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3.5 DARKSUN: RUINS TO DESTRUCTION

megamania

Community Supporter
Been a while since I DM'd a Darksun game (over 20 years ago) and had wishes to do it again. My son wanted me to look at the game world again and was willing to help convert to 3.5 rules if necessary. So obviously he and the others wanted to try it.

After looking at the Dragon magazine issue #319 that did a conversion I decided to give it a try.

So here we go, they will be playing something other than Eberron for the first time.

As always- feel free to comment on the Storyhour, I appreciate input.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 001
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 12TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

DARKSUN…. A LAND OF MAGICAL DESTRUCTION. LIFE IS HARD HERE. MOST SEEK SHELTER WITHIN THE CITY-STATES BUT A FEW FIND THE LAWS AND RULERSHIP OF ITS EXTREMELY POWERFUL SORCERER-KINGS AND QUEENS TO BE UNDESIRABLE.

WILLING PEOPLE, SOMETIMES CALLED ADVENTURERS, HIRE THEMSELVES OUT TO THE MANY STATE REPRESENTATIVES, NOBLES AND MERCHANTS. MOST TRAVEL AS CARAVAN GUARDS TO THE WEALTHY MERCHANTS. OTHERS ARE PERSONAL BODY GUARDS TO THE NOBLES. THE MISSIONS GIVEN BY TEMPLARS VARY GREATLY AND CAN NOT BE TURNED DOWN.

THE CITIES VARY IN CULTURE AND DESIGN BUT MOST ARE RULED WITH AN IRON FIST. THE ONLY “FREE” CITY IS TYR WHICH ONLY RECENTLY GAINED THIS FREEDOM AS ITS RULER WAS KILLED. THE REMAINING RULERS HAVE TAKEN NOTICE. THOUGH STILL ALL-POWERFUL AND RUTHLESS, THEY ARE WARY OF THE GROWING SENSE OF REBELLION.

THERE IS RENEWED AND INCREASED INTEREST IN WAYS AND MEANS OF GREATER POWER TO EITHER MAINTAIN CONTROL OR TO DESTROY THE CONTROL. THIS IS EVEN TRUE IN URIK, WHERE THIS TALE BEGINS.

TEMBO’S TEN TEETH
THIS BAR AND TAVERN IS A SEEDY AND ROWDY PLACE WHERE ADVENTURERS, MERCENARIES AND PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL SKILL SETS AND THE MORAL COMPASS TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT QUESTIONS ASKED GATHER.

THE BAR KEEP IS JUNA, A FEMALE EX-GLADIATOR MUL. SHE WEARS A LEATHER APRON THAT HAS MANY STAINS INCLUDING BLOOD. UNDER IT IS HER LEATHER AND BROWN CLOTH SKIRT AND TOP. THE TOP IS WORN AS MUCH TO NOTE HER SEX AS ANY NEED FOR IT AS MULS HAVE NEARLY NO FAT ON THEIR BODIES- INCLUDING BREASTS.

SHE HAS TWO HELPERS, BOTH WORK THE TABLES. NEITHER ARE BOUNCERS AS SHE HERSELF ENJOYS ENFORCING HER OWN RULES AND BOUNCES HER OWN PLACE. HER TWO WORKERS ARE GREE AND FEMMA. GREE IS A FEMALE HALF-ELF AND FEMMA IS A FEMALE ELF. BOTH WORK THE TABLES AND CONDUCT OTHER BUSINESS ON THEIR OWN TIME BEHIND THE BUILDING WITHIN A MODEST TENT.

IT IS BUSY TODAY.

Delphia steps around a recent crodlu dropping. Her long elven hair flips gently in the air making more than one observer stare a little longer than Balik would prefer. But as much as some people watch her walk others distance themselves. She is dressed as a noble would. She wears a long well made trench coat designed to breath well and keep her out of the sun over her strips of form fitting silk armor and boats.

Balik, her newest boy toy, a mul from the arena of Gulg, is her body guard. He stares with threats of violence to any man or woman whom looks at her female body too long. His leather armor on his legs, arms and left shoulder and chest area quietly creaks as he walks beside her.

Following them is a recent addition to their group. Torruk, a very tall half-giant, follows them. He is mildly amused by the show before him.

They walk into the tavern known as Tembo’s Ten Teeth. An image of a tembo fiercely standing proud with a maw of sharp teeth states the tavern’s name. Going inside, the unusual but common customers loudly talk, gossip and drink fermented kank honey ale. At least one patron is already passed out in the corner.

“Thug Man” gives a leering smirk and nod to the elven Wilder and Cleric which quickly becomes a scowl as the mul Psychic Warrior stares him down. This man has an unique thick and ugly scar beginning at his right eye and travels down the length of his body to the right knee. It is rumored he looked at the daughter of a low templar in a less than respectful manner.

Azzel, a brooding dwarf with black eyes (no pupils) looks at them with a glance. No one knows if he was born this way or cursed. No one is willing to ask him.

Raven, a half-elf Beast Reaver sits back and looks from the glass of his mug. He acts like he is welcomed here but in truth, he is not. He works for the templars and has been known to send “friends” into the arena for little reason.

They have just sat down and motioned for drinks when they feel a wave of hot and dry air wash over them. Someone is at the door and leaving it open to allow the heat in. As people look up to see the cause they quickly drop their sight back to their drinks and incredibly absorbing images on the tables of nothing.

