Dark Sun Beginnings

The Face in the Stone?
another skill challenge? come on! what are you doing to us...

Super fun skill challenge to get through dust storm and reach the face in the stone temple.

Followed by battle with Henjiks (little burrowing lightening men) and lightening traps, ending with one of the cheeky buggers burrowing away while the Glass Cannons got the bejebus zapped out of them.
Good times.

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Search for the "Face in the Stone" Temple
can the party finally succeed on a skill challenge? how else will they find the Temple or the raiders striking at vunerable caravans...

The Governator has received and urgent missive from House Shom regarding an attack on their caravans. A lone survivor was found stumbling the dessert babbling about “the face in the stone”, but unfortunately sun sickness took him before the he could be returned to Alturak for further questioning. Apparently this is not an isolated incident, with caravans between Alturak and Tyr coming under attack from raiders intent on finding this “face in the stone” temple and demanding information in return for a cease on their raids. House Shom professes no knowledge of this alleged temple, however they have become concerned enough to demand action from Aristopheles. Using his various contacts, the only clue the Governor has been able to unearth relates to a verse from a long forgotten song and the general location of the caravan attacks. Arming the Glass Cannons with this knowledge as well as healing fruits and supplies, he sends the fools Heroes off into the wilderness with the help of a thri kreen tracker to search out this mysterious temple and stop the raiders.

An arduous trek across the unforgiving dessert awaits the Glass Cannons, but for once luck is on their side – apart from a potentially deadly incident with some spidery glass crystal cannons. After 7 days of searching the Glass Cannons manage to successfully locate the missing caravan and potentially the location of the ‘ Face in the Stone’ – unfortunately surrounded by Tarek raiders and their human allies. The raiders are camped next to a stationary dust storm which is swirling around the cliff face on the edge of a wide dusty basin. As they approach closer to the dust storm it becomes apparent that the Tareks have not only captured the House Shom caravan, but are in the process of throwing the captives into the vicious dust storm one by one, with their screams echoing across the wide expanse of the basin. Despite the regular screams of dying captives, the Glass Cannons decide to try a different method from the usual, and approach the raiders very slowly and attacking at range from cover after being spotted by the sentries. Moves to circle round and free the captives weren’t helped by the Tareks deadly accuracy by javelin and superior position hampering any attempt at quick movement. The Glass Cannons lived up to their name, and despite looking to be in significant trouble (not helped by the rangers apparent narcolepsy), they crushed the raiders and even managed to save several captives when Aish finally worked out which end of the rod to point at the bad guys.

The grateful caravan workers thanked the Glass Cannons and were able to provide the following information:

  • Bandit believe the “Face in the Stone” lies beyond the stationary dust storm
  • Bandits were unwilling to enter the storm themselves so were throwing captives in with the “promise” of freedom if they returned with news from the center of the storm
  • Unfortunately weak after being ambushed, capture and mistreated none of the captives had survived the stinging dust storm
  • Apparently a messenger had been sent to their leader, and the raiders were waiting for further instructions

Meanwhile a search revealed skull tattoo’s on each of the raiders forearms which was linked to Yarnath the Skull, a bandit leader operating in these parts.

And then?

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CSI: Alturak

Badly bruised but ultimately triumphant, the Glass Cannons had little time to soak in the cheers (and jeers) of the crowd before they turned to screams of fear. The huge body of Tellemon the Guard Captain lay on the steps next to the Governors viewing box and a stampede was threatening as the crowd pushed to distance themselves from corpse. Olm Ate, the arena slavemaster hustled the fighters back underneath the arenas, assuring them that despite Tellemon’s death, his decree of freedom for the winning gladiators would be upheld.

Shortly a robed half elf official appeared and introduced himself as Selonius. He assured the Glass Cannons that their hard won freedom would be upheld, but asked their aid in solving the recent murder on the beheast of Governor Aristophelesfor fears an internal investigation may be compromised. Despite the reservations of some members, the Glass Cannons eventually accepted this task, convinced by Selonius insinuations that working for the Governor was the best way to avoid ending up fighting in the arena again (potentially very quickly). The party were given a official decree allowing them to question the citizenry and capture the suspect & warned not to seek trouble with the elves before being lead to investigate the crime seen and question the remaining witnesses.

Dougie half giant MD managed to locate the killing wound and theorise that poison must have been involved, but was unable to provide further details on said poison once found despite doing everything but lick it. The ranger’s dingo companion managed to sniff out the murder weapon and Aish revealed the arcane glyphs on the handle were probably the reason behind the witnesses descriptions of a lack of noise during the murder, without revealing how he knew so much… A little good cop, bad cop on the witnesses revealed that a 6’5” male dressed in gladiator sandals had been seen talking to Tellemon then leaving hurriedly just before the murder was discovered. The dingo followed the suspects trail but soon lost it heading towards the Barracks district.

Armed with this knowledge, the Glass Cannons went to the Market quarters. Word on the street was that a man named Trevain held the best knowledge of herbs and unguents in town and the Glass Cannons decided to employ plan beta on him. Fortunately cool heads eventually prevailed much to Crick’s and Felonius’s (the store guard) disappointment. After ejecting the ornery half giant from his store and waving away his own guards, Trevain begrudgingly provided information regarding the poison – that it required arcane magic to create such a virulent toxin from local cacti. Despite their reservations about the herbalist and his possible involvement in illicit trades, the Glass Cannons thanked Trevain for his help, and decided to hunt out the suspect in the Barracks quarters.

