you believe - certainly the trade initially helped the settlements, but now the merchants have allowed the Praetors of Balic and strategically-placed Judaga of Gulg a way in to strongarm the old dwarven monarchs.

I feel it's only a matter of time now before the dwarven people discover that their love for the hierarchy is misplaced and all of their efforts to bring relevance to their homeland are merely stepping stones for their non-native occupants to bring wealth to their precious Sorcerer-king-or-queen's city. Their great bridge-in-progress - a sign of commitment, pride, and love for craft - will become a heavily taxed shortcut for merchants who wish to cross the Estuary. The templars already enforce a strict working schedule for the natives. The people will realize, when the new laws and taxes weigh down like the sun and the working class slowly become slaves...but by that time it will be too late, and virtually no dwarves on Athas will have an authentic home any longer."


10th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

The PCs sail to North Ledopolus to kill Heqar Stonemaw, one half of the great bridge construction’s mastermind. They depart the island of Ledo on Captain Volrouak’s silt schooner, The Grapple.

North Ledopolus

When the PCs arrive, they see a sprawling town of stone, populated by dwarves. From the docks, they witness another half of the great Ledopolus bridge in progress. Many working dwarves line the bridge, heaving, picking, and placing stone.

Gathering Information

The locals seemed to know enough about the construction to tell the PCs where Heqar Stonemaw might be. As the party split, some investigated the marketplace of House Inix. The trade hub was staffed by dwarves and Gulgans, and overseen by several Judaga.

Heqar Stonemaw

When the party realized Heqar’s location, Hanibaal Demontes formulated a way to lead the architect away from the bridge and into Volrouak’s silt schooner. Hanibaal acted as if he were a confidant of Heqar’s brother, Grovak, and told Heqar that a giant raid was approaching under the blanket of a brewing sandstorm. Although hesitant, Heqar left the bridge after a little persuading, and motioned that his workers stay cautioned — by the looks of the skies, a sandstorm was indeed brewing from the west, and a giant raid could completely level their town and people.

Killing the architect

Once inside The Grapple, Heqar very quickly realized he was in danger. Kathaalis restrained the dwarf and — with Hanibaal playing a hands-off bystander — the afidae strangled the dwarf with a strap of leather. Within minutes, the dwarf’s hearty breathing stopped and he collapsed onto the floor, his face and hands painted with a deep shade of violet. Dalamar let out a sigh, but stood in the birthing area as stoic as possible. He has been reading the map found in Veloc’s hoodoo, intent on the breakthrough he had neglected since they found it weeks prior.

“I have eyes they cannot see” ringing in his mind.

The Aftermath

Hanibaal ordered the body be stored in a hidden compartment beneath the ship’s bow. They would then set sail for South Ledopolus to slay the other Stonemaw brother.

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E18: Two Heads, One Crown
Above the stone city of Gigus dwells a great divine ruler.
The tower's pinnacle chamber hosts a variety of luxuries unexpected in a Giant's lair: an elaborate bone and bronze chandelier hangs from the high, arched ceiling (dancing flames atop), finely-woven royal and violet curtains drape over several large hidden fixtures, and the sandstone floor is nearly polished. A warm evening breeze sifts and searches its way into the area and out the other end through huge open windows overlooking the city below. Large curtains breathe in the air in each window.

Perhaps the most startling image this chamber forces your eyes to see is the large air drake sleeping lightly in the room's center - its cream-colored scales inconsistent in luster, some reflecting the torchfire above with mirror-like luminescence, others dull or gritty. The gargantuan beast breathes slowly with deep resonance, the air occasionally exits the thing's gnarled snout, exposing sharp and unclean teeth. The drake is probably as long as 7 men from head to tail, and two men tall.

A large, partially obscured monster of a man-shaped being rises slowly from behind the drake, revealing a comprehensive and frightening obsidian suit of armor. The thing's head is partially concealed by a cowl, and the visible face only suits one eye, which is abnormally large and seats sparks in its irises. Above the eye is a beautiful crown, featuring several stones of the earth of different colors, all pleasant to the eye and seem to project a dim iridescent glow. The giant's face is nose-less and bears a maw with sharp teeth, which expose themselves when the cycloptic ruler beckons the visitors to speak.


