Dark Sun - The Tattoo of the Lion

The Temple and the Crown

After the battle with the Red Chord mercenaries, the Stone Fire Raiders made their way through the doors, deeper into the temple. The discovered another room with flaming braziers and the rooms floor was covered in mummified and skeletal remains. As they entered the room, the dead bodies animated and attacked them. The battle was quick, with only a defiling sigil presenting the Raiders with any real trouble, but quick thinking got them all around the trapped area. In this room, along with the defeated zombie and scaled guardians, they discovered an old, rotting bag that held a gem, some coins, a magic potion and some cloth robes inscribed with ancient, magical runes. Burash claimed these robes as his own.

The Stone Fire Raiders moved further into the ancient, ruined temple, and discovered a room that was covered in fungus and contained large, humanoid shaped fungus stalks. In the center of the room was a 30’ pit, caused by the ground collapsing in that area. Caliban moved forward to investigate and was lassoed by one of the bloodthorn vine that resided in the pit. Caliban was pulled into the pit. Rumel and Wil moved in to assist Caliban out of the pit, and Rumel shot at a large fungus stalk, which then animated (as did 4 other stalks) and attacked the group. These myconoids proved to be more deadly than was assumed, since they were able to share and mitigate damage among themselves, and showed a tendency to give off spore clouds that were capable of incapacitating and damaging all of the Raiders. After a prolonged, damaging battle, the Raiders found themselves victorious over the myconid colony, and found 4 more gems, more coins and 3 more healing potions for their efforts. The Raiders were very battered and beaten, and needed to take stock of themselves, and had to stop their explorations to tend to their wounds and to “take a breath” before they continued on.

Following the last earthen tunnel that they had not yet explored, the Raiders found a room that was light by a strange, dim, flickering purple light. As they moved in to take a closer look, an adult Silk Wyrm, obviously not normal, rose from the floor, incorporeal and surprised the Raiders. This battle was touch and go, with 10 wisp wraiths joining the Wyrm to try and keep the party from discovering what was hidden in this room. The battle was not looking good for the Raiders, until they had the Wyrm critically wounded. As the Wyrm flew up and tried to deliver fatal blows to Burash, Al’Qyl and Rumel, Rumel used his bardic knowledge and skill to intercede on the Wyrm’s death attack, and killed the magical beast before it could deliver its dangerous bite.

Wil, who had earlier been forced into a 20’ pit by the Wyrm, found floating in the pit a fragment of the Crown of Dust, an ancient relic that originally belonged to Ul-Athra, but had his crown cloven into 3 parts by the Dragon. Wil thought back about what stories and rumors he had heard about Ul-Athra and the Crown, and shared this information with the rest of the Raiders, and what powers this shared was rumored to have, and the Raiders all decided that Burash should be the one to carry it out.

The Raiders made their way back out of the temple, finding the bodies of the hejkin that the Red Chord mercenaries had slain, and they also noted that the massive dust devil was now gone. As they proceeded out of the temple’s entrance, they found the bodies of the rest of the Red Chord, apparently slain in battle with the hejkin. As Al’Qyl took stock of what provisions could be taken, Rumel saw a giant, bone-fused moving citadel approaching them. Rumel knew, from previous experience, that this was the mobile citadel Slither, owned, operated and created by the Lich Raider Yarnath the Skull. Rumel insisted that the Raiders run from Slither, explaining that they could not possibly fight off the lich and all of his Yellow Skull Marauders. The Stone Fire Raiders used all of their skills and abilities to evade Yarnath and his minions, and headed back to Tyr.

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Burash's Battle Song

After the battle in the temple Burash chants this song in thanks to the party:

Temple Battle Song

Hail thanes and listen! // Heroes’ praise I sing
dust weary, lion-marked // death bringers of Athas.
Loud rang the battle laughter // laving damage,
corpse bane, glory maker // Caliban broke through
silenced the undying ones. // Skeletons cast flames
fire flew with deadly aim // foe breaker, Burash’s bane.
Al’Qyl and Gabriel struck // attacked the enemy
bones breaking into ash heaps // blackened piles of pain.
Rumel and Wil Alek // running forward
heedless of harm // hope bringers,
words spoke and oaths made // wellsprings of healing
washed over Burash // wakened him from death’s grasp.
That was good timing. // Thoughts turned to victory
lightning cracked forth // lashed the corpse walkers
left naught but stone & rumor // long-lived below earth.

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Through the Whirling Winds

After the party had become lost for several days in the desert, they finally came over the top of a sand dune and saw what they had been seeking: a face in the side of a mountain. Between the face and the group lay a band of raiders and a 50’ tall dust devil!

As the raiders closed towards the face, they saw the raiding band and a caravan cart that they later discovered belonged to House Shom. They attempted to parlay with the band of raiders, made up of 3 humans and 13 Tareks! The human/tarek raiding band demanded that the party drop their gear, weapons and armor and they would let them leave, but the party thought otherwise. After a heated battle, the party left the raiders dead in Athas’ sun, and even managed to save three of the caravans’ members.

Al’Qyl gave the House Shom caravaners the option of leaving, but strongly suggested that they stay and wait for them to take them back. They also interrogated the Shoms, and discovered that they had been lost in the desert and thought that they might be able to seek shelter in a cave in the mountain, when they were attacked by the Tareks. The tareks were using the massive dust devil to kill the caravaners, who were very weak and dilapidated from being lost in the desert, due to the fact that they had nothing to steal.

The band pushed their way through the dust devil, taking minimal damage and gound the Face! Caliban and Rumel approached the face, and tried to talk to some hejkin that were inside. Caliban, being the only member of the group to speak Dwarven, “negotiated” with the hejkin, and finally got permission for the band to go and meet the hejkin cheiftan. After Caliban’s attempt at strong arm diplomacy (where he made every decision without consulting the rest of the group), Caliban agreed to the cheiftan’s terms to find a way to eliminate the Dust Devil in exchange for the key that the chieftan had to the entry door to the ancient ruins. The hejkin also gave the group some items to use while they were in the temple, a suit of blood-red scale armor, and a gold rod.

The party made their way through the ancient doors and into a four way passage. After exploring 2 side passages, they made their way into an ancient room with 4 magically burning braziers, an alter and a skeleton.

Wil made his way towards the alter, causing it to reveal itself as an ancient trap. After the trap activated itself, jets of flame and smoke filled the room, and 2 blazing skeletons, 3 salt zombies and 3 rotting zombies appeared and attacked!

Rumel used his arcane abilities to magically deactivate the trap, while the rest of the party fought the undead menace. The battle was tense, but eventually, the day was won, and the party was victorious. They looked at the alter, but none of them could read the runes inscribed on it, but they did find an image depicting a massive serpent, hundreds of yards long, yet no thicker than a human torso, upon its head rested a golden crown with a whirling halo writhing about it. The halo somewhat resembled the dust devil.

Bloodied, beaten and worn down, the party turned to the double doors exiting the chamber…

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The Road Begins

The party was hired by Rhotan Vor to go and find his lost caravan of goods. He believed that a tribe of desert raiders would be able to accomplish this task.

They set off out into the desert, where they were attacked by a group of silt runners. Death looked to be a strong possibility, but the raiders fought back and quickly vanquished the silt runners.

Following tracks in the desert wasteland, the raiders found what was left of one of the caravan’s carts, but they also found a kruthick nest. A quick battle led to the party destroying the nest, and following the tracks of the remaining cart to a set of old ruins in a hill.

In the ruins, the band discovered that the caravan’s members were being held by a ssurian and more silt runners. The party fought valiantly, but were taken down, one at a time. With some quick thinking by Al’Qyl the tiefling psion and Gabriel, templar of Hamanu, Al’Qyl was able to finally finish off the silt runners.

As the raiders were recovering and checking on the caravan’s cargo, one of the caravan’s members grabbed Al’Qyl by the arm and whispered “The Kraken wears the crown..” He then doubled over in agony, blood came out of his ears and he died a violent death.

The band of desert raiders led the caravan back to Altaruk, where they were rewarded by Rhotan Vor, who then approached the band with a job to escort another of his caravan’s to Tyr, to take some goods to Karnel, the half-giant merchant in the Artisan section of Tyr. The group agreed, and set off.

About a day out of Tyr, they spotted something, and looking for plunder, they went to investigate.

They discovered, which at the time was unbeknownst to them, was a group of Broken Builder cultists that were “sacrificing” captured prisoners to the “Elemental Elder” and were merging fire and earth elementals into more powerful magma elementals.

With the help of a captured Dray sorcerer, the desert raiders were able to stop the cultists. They continued on to Tyr.

Once in Tyr, they made their delivery to the half-giant, who then gave them a counter proposal, to make their way to the Face in the Stone, to recover any historical relics and return them to him, for a price of course.

Little did the band know, they had been marked for servitude by Sarhan, a templar of Hamanu, who ambushed the group, leaving them lying bloody and battered in an alleyway, the only thing that was different was that they had all been marked by the Urikite templar, leaving the mark of Hamanu on them.

Al’Qyl studied the tattoos for a bit, and discovered that they had some sort of magical and psionic link, but he did not know to who, or why, but only that they could be used for some purpose.

Wil Alek, the human warlord in the band, found a little more historical information on the Face in the Stone, and with that, they headed out northeast from Tyr into the desert.

About 3 days out, the band came across a crystal spider nest, but made short work of them, only to find that they were quickly running out of provisions, leading to half of the group contracting sun sickness. Eventually, the group found their way to where they believe the Face in the Stone is.

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