Plan Beta was again employed on an unsuspecting merchant, but this time he was easily cowed and able to provide the relevant information – Birk Suntouched was the man/dwarf to speak to, and they’d just seen him hobbling towards the gladiator halls moments before. Unfortunately their questioning early at the arena had aroused suspicion and as they followed Birk an ambush of burly gladiators surrounded and attacked. Things looked grim when the noble went down faster than a cheap Raamite hooker, however the Glass Cannons once again lived up to their epithet and brutally and efficiently slayed their attackers.

Depite talk of seek aid for their injuries, the group decided to push on, fearful that the trial would quickly grow cold. Upon locating the gladiator halls, the Glass Cannons entered to find Birk Suntouched in deep conversation with a mul gladiator who fitted the suspects description (except that he was more like 6’4”). A tense standoff followed the midgets accusations of murder and offer to take a bribe to look the other way. Finally, frustrated with all the talking, Crick grabbed the governor’s decree and demanded Birk and his accomplice Revas stand-down or be stood down. Much to Crick’s disappointment, upon seeing the Governors seal, Birk agreed to come with them to the governors house to explain his case.

When they finally met with Governor Aristopheles, Birk revealed that Tellemon was actually a member of the True and had been planning an assignation on the Governor due to his connections with the Veiled alliance. Aristopheles thanked the Glass Cannons for their excellent work and above all their discretion and offered them food and shelter whenever in Alturak. Just as Aristopheles was leaving an urgent message came through regarding a missing caravan. He turned to the glass cannons and asked “I don’t suppose you are interested in further work are you?”

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Part 1 - Escape for Tyr
A beginning....

The sudden end of King Kalak’s oppressive reign has left Tyr and its citizens in a state of confusion and chaos. Templars and nobles alike jealously guard their remaining power, with the Templars especially brutal in their interpretation the law, as though any sign of weakness will see them stripped of their remaining power. The city is in a state of upheaval, with freed slaves relishing their new freedom while merchants struggle to react to the changes and consolidate their position. While it is a time of hope, it is also a time of danger, and against this backdrop of turbulent change the Glass Cannons were formed. Each had their own reason to leave Tyr unnoticed, and after coming into contact through mutual contacts found their need to flee exacerbated by a run in with the city templars following an altercation with Lemul, local dwarf merchant, and his illegally transported Id Fiend.

While making their escape from the pursuing templars, an elf peddler named Kaldras offered to help them escape further attention and exit the city in the employ of his caravan. Meeting with the elven caravan the next morning, the Glass Cannons found a mysterious short black human/midget had also been hired, and they’re wolf pack became 5. Kaldras drove the caravan hard, pushing his tribe, the kanks but especially the guards to their limits. While pushing through the rocky badlands outside of Alturak, the group were ambushed by raiders, where Crick showed his penchant for getting surrounded, and was extremely lucky his attacks struck the normally resilient wasteland raiders to the ground in a viscous whirlwind. Unfortunately due to wounds sustained in the battle, the Glass Cannons were forced to rest despite being no more than a solid half days march from Alturak, much to Kaldras’s displeasure. Leaving early then next morning, Kaldras demanded the group scout ahead to provided a better buffer between potential enemies and the caravan. A group of siltrunners managed to get the drop on the Glass Cannons and looked like they had picked an easy target after their debilitating poisons had managed to hamper and immobilize Crick while knocking the noble unconscious. However once the party managed to close to melee range, the story changed very quickly and team glass cannon showed its true potential.

The caravan arrived at Alturak mid morning, and quickly entered the merchants quarters before heading to the elven market to unload its goods. After asking the Glass Cannons to unload the Kanks, Kaldras triggered an ambush, with elven snipers firing a hail of chatkchas at the unsuspecting fools. However Kaldras hadn’t banked on the Nova potential of the Glass Cannons and the elf peddler was cut down within seconds. Before the Glass Cannons had a chance to wreck vengeneance on the remainder of the tribe, the pounding of boot falls heralded the arrival of the City Guard, leading by Tellemon, a hulking Half giant wielding a metal bastard sword which glinted in the scorching sun. Tellemon demanded a reason behind such a disturbance in his quarter, and after listening to both sides he reluctantly sided with the elves, finding their story of escaped slaves plausible and easy to enforce a ruling on. The Glass Cannons were thereby sentenced to fight in Bloodsand Arena for their freedom.

After a night in the cells, the Glass Cannons were given their weapons and armour and lead into the harsh sunlight of the arena. They only had moments to take in their surrounds, marvelling at the glittering obsidian columns rising up from the sandy floor and the baying crowd hungry for blood before a portcullis at the other end of the arena rose and a group of fierce Gith stepped through. Crick almost came unstuck enacting plan alpha only to find himself facing a giant spider and the entire gith group while the remaining Glass Cannons were still staring slack jawed at their surroundings. However despite some small hiccups (including the elfs inability to take out minions despite throwing everything at them and the comedy routine provided by the half giant when he tried to commit suicide by trying and failing to climb the razor sharp obsidian columns to reach the gith spear thrower), the Glass Cannons lived up to their name and despite a few unplanned naps managed to win the day and their freedom…

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