9th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

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E17: Into the Prophet's Citadel (part 2)
The route to the tower's crown is revealed, as is a sealed off corridor to a deeper wing
Dalamar strides through the hall silently, peering inward to a room that hosts living torchlight. As he approaches the warm colored flickering cast into the stone vacancy, wafts of freezing air from his bow caress his arm as they pull slowly away from the slender arrow's tip and rise into the dense surrounding heat. His steps are considerate of any audience that might hear his slow stalking through the seemingly long-dead citadel -- but the elf isn't taking a chance with the sight of light and the recent encounter with giant serpents in tow.

A deep and vast space stretches upward into the room around the corner, which reveals its light sources as torches of permanent flame. A stocky stone stairway that could support a giant wind and coil upwards, perhaps a hundred feet high. The air bellows tiny wisps and echoes of sounds barely audible to anyone but an attuned elf.

9th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

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E16: Into the Prophet's Citadel (part 1)
The party enters the expansive aging citadel immediately north of Gigus.

Echoes of dwarven generations long dead appear in their ancient divination circles and altar rooms. The occasional dwindled carcass of reptilian beasts litter the checkered rose taupe stone floors, which are caked in dust and debris. The Citadel’s chambers lay in ruin, and the only inhabitants seem to be unintelligent beasts that have used the place for shelter.

The first level of the Prophet’s Citadel

Entering the aged citadel through a large fissure in the perimeter’s wall, the party finds themselves in an unused altar room. A sculpture of a rigid face stands upon the altar, sheathed in a permanent divine flame. Investigation of the statuette reveals it was used for rituals, and is likely a dwarven representation of the primordial Kol-Tukulkg, a being rumored of granting fire to the Tablelands.

The group sifts through old bed quarters, which appear to have been barracks for acolyte priests.

The group presses on to enter a very large circular chamber, that is supported by many tall pillars. Two large serpents appear to have nested in the room, and the party deals with the beasts to move through the chamber freely (fight was probably less epic than it should have been).

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E15: The Jagged Crags
The party docks their silt skiff in an enclosed alcove on the edge of the island of Ledo, and venture into the dangerous giant crags seeking the village of Gigus.

Synopsis

The Cliff Alcove

  • The PCs sail the silt estuary to a very low-traffic area to dock on the island of Ledo
  • The party rests safely for the night in the rugged alcove.
  • When they awaken, Dalamar feels slightly ill, and it appears that Veloc’s spell effects cast weeks ago to temporarily relieve the PCs of their curse are beginning to subside. Dalamar isn’t substantially affected, but his skin becomes pallid and his eye circles appear darkened.
  • The party splits the next morning, leaving Captain Volrouak and Awakanak to guard and tend to his silt skiff while the others (Asis, Dalamar, Hanibaal, and Kathaalis) venture out into The Jagged Crags to search for the village of Gigus.
  • Before the party can exit the natural tunnels behind the alcove, they encounter several people.
  • A Mul by the name of Xhanyon speaks to the PCs, asking if they were part of the merchants they were seeking to trade with.
  • Hanibaal implies that he is an overseer of trade in this area, even though he doesn’t know what Xhanyon is talking about.
  • When the group reveals themselves to be rangers of the Winged Mantles, they ask that they trade with the PCs, who oblige.
  • Back inside the docking alcove, Xhanyon expresses disdain when he realizes the vessel the supposed merchants brought is only a silt skimmer AND the PCs have no flint and not enough water to trade.
  • The Winged Mantles are a bit irritated but willing to exchange information for 500 ceramic pieces when Xhanyon learns that the party is heading through the Jagged Crags to Gigus. This exchange occurs and the party learns of Tuoc, a giant priest of Ovo Cajaka. They also learn that the priest has supposedly placed malicious runes throughout the Crags, and that passage has been disrupted and limited to only a few pathways. They learn that the runes are capable of summoning guardians that are hostile to outsiders.
  • Xhanyon tells the PCs that the giants leader only goes by the title " The Great Ruler of Giant-kind "
  • Hanibaal had already known the leader’s name and that he is a one-eyed giant augmented by divine magic. However, the crag ranger also speaks of a voluminous and old religious center called the Prophet’s Citadel, which still stands below an equally huge tower where the giants’ leader is rumored to reside.
  • The Winged Mantles depart but not before suggesting that they wish not to be sought out or followed.
  • The party respects this wish and allows them to depart before they leave the alcove.

The Jagged Crags

  • The PCs (excluding Capt. Volrouak and his remaining crewman Awakanak) emerge from the tunnel behind the alcove, and stand in a narrow valley in the Crags.
  • The Crags passage is fairly narrow (no more than 20 feet wide in traversable areas), as the rangers said. The party finds a pathway but it’s apparent that at certain points along the way intervention has been placed in the form of collapsed and stacked rocks and mountain faces.
  • Along the way, the party spots a mountain spider waiting very still in a hard-to-reach hole in the side of one of the rock faces after finding a couple dead humanoids in a small dip below.
  • The party also encounters a handful of runes along the pathway to Gigus. The runes appear in narrow chokes, and seem to trigger based on proximity and movement. The runes summoned various-sized earth elemental guardians which immediately attacked the PCs. These guardians were dealt with by the party with blade and spell.
  • Dalamar was able to disable a couple malicious runes.

Gigus

  • The PCs eventually reach the village of Gigus, which appears to be massive stone slab homes and giant embossed rock faces from a distance. They spot huge giants walking throughout the village, some carrying weapons the length of an elf or longer.
  • The group decides to climb a nearby cliff face with rope and attempt to find a flank to approach the village without alerting any of the giants.
  • Kathaalis leads the group through the rocky ridges and along even narrower passages before reaching the base of the Prophet’s Citadel. Hanging very high above the citadel (and partially embedded into one side of a mountainside) is a large tower. Some birds flock around its pinnacle and the rising sun makes the mountain and the tower a partial silhouette.
  • Hanibaal assesses the base citadel, which is large but does not seem to be made for giants.
  • The citadel itself is ancient — centuries old at least — and wracked with crumbly fissures.
  • The PCs spot a large enough crack near the back end of the citadel to crawl through. A single dead tree creeps out of the hole in the exterior.
  • Darkness awaits within.
  • The party enters the gape.

- end -

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E14: Broken Vessel
A halved silt ship lays in ruin in the Estuary, and something strange lies in wake...

to be written…lol

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E13: South Ledopolus
The small dwarven settlement of South Ledopolous offers both safe haven and inherent danger

(to be written)

synopsis: The party trololos

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E12: Reinforcements
The party accompanies a band of trained Wavir mercenaries to relieve the weakened silver mine south of Fort Glamis.
Calls of the frightened mercenaries beckon from within the House Wavir mining camp. By ear, the psionic beasts tear through the mercenaries inside as occasional death rattles are heard. Nataku lays on the ground motionless, and it's not clear whether the mul is alive or dead. The bitter humans that accuse you of being the causing factor in this ravage stand around him, rummaging through his pack and supplies. Before they can get their dirty hands on the mul's stashed possessions, they all seem to answer a call and go rushing back into the camp inside the rock.


6th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

Discerning the status of the downed water cleric

Dalamar looks back at the scene that took place after he bolted for the desert. A lifeless Nataku is slumped over face-down on the earth’s floor, the mekillot some 20 meters behind him stares slowly at the water cleric. Taking note of the fleeing mercenaries, the elf sneaks back over to his adventuring companion, carefully assessing the situation before investigating the mul close-up. Not seeing any signs of other human mercenaries, Dalamar strides over to Nataku and drags his body to a safe and hidden place beside the rock. The mul’s chitinous plate scrapes up a pile of dirt and dust as he is pulled away by the 6’4" elf. Dalamar looks the mul over, and discovers that he’s still alive, albeit very unconscious. He rounds up the astray crodlu and lifts Nataku onto its back, strapping him on with rope. While Dalamar would never be found riding a beast of burden, he finds the beast very convenient because of the current situation.

Night trek back to Fort Glamis

Dalamar leads the crodlu and its unconscious cargo back to Fort Glamis, using his keen survival skills to avoid dangers and continue in the right direction. The elf’s potion of darkvision still allowing him to see normally in a black-and-white spectrum. Nearly 3 hours pass before the elf and his carry reach the fort. Dalamar witnesses a strange sight of several humanoid figures in the distance standing motionless at the feet of the fort’s pale walls. The people stare up at the wall’s perimeter, where no patrolling mercenaries are found. Dalamar is careful to avoid the fort, and he circles around to the rocky outcrop where the party rested a couple nights before. When he encircles the distance, he hears an unnerving moaning coming from the humanoids, who still never move. The elf holes up in the walled section of the outcrop, and sets up his tent for the water cleric.

7th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

Dalamar’s camp outside of Fort Glamis

Dalamar sits at watch, paying close attention to the figures that surround the southwest corner of Fort Glamis. The potion wears off, leaving the elf to look on with his low-light vision. A notable contrast between the brightness and acuity the potion granted and the elf’s normal sight are readily apparent, but Dalamar still sees the distant silhouettes standing motionless at the wall.

Nataku’s natural mul resilience enables him to recover from his beat-down faster than any other tableland race would. He becomes conscious not long after the elf sets camp, and through confused and blurred vision sees the elf Dalamar writing in his leather-bound journal with a quill pen. The mul barely seems to remember the immediate events that led up to his awakening. Dalamar explains what happened reservedly, and mentions the problem at the wall of Fort Glamis just over the patchy stretch of desert outside. When questioned further, Dalamar insists that he saved the mul’s life. Nataku casts a wound-healing spell on his cuts and bruises and eventually goes back to rest. When he awakens a few hours later, the elf and mul switch roles. Nataku attempts to watch as best he can, but his vision isn’t anywhere near as acute as Dalamar’s. He braves the darkness, allowing his dilated eyes to loosely scan the outside. He hears the distant cries of wild beasts, and can only barely make out the figures surrounding the fort that the elf spoke of. The crimson sun creeps over the horizon after a few hours, and soon the elf awakens to the quiet and watchful Nataku. The mul says that the figures left sometime in the night, and the gates to the fort have been opened.

Nataku’s conversation with Bryphero

The two agree to part temporarily as Dalamar gathers up the camping gear while Nataku heads inside the fort to speak with Bryphero once again. The water cleric enters the fort and is welcomed as a savior of the water supply. When he requests a talk with the fortmaster, he is granted near-immediate access. Bryphero awaits inside and the two greet each other. The fortmaster looks tired and stressed, but it is unclear whether or not the man has heard the news of the silver mine. Before Nataku can mention anything substantial, the door snaps open and a sweating elven runner stands in the doorway. He frantically delivers the news that the silver mine has been reaved by strange horrific creatures, and that many of the mercenaries were killed in the attempt to fend them off. He says that the beasts are dead but so are a slew of the contracted soldiers.

Bryphero’s entire demeanor changes from bad to worse, and he begins to bark orders at the elf, ordering him to tell Captain Gorda to ready her troops for immediate departure. When the runner leaves, conversation resumes between the distressed fortmaster and Nataku. The water cleric doesn’t mention that he was at the mining camp just hours earlier. Instead, he asks what he can do to assist. Bryphero tells him to get Gorda to round up 30 troops and have them march to the mining camp. Nataku asks the fortmaster of his current mental state, and explains that he might be able to help that as well. Bryphero explains that it’s obviously the current events at the mine causing him great distress, but Nataku sees through the explanation as a red herring and inquires further.

Bryphero’s expedition massacre monologue

Bryphero reveals that he is stressed over an event that took place about 10 days prior. He says that he accompanied an expedition into the mine with several of the mercenaries there and they stumbled upon a crystal cave. When they set climbing rungs down into the cave and descended to scout out the cavern, they were attacked by strange and horrific creatures. The mercenaries attempted to defend themselves and the fortmaster, but the battle was a losing one. Bryphero explains that he fled up the rungs in the cave wall, with the others in tow. The mercenaries couldn’t make it and were dragged back down and killed by the monsters. The fortmaster had to arrange the section to be barricaded and sealed off in case the creatures climbed the wall. He says that he fears the creatures that escaped the mine were the ones leftover from the massacre he witnessed. Nataku assures the fortmaster that he will attempt to get to the bottom of the attacks, and relieve the sundered mining effort. After a written note signed by Bryphero, the mul takes his leave and heads for the mercenary quarters to speak with Captain Gorda.

Assembling the company of House Wavir mercenaries

Nataku departs the Fortmaster’s hall and head’s directly to the mercenary quarters. Once inside, he spots Captain Gorda rounding up a section of her troops. She guides them over with hand signals and makes them check over their gear and supplies. It is apparent that she has already been preparing them for departure. Nataku speaks to the busy captain, giving her Bryphero’s wishes for her to arrange 30 soldiers. She does so, and the band begins to depart. Nataku heads to find Hanibaal. He awaits the human’s long sleep-cycle to be over because there isn’t a sign of the man as soon as Nataku enters the mealhall. Once the bard wakes up, Nataku finds him and reveals what has happened (reservedly). Hanibaal eats his breakfast without any told-you-so’s, and soon departs with the water cleric. The two head for Dalamar’s camp, which is now gathered. The elf is surprised to see a band of mercenaries standing at the gate, and Nataku tells him that he is to accompany him back to the mining camp for a relief effort. The three set out with the band of soldiers. Hanibaal attempts to liven the desert trek with a humming song. He recalls the Ode to the spear soldier, a Balician song of extensive history. However, when the bard begins to hum, he finds that he has forgotten the melody and flubs the tune. Several soldiers look confused and agitated at the bard’s performance (perhaps more confused after hearing his performance in the mealhall the night before). The band of mercenaries continues on, though.

Mining camp relief

Upon arrival to the mines, the mercenary group discovered a more resolved scene than that witnessed by the cleric and the elf earlier that night. The beasts that plagued the mine through the night had been slain and the men of the mining camp were tending to the wounded and dead. Nataku’s desire to help the wounded men kicked in, but he decided they needed to clear their names in the camp, and went to meet with Eldonno. Dalamar was reluctant and shared his feelings of just keeping his head down, but Nataku reminded him of the written clearance of Bryphero that Nataku retrieved before they set out with the army. This relieved Dalamar and also impressed Hanibaal who noted that what ever made the job of clearing their names was well welcomed. Given the conditions of meeting a very tired and very stressed Eldonno, the party’s news of bringing the army and paperwork to clear their name brought relief to the mountain of a man. Eldonno quickly topped off the conversation with the reveal of his desire for the party to fix a broken barricade that cause this whole dilemma in the depths of the silver mine. The party gives a a unanimous decision to help each bearing a different intent. Nataku is eager to help, Dalamar is eager to do what ever it takes to leave, and Hanibaal is eager for the favor the would create. The party quickly sets out into the mining camp to gather resources for the new task. Nataku asked how they should proceed and asked if there was a way he could spend some time with the wounded, Hanibaal says yes and he will come get him when the preparations were ready. Hanibaal then talks to Captain Gorda about taking some troops down into the mine with them seeing how the camp was now safe, and she agreed for Hanibaal to lead 7 men. Hanibaal follows this up by asking around the camp for the man with the most experience of the mine. He is turned to Domtwag the chief coordinator of the mine. Hanibaal requests Domtwag’s to accompany them down and asks for him to bring a man that knows most about the barricade and can handle himself in case of a fight. When Domtwag shows reluctance Hanibaal informs him that he is under order of Eldonno, who gave Hanibaal right to solve this problem and Domtwag has no choice in the matter. A few minutes later, Domtwag has shown up with a man refered to as Greenshield who bears the same look of concern and disapproval as Domtwag. Hanibaal greets them and alerts the troops, Dalamar, and Nataku that they were ready to depart. The large group entered the sealed mine ready to challenge what ever waves of enemies dare threaten them, but the tension quickly broke upon the deep sighs of relief from Domtwag when they realized there were none. The group encountered no threats during their trek to the barricade, and when they arrived at the disassembled barrier, they had no problem putting it back together.

Leaving the Mining Camp

Once the barricade was fixed the group quickly returned to the mining camp to inform Eldonno of their success. Eldonno was relieved that the incident had concluded and told them that he owed the party of three. Both Nataku and Hanibaal told him not to worry about it for now. All the group asked was for a letter acknowledging their deeds and permission to use the forge at the camp, and Eldonno granted both. Before they left they went to the forge and had their fifteen pounds of silver ground down into the powered silver they needed. After they thanked Captain Gorda and then set out into the desert towards South Ledopolous.

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E11: Phthisis
Neurosis unearthed.
The threshold to the mine thrashes open, the large stone slab of a door creates a crumbling fissure in the archway as it is thrown off center. Out comes a 10 ft. tall walking terror, with eyes of green malevolence and claws that could tear through flesh and bone. The thing's spiny body seems purely unnatural. The mercenaries of House Wavir are sent into a sprawling chaos of fight or flight. The ones that stay behind are nearly shaken with hesitation, as the beast surely means nothing more than to rend their skin from the bone.


6th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

A joyful humming can be heard from within the fort as citizens begin setting preparations in motion for the festivities of celebration to begin in the evening. The party goes about preparing for the night as well, with the exception of Kathaalis and Asis whose whereabouts are still unknown. Dalamar does not worry about the two, because with the short history that they have spent together these actions are very characteristic of the mercenary. Nataku gazes of the edge of the well watching visions of his youth come and go through the shimmering ripples of the lifesaving water. The water priest spends time that he is not daydreaming thinking about how to address the crowd tonight about taking care of the well, without killing the mood of the party before it even begins. Hanibaal spends the afternoon in thought about what music he should, and ensuring his instrument is in perfect shape for his performance in the evening. Soon the festivities begin and all the preparations start to flow without flaw, Nataku preaches the sanctity found in water, Dalamar schmoozing with local merchants with hopes of gaining valuable insight in the trading markets. Hanibaal sets his makeshift stage watching the gathering crowd with a slight smirk; everything was going along the rails of a regular party until the bard began to play.

The crowd of near a hundred strong pours into the belly of the small mealhall, expecting a the party to begin. Hanibaal lifts his bow to his cello’s strings, and begins to play. A deep resonating melody erupts through the noise of the crowd and a heavenly tune if such place existed in Athas, poured through the fort making people gaze in awe as tears welled in their eyes as Hanibaal sang of the heroics of the merchant, the priest, And the noble. Such a tune even brought the reluctant fort master out to the meal hall. After the performance the Hanibaal, Nataku, and Dalamar graciously accepted the endearing praise, each of the three go off to celebrate the success in their own way. Dalamar notices the amorous eyes of the elven lass that wouldn’t speak to him a day before have fallen on him, and quickly swoops to capitalize. Hanibaal is approached by Bryphero who begins to offer the bard a handsome salary to stay full time as the forts entertainer, but Hanibaal politely declines. Hanibaal suggests that instead he can make stops by the fort and perform just out of friendship and for the simple favor of spreading word of Hanibaal’s triumphs through House Wavir as high as the fort master could. Bryphero was pleased with this arrangement, and announces his parting just as Nataku was stepping outside with a shady looking dwarf. Nataku proceeds to question the shady looking dwarf only to be offered some substances that Nataku could perceive being illegal. The priest then states he was mistaken and quickly left the dwarf and headed back to the party, where he spots the other Afidae he knew, Paalthas. The mul quickly takes the chance to strike up conversation with the man.

Dalamar sits with Hanibaal sharing drink and thanks for what the bard had done for them. They both share stories, music, and laughter gaining a healthy respect for one another, Dalamar admiring the man for his musical talent, and Hanibaal with a glint in his eye after discovering the elves keen knack for the business world. These good times are quickly interrupted by a frantic Nataku, who exclaimed that the three must leave immediately because their lives were in danger, who was rushing through his speech so fast that one word barely had time to finish before he was pushing another out. They rise and begin to leave once Nataku tells them that Praetors are currently among them. Hanibaal questions the mul, saying that leaving now is a hasty decision and one that should be dealt with in the morning. Nataku hurled an insult at the man, saying that they were leaving for the mines with or without him. Hanibaal did not put up a fight, but grabbed three attractive women and took them to his room for the night.

Nataku bursts from the meal hall, sprinting towards the stable in hopes of purchasing a beast of burden to make their hazardous venture into the unforgiving athasian night. He spots two beasts, an erdlu and a crodlu, but when no one was there to sell him one he yelled to a guard who informed him that he may take one without any problems. Nataku awkwardly mounts the crodlu and then hurries to a market stall occupied by the shady dwarf who then sold Nataku two potions of darkvision. Upon reaching Dalamar, they both hesitantly downed the potions and ran into the night.

Dalamar harnesses his elven instincts and navigates the eight miles of desert, guiding Nataku and himself to the mines safely. They arrive at the entry of the mines after an hour or two of riding. Both the elf and the priest get the feeling that the trip through the desert wasn’t going to be the worst danger they faced that night, because scattered around the vast entrance were wounded men who at the sight of the two adventures, yell at them to leave.

(to be continued)

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