In the doorway stands an elf dressed in gold and silver. His robes have been hardened to give protection but remain light and airy. His helmet is also golden. A green reptilian skin cape adorns his back giving him a commanding appearance and effect. Sneering at the low lives within the tavern, the mid-level templar of the Arena steps in. The light from the doorway is blocked as a very very big half-giant steps in to follow him.

Templar Senshaw is too be feared due to his power, influence and gentle disregard for people’s lives.

A second half-giant steps in. They wear Urik battle armor made of leather and bits of obsidian and worked stone. Collectively, these two are known as Him and Haw. They work as Templar Senshaw’s personal guards and thugs.

“I am looking for new help. My last help…. Failed. Who would like to help me…. Help Urik?” Everyone avoids eye contact except for Delphia whom makes the mistake to try to intimidate the templar. She bats her eyes and gives an inviting smile with her arms and shoulders pulled back to expose as much of her shape as she can. The templar licks his lips and smiles.

“My usual amount will be paid. Five silver (silver colored ceramic pieces) per person, per day. Perhaps even some traveling money. All that is required is too travel to North Ledopolus to deliver a message and get a message returned.”

“Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for someone.” The female elf says. She rolls her head to the side to look at the mul. Balik hates it when she acts like this. It is not a game- not when dealing with a templar.

“And if someone said no to you?”

A new evil smile curls on his twisted face. Eyes of a sadistic predator come to life. “In your case, I would either teach you a lesson by placing you in the obsidian mines for a week or two or have my way with you.” His eyes borrow into hers as he strips her in his mind. Seeing the mul tense up he then adds- “and then I will give the remains to Him and Haw to have their way with you. The half-breed can watch.” The two half-giants sneer and grunt in approval.

“I am certain that would please you but perhaps we will leave it at our willingness to be paid for messager service instead. “ she answers sweetly.

Templar Senshaw leers at her for another moment then flips a scroll to her. She stops it gently on the table. A small bag with ceramic pieces and bits is then tossed at her that more strikes her than lands on her. “I expect this to be done quickly.”

The templar turns and leaves. As Him and Haw turn to leave they hear someone softly say a very nasty thing possibly aimed at them. Haw stops, turns and angrily glares at the room. He picks up Thug Man’s ale and gulps it one shot. He snorts then spits it out at Thug Man and leaves with a quiet and fearful giggle.

Waiting to be sure they have left, Balik turns sharply on his mistress. “Was that necessary?!?”

“Yes. He would have placed us in the mines otherwise.”

“No. I mean was it necessary to flirt with that monster?”

“I had him in my control the whole time.” She tries to convince herself of this also.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 002
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 13TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

The paranoia of Hamanu seems worse than ever. The gates are closed. No one can leave and no one can come in, not even the trade caravans of House Stel. With determination, you stride up to the templar in charge of the gate you wish to leave through. “We have great need to leave.” Delphia Sand-Caller declares.

“And just what kind of wench are you and why do you feel the need to leave so quickly?” demands the guards with the templar. “Is daddy angry with you?” The templar and the guards laugh at the poor joke.

She lets out an angry sigh to get the templar’s attention. “Templar Senshaw has us doing Urik business outside of the walls. He was quite insistent for us to be on our way quickly. If you wish I can return to him and tell him of the wonderful job you are doing keeping everyone, including us, in here.”

The templar reddens in anger then softens in quiet confusion. If she is right, Senshaw may order his own tour in the mines. “What business would the city have you do?” He asks to regain control of the situation. The guards closest to him stiffen and hold their spears tighter.

“An important message of his own want and desire. You are holding us up. I am sure he will understand the delay.”

Renewed frustration and uncertainty. “The doors and be quick about it. If Templar Senshaw is displeased it will be YOU to enter the arena or mines.” The guards hurry to open the gate doors and the three of them step out. The door nearly strikes Torruk as he exits.

If things looked oppressed inside, then outside is hopeless. Caravans are lined up and being searched by guards and with psions. Never can you remember this level of security. It is clear something is happened. There are rumors of raiders and storms but nothing proven. Perhaps Tyr is looking to start a war again.

Beyond the caravans of Kanks, Crodlus and the monstrous Mellikots , there is a tent city of poor, desperate and farmers. In some cases, caravan personnel that are not in favor with Hamanu or the gate guards. For the better part of the first day, they walk through the city farms. Sparse wheat and other grains struggle to grow in the land surrounding the city. Thousands of years of corrupted magic use has devastated the planet of Athas. Rumors and legends suggest it was once a land of forests and plentiful game. Utopia. Instead it is a barren land and all life struggles to survive. Even the cactus can be deadly.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 14TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

Torruk awakens and rolls his eyes. The other two have begun the usual morning rituals. She castes multiple spells of create water. It is enough to fill their water skins and little else. Then she and Balik take a “walk” just out of sight. Not always out of earshot. The half-giant sighs and lays back down to await their return.

They return and the big barbarian prepares breakfast. He came across a few Erdlu eggs at Urik’s market before leaving. He has become an accomplished cook. Some mages have special hidden pouches for spell components- he has one for spices.

They travel the trade road from Urik to Silver Springs and beyond. Of course, there are various threats on the road. Bandits, rogue elementals, hungry creatures and even undead come to the road for easy meals.

Though over 100 degrees, their travel gear is designed to be cooler for travel purposes. They are on constant guard for possible ambushes. These ambushes can come from nearby or from the distance. Delphia’s sharp eyes spots a small disturbance of dust and sand in the sand coming their way.

“Wind?” asks the mul.

“I don’t think so…” answers the half-giant.

“I think it may be … elves?” She cups her eyes from the glare of the sun. “No… not elves. Not fast enough. But they are coming for us.”

The half-giant readjusts his grip on the massive sword. The three of them await the oncoming rush. Five humanoid figures are running directly at them. Their skin is grey and they wear no clothing or armor. No weapons can be seen neither.

The first three rush up then tumble before Torruk. As they tumble, they kick up sand and grit in their hands and toes of their feet and spray it into the air. With his greater height, they do not distract, much less blind him. Another creature comes up to him from the side expecting him to blinded. He blocks it’s attack.

Now that they are closer to see, the three adventurers see more details. Their grey skin is ruddy and lumpy. Red veins are on the surface of their skin. Black eyes look at them with malice. Their mouth is circular and filled with long sharp teeth. (Dust Blights)

Torruk is struck several times by bite and claws. Calling up a psionic shield, Balik protects his mistress and strikes at any of the creatures if they come too close to her or him.

The battle goes poorly, especially for the half-giant whom they seem to be concentrating their attacks on. As he stumbles to the side, Balik steps up and takes down one. Delphia calls on her clerical power over the earth elements and quickly scoops sand and dust onto some of his wounds. He clenches his teeth as the grit works at his skin like sandpaper a professional wood worker may use. Then as the earth is shrugged off by him, the wounds are gone- only bright pink fresh scars remain.

Another creature goes down leaving one for each to concentrate on. Another failed dirty tactic of throwing dirt but this time at the elf. Balik strikes that one extremely hard and a second time when it was not even needed.

With three down, the remaining two turn to leave. Only one successfully escapes.


190 KA- DESERT FURY 15TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

The three of them have enjoyed another very good meal. He has added spices to basic rations and greatly improved their flavor.

Late morning, they come to a section of road where the cacti have grown very very close to it. Cautiously they walk on the road. They have seen cacti that seem to have an evil intelligence attack by firing quills and some even have quills with tendrils attached to them to reel you in to feed on the water within you. Athas is a dangerous place to be.

As Balik goes to get cacti that can be eaten, the ever watchful elf spots movement near him behind tall and thick drums of cacti. A large spiky scorpion chitters out looking for an easy meal. Fearing the barbed spikes and large pincers, Torruk tries to strike it with a few spears he often carries. As extra precaution, he and Delphia have climbed a flat rock for height and cover.

Balik slams it with his obsidian mace. Little is done to it and he is startled by how close he nearly pierced his own arm on the vermin (barbed Scorpion). He also climbs the rock making the creature fight at a disadvantage. Backing up, Torruk growls in frustration and anger. Raging, he charges it with his sword and stabs it through the head. The death throes of its stinger lacks aim and guidance as it tosses and turns in pain before twitching to a stillness.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 18TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

Late in the afternoon, they reach the first openly known public oasis- Silver Springs. The oasis is enclosed and guarded by the Silver Hands elven tribe. For five ceramic bits they can refill their waterskins and/or take shelter within the walls. Assuming you trust the elves that is. Torruk is uneasy. The one elven guard doesn’t hide the fact he is envious of the sword. It is nearly eight feet long. Though not metal, it would still fetch a good sum of coin. He sleeps with it under his arms and legs.

They set up their tents and Delphia and Balik quietly entertain an eaves dropping elven child.

In the morning, several elves linger as the smell of spiced scorpion meat floats through the air. Listening to various conversations if spoken in a language he can understand, the half-giant learns of rumors. There may be a great Gith leader organizing and joining several large clans together. If true, they could threaten any caravan on the road- even Stel or the military units.

Next settlement- Abalath.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SEGMENT 003
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 22TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

They set up camp on a defensive flat rock near the road. Signs of past campings can be seen with ashes and forgotten materials. They are one day out from Alturak. Alturak is the largest settlement not ever under the control of a Sorcerer-King or Queen. It is built within the canyon pass of a small mountain range that blocks the advance of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue.

Balik, as normal, takes the first watch. He takes turns looking intently at the sand and stones around their rock and his mistress. Though she took him on strictly as a lover and bodyguard, he has come to care for her greatly. He just hopes she cares for him as deeply. The sound of shifting sand draws his attention away from her once more. He peers over the edge of the rock to better determine what it was. Seeing nothing but sand he begins to return to his set place where he watched the sands, then suddenly two sets of clawed hands burst out of the sand and attempt to grab him. “Dune Freaks!” he calls out. (Anakore) Five hunch backed humanoids emerge from the sand with the ease of one standing up right from a mere crouch. Four of them have climbed onto the rock before Torruk can begin to defend himself. Balik has been separated from her by two Anakore. Two are killed before the Wilder-Cleric awakens. The fifth creature shambles onto the rock to get her.

He doesn’t reach her.

Only one remains and it decides fighting them in the open space of the rock is not worth it and tries to escape. It hops into the air to land in the sand and disappear when it is struck and killed in mid air.

“Annoying creatures.” Mumbles the half-giant as he settles down to sleep again.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 23TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

They enter and leave Alturak quickly in the early morning. They see no reason to stop here and lose more time that Senshaw will certainly hold against them.

While walking through the wide trade road streets that split the settlement from north and south, Torruk hears a few rumors. One catches his interest the most. A mad cleric of the Sands is looking for the ruins ruled once by Bane (Under a Darksun Storyhour) .

190 KA- DESERT FURY 24TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH
The Trade Road follows very close to the silt between Alturak and South Ledopolus. Balik and Delphia place on their goggles and scarves to better travel in comfort. The half-giant doesn’t have these but makes up for it through pure grit (pun intended) and determination. The winds are picking up as they continue on. Wary of a storm, they watch the thickening clouds in the distance following up the silt inlet.

They retreat as they witness a small wave of silt curl up and land covering the road. Though it can be no more than a foot deep, they decide to go wide of it.

Then Balik spots it.

Metal.

Something has either washed up onto shore or been revealed. Metal. What can it be?

Overly curious, the mul circles around the silt and tries his best to avoid “deeper” areas of silt. Meanwhile, the half-giant is complaining about the needless fear of something being the silt that could threaten them.

The arena veteran reaches the metal but instead of possible riches, he is attacked by several black tentacles. Behind him, the others witness a giant rise from the silt. A fifteen foot giant rising from less than a foot of silt. Delphia knows it makes no sense but cannot deny what she sees.

The half-giant rushes into the silt to attack the giant whom seems to side step the charge. He stops and turns to try another charge when black tentacles lash out at him also. Balik kills one creature and the other moves away from him. (Black Silt Horrors)

Intense pain shots through him. His head feels like it will explode and fire is in his blood. Then the half-giant has the same sensation. He lashes out at the creature and kills it. The giant disappears instantly. His senses where manipulated. Balik kills the third and final one. “No more silt adventures” declares the mul in frustration.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 25TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

Grak’s Pool. It is a small but well known small oasis between Alturak and South Ledopolus. They pass it up as a caravan pulled by a giant reptilian creature. The mekillot is surrounded by many guards on Crodlus. The caravan master is trying to work out a deal to use the water. Its not their circus. Not their monkey.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 27TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

South Ledopolus is within sight.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 004
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 27TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

There are legends that North and South Ledopolus were once joined but how do you prove such a thing? Ask any of the dwarves that live here. As the three adventurers near the settlement they spot many dwarves determinedly slave and work at carrying and pulling rocks and rubble.

Pulling together what they have heard, they are aware that the dwarves are trying to build a land bridge reconnecting the two settlements. Currently, one needs to walk through the Great Ivory Plains or take a ferry across to reach North Ledopolus. One is costly and the other most likely will cost you your life.

The dwarves glare at you as you interrupt their efforts to bring stone and supplies to the bridge. Their entire focus is on the building of the bridge. They get one to answer a simple question. “When does the next ferry leave?”

“Missed it by two hours. Next will be days. Now politely I must ask you to step aside.

Delphia’s charms have little pull over these dwarves.

Soon, another dwarf mentions an alternative but doesn’t recommend it. When pushed, he says for them to seek out the Kenku known as Kocurra. This dwarf then pushes past them. The mul strongly wanted to strike the dwarf down for this slight but restrains himself. Not so the next dwarf they speak to whom spits on her when asked where to find the bird man. Even as he begins to choke the startled dwarf she spots a Kenku near the shore line watching the construction.

“There- a Kenku. It has to be him. How many Kenku live in this settlement?”

She goes down to see the creature. Balik is torn between remaining at her side or the disciplining of this rude dwarf. Luckily for the dwarf, he decides to go to her side as Torruk has already started off.

“You are Kocurra?” the elven seductress asks.

“If I’m not then why would the dwarves watch me as they do?” he nods softly at the dwarves as they come and go at the beginning of the land bridge.

“We seek a giant to ferry us across to North Ledopolus.”

“Ferry you….?” The bird man only now turns to face you. He sizes up her need and more importantly- her wealth. “Yes. I can contact Silt Howler…. For a fee.”

“How much?” asks the mul fearing a crazed amount.

“The dwarves have cut down the traffic here. Need the money. Five silver. Each.” It then looks back to watch the dwarves with its round black emotionless eyes.

“What!?!” exclaims the mul but he is hushed by Delphia.

“Very well. Agreed.”

“Payment first.”

“Giant first.” She calmly says while matching his determination.

Silence.

A few feathers on his neck ruffle. “Stubborn like a dwarf. Very well. Five now and ten when he comes.”

“Agreed.”

She watches intently as he pulls something out of his tunic. Something like a charm on a necklace. The Kenku businessman concentrates on the trinket then puts it back. “He comes.” He looks at her hoping for the ten silver but finds he must wait.

A few dwarves stop to watch them. Their distain can be felt by them. Obviously there is bad blood between the Kenku and this Silt Howler between the dwarves. An hour goes by.

“How much longer?” Delphia asks.

“He has heard.”

Another hour passes.

“When and don’t say he has heard.” Growls the mul.

The Kenku whistles in a voice that seems strangely familiar. It is Delphia’s.

As the mul decides to swat the mocking birdman something can be seen in the distance within the silt.

Wading through the silt is an incredibly large giant with a wolf’s head (Beast-Head Giant). “Behold- Silt Howler.” The giant has twin cages supported by a long pole and giant hair rope. “Are those cages… for us?” asks the half-giant in disbelief.

“I don’t do cages.” Growls the mul just suppressing his fear.

“For me?” his elven mistress asks.

“For a short time…. If I must.”

Two hours later……

The mul is sitting on the floor of the cage with the elf sitting on his lap hoping to calm him. He is greatly agitated being caged… and carried over ten to fifteen feet of silt.

In the language of giants, Torruk asks the giant many questions. The giant has little to say to the small people. The basics of what is learned is he hates dwarves, the “shallows” are a family secret handed down from giant to giant. One mis-step could lead to drowning in silt. He hates dwarves. There is nothing to worry about in this deep of silt.

Two more hours go by and the ever observant elf spots something in the near distance…. An island. When pushed, the giant admits it is Ledo, his home.

At six hours of traveling through the silt in a slightly zig-zag pattern the giant sighs and continues on. Suddenly he screams out loud with an eerie howl like a harmed dog… or wolf. Large Gray tentacles emerge out of the silt entangling his waist.

The giant grunts and concentrates then falters…. “Cannot kill little people also. Bad form.” Whatever psionic power or ability he was about to use he felt would kill them also. He instead reaches for a ballista-like spear he dragged behind him. Though tossed around, little harm comes to the passengers. Torruk doesn’t even fall.

The tentacles withdraw from the cutting edge then attack again. Pained, the giant howls and loses balance briefly. The cage Balik and Delphia are in strikes the surface of the silt. Silt begins to pour into the cage threatening to drown them. Meanwhile, Torruk finds himself thrust into the air and rattled violently.

The giant strikes and stabs again. Suddenly a blast of silt explodes from within the silt sea. The mul chokes on the thick cloud forced at him. Rather than die, the Gray Silt Horror has fled from the giant. Even the silt covers the bottom of the cage the giant stands up and straightens out the cage. An apologetic “sorry. Hasn’t happened in years….” Comes from the embarrassed giant.

It takes a total of ten hours to cross the silt. The darkened sun is beginning set. Dwarves here, still working, glare at the giant. Taunts, curses and promises of ill-fortune are called out in dwarven and common. North Ledopolus dwarves are not as reserved or polite it seems.

As quickly as the three of them hop out of the cages, the wolf headed giant silently turns and leaves.

“So what was that guy’s name?” asks the mul again…. Happy to be out of the cage.

“Scholar Data Place.” The elf says sticking out her tongue at the sound of the name.

“Funny name. Even for a human living with dwarves.” Adds the half-giant.

They try to get directions and find no dwarf will give them time. It appears word of their arrival and means of arrival has spread quickly. It is clear they are not welcomed here.

A few dwarves are nice enough to give hints of direction. Answers like “North, His house you idiot” and one makes the mistake of spitting on the ground. He flees before the mul catches him.

Then a moment of fear- a short humanoid is spotted watching them with amazement. Halfling? They think in a panic. No… it is a human child.

“Child- can you tell us how to find the Scholar Data Place’s home?”

“Perhaps” says the child stepping out of the deeper shadows of an alley.

Taking the hint, she pulls out a ceramic bit from her money pouch and offers it to the child. With a sound of glee and happiness, the child hurries off calling for you to follow…. And keep up. They do… barely. The child takes several more narrow alleys and criss-crosses the settlement then reaches a small well made building. “He lives here.” And rushes in barging through the unlocked door.

The three of them look to each other….. they suspect a trap or some sort of treachery so they hold off.
“We know where he lives. Lets return in the morning.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 28TH DAY OF 3RD MONTH

Sleeping in the sand and silt behind a carpenter’s building they awake and skip breakfast and return to the building the child led them too. They knock and the door is answered by a human woman. “We were expecting you. Come in.” She has you sit in a parlor room. An older human male comes it. “What is it?” he half demands.

Delphia spots the child watching from the entrance of another room. Place’s child.

“We have a message for you from Urik.” Says the elf as she pulls out the scroll. She cannot help herself. She leans over so as to provide a glance at her chest and smiles. If her seduction worked, it doesn’t show on the man whom looks very impatient.

He takes the scroll from her. “Who sent you anyway?!?”

“Templar Senshaw”

At the sound of his name the man pauses abruptly. Softly and with dread he says “He found me.”

Even as he reads the scroll the elf presses on. “We were told you HAD to answer it before we returned to Urik.”

“I am quite sure of that.” Says the man as he reads the scroll. He takes it into his study. She and the half-giant follow. With an ink and quill he writes something on the scroll. Once satisfied it had dried enough, he rolls it up and reheats and stamps the wax seal.

“Knowing Senshaw, you should hurry…..” the Scholar adds.

As they reach the docks Delphia comes to a realization… they have no means to return. The giant is gone, the Kenku is in the south and the dwarves will not help. Quite the opposite.

Unsure what to do they wait for a Silt Skimmer trade ship to come to port. The next day one happens by.

Using every charm she can, she speaks to the captain whom is trying to dock and arrange unloading of cargo. They come to an agreement, for a small fee and the aid of loading and unloading here and in Balic, he will take them. Agreed.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 005
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 4TH DAY OF 4th MONTH

They reach Balic and its navel force. Many skimmers flying the Balic flag rest in a short distance of the city. Some trade flags are also flown.

The city itself is hidden behind a tall stone wall that protects it from the wind and silt and also from raiding giants. Behind the wall is marble columns and stairs that are unique to the city. There is a great deal of speculation and mystery over the city’s ruler. The Sorcerer-King, Andropinis, disappeared several years ago. Recently he returned and brought with him people with a natural psionic talent and high-spirited nature. Rumor has it they are not from the Tablelands.

Not wasting anytime as advised by the Scholar, they leave the city after picking up a few supplies.

They travel quickly through the farmlands of this city. They set up camp and relax. That is until the skeletal warriors attack. Delphia had heard that there aree many undead to the south of the Tablelands but didn’t expect this. She summons up earthen creatures to slow them down as Balik and Torruk beat them down. The tactic works very well.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 6TH DAY OF 4th MONTH

The sharp elven eyes of Delphia spots the bandits before they reach them . They have several moments to prepare spells and powers before the charging kank riders reach them. New elemental creatures are summoned and they block the way. The riders don’t have enough time to stop or even slow their charge. The kanks crash into the small elementals sending riders flying and crashing at the feet of the mul and half-giant. The battle ends quickly. As a bonus, two kanks survive and they take them for travel and the potencially life saving kank honey they have.

They pass Grak’s Pool that day and pass it by.

Once more, they reach Alturak during the late morning and they decide to pass directly through it.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 13TH DAY OF 4th MONTH
Thick clouds hover in the sky. A storm may be brewing. Looking for cover, they find they are extremely exposed in wide open terrain in the Stoney Barrens between the mountains of Alturak and the oasis of Abalath.

Using storm gear of cloths and tarps they prepare a spot for the three of them. Delphia and Balik each have scarves and goggles. The wind does pick up and begins to howl in the distance. The kanks chitter and tremble. They do not have cover and remain exposed. The winds become stronger and soon they can feel the weight of the tossed sand on their backs. They have to shout to be heard. That is why about twenty minutes into the storm they hear the kanks in distress. They are certain the storm is tearing into them. Forty minutes later the kanks are quiet. Shortly after that the winds begin to calm.

Once they believe the storm has stopped, they crawl out from under the desert survival tarp and find…. No more kanks. Then a clawed hand tries to grab the elf before she has gotten free of the ground.

“Anakore!” she calls out.

She and the others decide to run for it. (unaware of their weakness from the sun) They do outrun the creatures.

190 KA- DESERT FURY 18TH DAY OF 4th MONTH

Amazingly, there are few conflicts between each of the stops as they reach the farming fields of Urik.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 006
ADVENTURE ONE: LEDOPOLUS
11/26/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 18TH DAY OF 4th MONTH

It is hard to believe but the security and caravan searches have increased.

“How do we get in quickly?” asks Balik already knowing the answer.

Delphia straightens up her hair and cleans her face a bit as she walks up to the front of the line. Several merchants glare at her as she saunters past them. A guard motions to the templar of the gates. He turns to look expecting an angry merchant.

A few quick words of Senshaw, impeding them and consequences gets them through the gate quickly. “I could get to like this.” She teases the Mul.

There are more guards visible on the streets. They are questioning merchants and civilians alike. Many threats of going to the mines or the dungeons.

Wishing to finish the mission and be free of Senshaw’s way, they hurry to locate him. They find him at his own personal home. He will see them in the parlor.

He takes the scroll and opens it up. His aura of evil is palpable as he looks up from it. “Very good. Very, very good.”

He pays the threesome and suggests he may use them again.

They hope to avoid him from now on.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 007
ADVENTURE TWO: RAAM
12/08/16

190 KA- DESERT FURY 4TH DAY OF 5th MONTH

The adventure begins once more at Tembo’s Ten Teeth in Urik…..

Delphia and Balik sit back drinking fermented kank honey ale. Torruk is careful stepping over a body of another drinker whom has had one too many. “More drink.” He rumbles as he sets down two more for them and two for himself.

They listen to rumors and tall tales that include undead, gith armies and rogue defilers in the desert. The normal stuff. What you do not hear is the reason the city gates are closed.

Then someone comes through the door. A man walks in with a fine leather armor with an emblem of two crossed scimitars on a white backdrop. Even his black cape seems brand new. “I am Nado Stevens of House Stel. I am looking for hard workers to replace some of my crew. Is there any interest?”

Low murmurs begin and most fear the possible cause of replacements while thinking about the closed gates. “By working for me, you will receive a Silver ceramic per day along with food and water. You would also leave the city gates with no questions asked.”

That caught a few people’s attention. Delphia and Balik speak up first. The half-giant also goes with them.

“WHOA” is all they can say when they meet Nado at the caravan just outside of the gates. The two story tall cart is being pulled by a mekillot. These gargantuan creatures are well known for their strength but also their appetite. They are warned to stay away from the front. The beast will snag you with it’s tongue and swallow you whole before anyone can stop it.

There are ten human guards, four that ride crodlus, and the psionic beast master that does all she can to control and direct the mekillot. There is also one other surprise. An aarakocra flies over head also. He is very shy of people and has just joined the team today also.

6th DAY OF 5TH MONTH
One guard member, Mallak, has befriended Balik and Torruk. Delphia has “suggested” to Nado that she can help the most by riding the wagon and watch from a window. Her flirtation doesn’t persuade him but learning she is a cleric does.

Though about 110 degrees with a still air the group doesn’t mind it much. There is water on the large cart that is kept somewhat cool being in constant shadow.

They are going to Raam and Mallak warns the new recruits to be watchful of the Black Water Walkers and Zombies. Delphia, knowing of the undead threat asks what the difference is between normal undead and the Black Waters Undead.

With a rotted tooth grin, Mallak laughs. “First time to Raam? There is an oasis near a city ruin that is cursed. The water carries the curse. If any drink from its water you slowly become a savage and barbarian zombie. There are two facts about these that are unsettling- how you slowly and painfully become one and the sheer savagery of them They can move like an elf and strike like a half-giant. Some use weapons…. Others claw, club and bite at you. It is most likely you will see one or the other on this trip. With the grace of Hamanu, only a small grouping.”

“How many are small?”

“Small groups are maybe six or seven. Seen groups over fifty before. You run for your lives if that happens. Guessing that’s why you get treatment lil’ lady. You being a cleric and all.”

Balik is not impressed with the lecherous leer he gives her .

They restart after a short break and Delphia tries to befriend the bird man. He ignores her as he circles around the trade ship.

Suddenly she spots something to the right. A column of sand and earth rises out of the ground and strikes a crodlu rider. As the crodlu goes down also the column becomes a large rocky hand connected to a large earth elemental. She calls out even as the crodlu is now killed also by the crazed elemental.

The large elemental makes short work of another guard on a crodlu before the recently hired guards take action. Strange as it sounds, Delphia summons up smaller elementals to combat the larger as Balik calls out “The Burning Mace” and finishes off the creature.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 008
ADVENTURE TWO: RAAM
12/08/16

8th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

Shortly after crossing the gorge Delphia and Turulkhan spot something in the distance. Figures walking in a group up the road. They watch closely as ten people slowly walk directly at them. Nado has the mekillot stop and the riders to come in closer.

“Black Water Walkers.” Is all he has to say to the psion beast master. Via nods as she mentally calms the beast to a stop. The caravan master walks down the steps and joins Balik, Torruk and a few guards. Delphia watches safely from the top with mild interest. Turkulkhan soars overhead watching for further possible threats.

The people before them walk stiffly but are not undead. Nado refers to them as Black Water Walkers. Being poisoned and cursed to slowly become undead and the worst of it all- be fully aware of it.

The leader, an old man, steps forward even as the others look to the mekillot. They look with longing and desire.

“I am Delok and these are my family and friends. We are here to warn you against drinking from the Black Water Oasis. Consider yourselves warned.”

The cursed people wander away into the desert. Delphia has walked down out of curiousity. “What will become of them?”

Nado, with little emotion on his face answers. “In time they will decompose further and die in agony. Then they will open their eyes as a crazed undead zombie that is very quick and savage. They will charge across the desert destroying anything in their path. Sometimes they come in small groups of six but sometimes in near small army sizes exceeding a hundred strong.”

“Pathetic. Why don’t they just kill themselves?”

“They cannot. Some think it is part of the curse and others say they have hope for a cure.”

She looks at them as they leave and frowns. With a snort of disgust, she begins to release her psionic energy and destroys them from behind. They do not attack her nor flee. They accept the destruction.

Nado silently looks at her. He is uncertain on her motives and cares less to know.

10th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

Though the temperature exceeds 110 today, the caravan continues onward. Delphia continues to ignore the aarakocra whom is shy but seems to want to talk. Too bad for it.

Late evening, just before setting up camp Turulkhan signals that he has spotted something. Nado looks out to the horizon and sees a cloud of dust. Something is coming at them at high speed on the ground. Spells are prepared, powers charged and weapons readied as it appears to be a group of humanoids.

Then as they get to be about hundred feet away Nado recognizes the threat for what it is- Black Water Zombies!

Two dozen of the creatures charge and overwhelm guards on crodlus. Some go after the mekillot even. It surprises them how fast these undead are for being zombie undead. Balik and Torruk work together trying to stop the undead from reaching the caravan. Several get past them and begin to climb up the wheels. Nado and other archers begin to shoot at them. Delphia summons small elementals of earth to try to stop the charging Black Water undead.

The mekillot becomes enraged which makes it difficult for the caravan beast master to control the beast. It tramples four of the undead and begins to drag the caravan off the trade road into the desert. Some of the undead grab the edge of the wheel to be brought up while another if thrown back to the ground nearly being driven over.

Guards and a crodlu are overwhelmed and taken down. The undead take a few bites then switch to attack the two warriors. The birdman flies above trying to shoot the undead as they race around the caravan side. Delphia begins to use her psionic powers now blasting at the undead as they try to climb from the top of the slowly rolling wheels to the caravan cart balcony where Nado and others are.

The sun begins to set as the last of the undead are destroyed.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
darksun game.jpg

From left to right- Dan, my son-in-law, Cathy, my daughter, Larry, they adopted snaggle-toothed pup, and Tim my son.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 009
ADVENTURE TWO: RAAM
12/15/16

14th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

There are few guards left. Two that were traveling within the caravan using a bow and of course, Mallak whom fought with Balik and the half-giant. They set up camp once more and begin to trade stories. Mallak is very gullible as Balik has convinced him that he was involved in the death of Kalak in Tyr many years ago.

During these tall tales Torruk realizes the guards on watch have not come by in quite some time. Fearful of another zombie attack, they search for them while being wary of possible threats. The aarakocra finds one guard. He is unharmed by standing away from the caravan in a daze. He lands and tries to awaken him. He doesn’t.

The birdman alerts Nado and the others of the situation. Nado fears Belgoi. He asks the birdman to make a wider circle. He does and spots the other guard face down behind some cacti. Fearing the guard succumbed from an attack from the plant decides to let the others know instead of landing.

Balik checks on the body. The guard is dead. He has many small bite marks and injuries suggesting he was nibbled on before being found. Then it happens. Balik hears a bell but ignores it. Torruk doesn’t. dazed… he begins to wander away from the group.

Turkulkhan spots the cause- a belgoi. Balik zeroes in on it as it tries to also control him but fails. Everyone begins to attack the lone belgoi. No one spots the second belgoi whom sneaks away. The one belgoi that was seen is taken out.

15th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

They are nearing Raam. They should reach the fields surrounding the city-state the next day. It is a repeat of the prior night. Short on guards, they do longer watches and they must work in groups of two or three.

While the mul gladiator and half-giant warrior begin to attack two begoi they discover two more nearby. The half-giant is feeling the pain of his strength being drained. Arrows from Nado and psionic blasts from the elven wilder bring the other belgois down.

16th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

They reach the outskirts of Raam.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 010
ADVENTURE TWO: RAAM
12/15/16

16th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

Much like Urik, the paranoia and security is high. Slaves work the fields while being watched by whip handlers. Unlike other city-states however, Raam is a city under near civil war conditions. Nado talks to the team about the city of Raam. Albeche-Re was the ruler. She cared little for the people. But when she disappeared a few years ago the templars seized control. This control didn’t last for long once others learned the templars had no magic anymore. Overnight, there were new factions gaining power and over throwing the templars. Some templars, ones with the better alliances or had magic powers beyond what was given to them by their ruler, held onto some city blocks and the palace. Merchants took power. Generals took power. Even elves of the Night Runners clan seem to have established some power within the city.

For the most part, the people see little change however. Slaves are still worked and whipped. Veiled Alliance factions still skulk in the shadows. But there is also another new power unlike any other. There is a half-giant that promotes peace.

The remaining guards and the others remain behind to guard the caravan wagon while arrangements are made to empty and reload the caravan. Nado also hopes to hire more guards also.

Within the first two hours, the Mellikot consumes one slave that wanders too close to the creature and teaches the others, slaves and slave drivers alike, to give lots of distance and respect to the creature.

Walking slowly but wide of the mekillot, a young woman guides an elderly blind woman. As they pass Balik and Torruk, the old woman stops. Leaning heavily on her cane, she begins to speak.

“Curse lifters travel thru the storm. They witness the old and new powers in conflict. It is how it begins.”
She seems to age further as she nearly swoons . “Granda-Mah!” the young woman calls out as she steadies the old woman.

Nado returns shortly. He has made arrangements with his house to unload the caravan. They will leave the next morning.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 011
ADVENTURE THREE: BLACK FLAMES
12/15/16

17th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

The caravan moves slowly across the hot sands. They pass the same fields as before and try not to judge or pity the slaves as they pick and harvest the low food yield that exists here. Delphia sits up high scanning for distant threats. However, in truth she is thinking about ways to better herself. Caravan work is hard and that is not what she wants her life to be like. Balik walks along protecting the caravan and his source of security- the elf. He knows she is using him, much as the slavers use the people in the fields but he is okay with that. Turkulkhan soars high up to look everywhere. He doesn’t truly understand why people feel they are free if they are not flying. Here, in the air, soaring on the warm thermals and soft winds he has true freedom. But that is why he is here after all- to explore. Torruk lumbers along without much concern. He has water and food. He has companionship. Life is good.

Nado is uncertain. He has hired another 15 caravan guards. Will that be enough? He lost eight traveling here and the sky still seems dark in the distance. If he can just make it back to Urik….

18th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

The sand shifts and tumbles gently in the increased wind. The birdman sometimes finds himself flying higher or further away than he had intended. This may not be so bad today however. He spots something rising and falling in the sand and earth….. something coming their way. He calls out a warning to Delphia whom passes on the warning to Nado as an Earth Elemental dreadnaught rises and pounds a crodlu and its rider into the ground.

They move forward quickly to save whomever they can. Nado begins to loose his new caravan people quickly as Torruk and Balik come around the caravan. Balik takes several hard blows (a crit) and Torruk can’t seem to get a good shot on it. The elven Wilder cleric summons up her own earth elementals but they cannot stop the larger and much stronger one. Crystalline spikes deflect Nado’s arrows and many of the caravan’s attacks. Balik receives a second devastating blow (2nd crit- near max) and he turns to look at his beloved… the reason he exists. Before he can call or motion to her he is killed by the Dreadnaught. Torruk pounds at it and Delphia in anger blasts at it with her psionics until it seeps back into the ground.

Balik is dead.

20th DAY OF THE 5th MONTH

Temperatures are high, above 110. Torruk is keeping more distance than usual from the caravan. Shortly after Balik died and was buried, Delphia began to flirt with him. It made him very uncomfortable so he has decided to distance himself from her.

She collected most of his belongings as he was “owned” by her so it was her rite. No one, even Nado, disagreed.

Flying high up, