Silt and Sun

Guts and Guile
You bring up that Kyra and Balok might have a thing for each other. Kyra promptly burns your hair and Balok affirms that you are crazy and the heat is getting to you. "Arggh! It was just a question!" -Mazkan

Over breakfast, Thania revealed Miranda, the daughter of a prominent member of her society, had been taken for Templar training. She was being indoctrinated at the Royal Academy; Thania estimated it would take 4 days for it to convert her. Although Mazkan didn’t appreciate her mix of threats & offers, the party agreed to break Miranda out. The deadline sat too close to Balok’s rematch with Freea & Daz; the party would have to split their efforts to accomplish both in time.

At first, Sametik, Rynn, and Immeral focused on scouting for the infiltration while Oevru and Mazkan worked on training the gladiators. Several disfunctions amongst Balok’s gladiators soon came to light: Balok was deathly afraid of Kyra’s magic, while Spry was quite cowardly and meek. Rynn & Sametik returned to help them with their issues after Mazkan got burned by his attempts to help Kyra, while Immeral successfully scouted the Academy posing as an exotic dignitary. That night, they discussed this with Thania; she gave them advice for Kyra and one of Miranda’s toys for recognition.

The next day, they spent the daytime finishing the gladiator’s training for the fight the next day. Rynn & Immeral slept early while Sametik, Oevru, and Mazkan finished training Balok’s gladiators. As the sun sets, the group prepares for a nighttime infiltration of the Academy; can they retrieve Miranda and safely escape in time to make sure Freea & Daz aren’t killed by popular vote at the arena?

Mistaken Identities
"The last person who tried to separate Blood and Splatter ended up... well bloody and splatted..." - an Urik Templar

At first, the Tembo proved quite a handful but thanks to Oevru‘s tactical manouvering and a little bit of luck, the party found their feet and brought it down to the cheers of the crowd. Balok greeted them with congratulations as they exited the arena pit. When talk turned to Blood & Splatter, Mazkan inquired discreetly as to whether Balok had noticed if they bore specific tribal tattoos. Balok vaguely answered in the affirmative which made Mazkan immediately try to barge into the champion’s rest area. Sametik and Rynn attempted to defuse the situation and avoid them all being arrested. Fortunately, the arena agent showed up and remarked that “Blood & Splatter” were currently in the arena pit fighting against Balok and his team. This made the half-giant calm down but still insisted on waiting by the area to see the champions. Meanwhile the rest of the party get paid for their performances in the arena.

After their fight, “Blood & Splatter” head to the champions’ area, walking past Mazkan in the process. Mazkan succeeded in getting their attention. Unfortunately for him, they turned out not to be his friends, but instead Freea and Das, 2 half-giants from the same area as his tribe. They recognized him and invited the group to join them in their rest area. Inside, they were quite surprised and distressed to hear of the events that brought Mazkan there. They expressed an interest in helping his search. However, they would not leave until they had lost the mantle of “Arena Champions” in fair arena combat. A plan was hatched to have the party help prepare Balok and his teammates defeat the Champions in the arena. The group then decided to leave as it was getting late into the evening.

Outside, they were swarmed by a mob of arena fans. Gana, the barmaid that Sametik had charmed earlier were among the crowd and he brought her along. Lerona was there too and had been watching the fights. She offered her place for them to stay the night and so they did. Except Sametik though, who opted to spend the night with his new lady friend over at her place. When morning broke, they were surprised to find that Sametik had not returned as he had promised. They left for the Gilded Mane, only to find him him passed out. Apparently he had too much to drink the night before and was paying for it this morning. Thania was there again and she revealed that it was SHE who had arranged for the Tembo to fight them! Apparently it was her way of testing their mettle. Now satisfied with their performance, she invited them to discuss their future dealings together…

Chat Log:

In the Dark
"This STILL isn't fair!" -Mazkan

Between fights, Immeral joined the group once we confirmed to the guards that we knew him. We heard about Balok, a dwarven trainer that often fought in the arena himself. We got the option of either fighting him or a pack of kanks; we chose the kanks. The fight was going well until the arena lights went out and a Tembo, a horrible beast capable of obliterating an entire pack of soldiers, entered the ring. The crowd erupted as this unexpected challenger challenged the party.

Blood Sport
Sametik: "And that's how you do it." Mazkan: "Do what, pick up floosies?"

As the group finished eating, Rynn caught up with them. She was having trouble finding Thania, her contact in Urik. Her last lead was The Gilded Mane, a tavern in the Artisan Quarter.

Mazkan’s initial attempt to gather info from the bartender didn’t go well. After Rynn dissuaded him from trashing the bar, Sametik tried charming the info out of their barmaid. She fell for Sametik, much to Rynn’s amusement, and pointed out Thania to them. Thania was less friendly, and powerful enough to pull off her threat, but by the time they left for the arena, she had agreed to help them perform the prophecy ritual in exchange for another favor. “Don’t get in touch with me; I’ll find you.”

They still had enough time to sign up for the arena games and, hopefully, survive long enough to find Mazkan’s friends. They opened the night with a fight against 2 dwarves and a dozen captured thri-kreen. It was a close fight, with both Mazkan and Oevru collapsing during it, but they stood victorious in the end. Oevru even managed to earn some extra money for falling unconscious, due to a poorly-worded sales pitch. Now they just need to find Mazkan’s friends and formulate an escape plan.

Chat Log:

The Three Sisters and The Obsidian Quarter
"It's like a chorus from you guys, 'Grunt..Sigh..Grunt' " - Lerona M'Ke

When morning arrives, Rynn and Immeral make leave to attend to their own matters for the moment. In light of the dire revelations of the previous night, Darus, Oevru and Mazkan decide to accompany Sametik to the Royal Observatory to find the head astronomer. Mazkan decides to stop by a halfling’s meat stall to grab a bite before leaving. While attempting to sell some ‘exotic’ meats to Mazkan, Oevru notices a half-elf stealing the half-giant’s purse! They subdue the thief, who admits to being in league with Derek, the halfling vendor. Derek confesses and in return for not reporting him to the templars, allows the party to take some of his wares and agrees to owe them a favor. They then head out of Urik to the hills known as The Three Sisters.

The Royal Observatory is heavily guarded by Obsidian Golems and a patrol of Lionguards. Sametik attempts to pass himself off as a nobleman but is informed by the guards that only Urik nobility and their guests are allowed in the area. Seeing no way through absent force, they had no choice but to turn back. On the way, they notice an unguarded ruined observatory on one of the hills and Sametik comes on the idea that perhaps they should return after dark and make their way up there. He thinks that he might still be able to use the observatory to unravel more of the portent. Once they re-entered Urik, they made their way to the Obsidian Quarter to find Lerona M’ke at the M’ke Compound.

Mazkan hopes Lerona can provide them a way onto the Stel Estate so that he may ask them about his enslaved friends. Lerona agrees to help on the condition that they do not cause any trouble and that Darus remains with her in the meantime. She provides them an excuse to make entrance, a package delivery from M’Ke to the Stels. They deliver the package to Garkel Stel, Head of Sales for House Stel. However, they do not gain much information for him. Only that Hamanu purchases many half-giants to work Urik’s obsidian mines and that those whom are troublesome are sent to fight in Urik’s arena, the “Pit of Black Death”.

They return to report to Lerona and then head to the arena. Under the shadow of one of the city walls, a templar and an arena agent stands heralding the arena news. Mazkan creates a commotion when he hears of a male and female half-giant gladiator team, known only as “Blood and Splatter” would be “performing” that evening. Oevru and Sametik manage to calm him down before any trouble could begin. Mazkan is convinced that the duo are his missing companions. They then return again to Lerona and Darus and go to have lunch. During which Lerona suggests that one way to ascertain the identity of the gladiators is to sign up for the games. Mazkan declares that to be an excellent idea and that signing up to be a gladiator is exactly what he intends to do!

Chat Log:

Urik, City of Lions
How did we get here and where do we go?

The caravan continues on the Road of Kings to Urik. Along the way, Lerona fills the party in on some details of the city-state. One of which is House Stel, the largest merchant house in Urik. Lerona also reveals her intent of selling the orb outside of Urik away from the eyes of Hamanu‘s templars. As the caravan gets within sight of Urik, Lerona questions Immeral on why he is away from The Lands Within The Wind. Immeral hints that disagreement with his elders over the future of the Kingdoms Invisible led to him leaving and left it at that. They get within sight of three hills, that Lerona points out as the Three Sisters upon which stands the Royal Observatory, home to Urik’s chief astronomer, Babantylos.

Oevru insists that Lerona make good on the payment for fetching the orb before entering the city. Lerona proposes a new agreement, that the group may keep the orb but receive a huge cut in their promised fee. Seeing Darus unwilling to part with the orb, the group agrees with this new agreement. They enter the city without any trouble and soon find themselves minus their employer on the city streets. While Oevru, Immeral, Rynn and Sametik discuss where they might want to go for a quiet chat, Mazkan bids them farewell and starts to set off on his own. He is stopped by Darus, who insists that since they are all strangers in the city, it’d be better for them to stay together, at least for the night. Mazkan half-heartedly agrees, not wanting to disappoint the boy. Rynn adds that they should find someone called Thania but gave no further details.

The group find cheap lodgings in the Foreign Quarter. Though the rooms are small, Sametik insists that they all gather in one of them for a discussion. One by one, they go through what their immediate plans will be. Rynn explains vaguely that “a crazy lady I trust”, as she puts it, told her to find Thania and help her and in return she would then help Rynn. Mazkan hesitantly reveals that he wishes to seek out the Stels, who may hold information about his enslaved friends. Darus then remarks that they as a group should help Mazkan. They all agree, much to the Mazkan’s surprise. They also reveal to Mazkan and Sametik that their ultimate destination is Tyr.

Sametik then takes out a parcel and unravels it, revealing some books and star charts. He starts to tell them something that a colleague of his had discovered through the observation of stars and arcane study. According to him, a great power will arrive on Athas in the near future. Something so powerful it could challenge the sorceror-kings and that the fallout of it could mean the end of all life. Rynn questions whether such a power should be stopped and then she reveals her past as a templar to the party. She was made to do terrible things for a sorceror-king and would love to see them fall. Sametik finishes by telling them that the obsidian orb they now possessed is one part of a ritual to stop this future threat and that he needs to find an astronomer in this city to complete the ritual. They then retired to their rooms for the night, feeling that tomorrow will be much more than just another ordinary day.

Chat Log:

Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you...

The fight with The Servant of the Flame Lord and his minions continues. Mazkan, enraged at being brought down, brings his maul down on the head of The Servant with such ferocity that the shaft breaks upon impact! It struck so soundly that The Servant looked visibly shaken. The Feasting Shadows and Death Shades surrounds the party attacking relentlessly at this assault on their master. To avoid a stab, Sametik used his psionic abilities to make Lerona defend him using herself as a shield! Needless to say, she was not amused. It didn’t take too long for The Servant to finally succumb and for the shadows to be dispersed as well.

Darus retrieves the Obsidian Orb from the fading shade. Mazkan and Lerona disagree on what should be done with the orb. Mazkan wishes it to be destroyed and Lerona wishes to sell it at Urik. However both agree that Darus should hold on to it until the return to the caravan. In his hands the orb appears lifeless, a harmless black ball. The group get out of the academy only to find that the undead seemed much more restless and unfocused than before. They barely make out of the city alive as the undead swarm towards them in droves.

The trip back to to the caravan was mostly quiet, the exception being Lerona, who seemed chipper despite the heat. Not forgiving Sametik for his little psionic trick on her, she starts prodding him with questions. How did he end up alone in the desert? How long had he been travelling alone? Sametik remains elusive with his answers, merely saying he was being chased. Though none of the group believes his story, the oppressive sun soon stop their tongues wagging. They reach the caravan to find the dwarven guards waiting in boredom where they left them. Thus, they continued on their way to Urik.

Chat Log:

The Ruins of Yaramuke
Yaramuke? More like Yara-puke.

The players, Darus, and Lerona head north along the Black Waters. The sun beats down on them, the defiling energies sap their strength, and the undead haunt their dreams. It takes an entire day to reach the alabaster walls of Yaramuke.

Once there they see the entire city is overrun with defiled undead souls. Quickly working their way through the city they make their way toward the local Psionic academy to search it for Obsidian Orbs. They enter the eerily silent structure which has held up remarkably well over the years of ruin.

Exploring the ancient acadamy turns up little, until they see something out of the corner of their eye and a pillar falls on them. Mazkan gets pushed down a large hole from the column, but Darus is able to teleport him to safety.

Moving on they find the room which appeared to once hold an Orb, but it is missing. Searching briefly they find a secret passage below the ruins, where they find the Orb, along with its new owner, a buring Servant of the Flame Lord. They learn that the orb is amplyfying the servant’s natural arcane powers, and he is able to control the undead because of link they have with defiling energy.

A fight quickly ensues and Mazkan was brought down by the concentrated fire of the Dread Archers and their master, the burning Servant. The Archers were taken down and Mazkan was brought back up, but there is still a lot of fight left in the dark smoky cave in order to get Orb.

Chat Log:

On the Road Again
Going places that I've never been...

The M’ke caravan sets out from Raam, led by Lerona M’ke. Among the guards are 3 dwarves for hire, regulars of Lerona’s caravan’s, as well as a new arrival, the Half-Giant Mazkan. He is looking to make a few ceramic pieces as well as travel to Urik.

Also among the travelers are the minotaur Oevru, the half-elf Rynn, the Eladrin Immeral, and the boy Darus. They are traveling to get out of Raam, and on their way to Urik but are promised to be paid for guarding the caravan as well. The going rate is 50 ceramic gold pieces per person per trip, food and supplies not included.

After two days of traveling they approach the Black Water stream. A small stream that crosses over the Road of Kings. It once gave water to the City-State of Yaramuke and passing travelers alike. As they approached they saw a few large flocks of Kestrekels around a seemingly lifeless body, however as they got closer they noticed he was still alive, trying to fend off the pecks of the hungry birds.

A battle ensued as the Caravan guards went to rescue the downed human, although it quickly escalated as the blacked landscape gave forth undead horrors to try to claim the souls of the living. After a long and hard fight everyone managed to survive, but just barely. As they were tending to their wounds and introducing themselves to the new arrival, a Psion named Sametik, Lerona offered a proposal. Go into the ruins of Yaramuke looking for treasure, with an added 100 cgp bonus, as well as extras for each piece of treasure they are able to haul out.

The PC’s accepted, and with Lerona and Darus in tow they leave the dwarves to defend the caravan and head north, into the wasteland that was once a grand City State.

Chat Log:

Prison Break!
Pretending we are Spartacus

Trapped by guards and a host of slaves, the characters did what they do best, convice the slaves it’s better to help the players escape than help the guards. It took a few rousing words, some magical spells, and some teleportational assistance from Darus, but eventually they outnumbered the guards, and beat them into submission. With a new army of close to 30 slaves they moved upstairs, quickly swarming the few guards left on the lower levels. In the main hall a large fight broke out between the guards and the slaves. With the character’s help, the slaves quickly subdued the guards with only a third of the poorly equiped slaves falling in battle. The group guickly fled the keep and made it to Ghost Town, where Shatri took them in.

Soon the players met up with Lerona M’ke and left on a caravan out of the city, on their way to Urik

Chat Log:


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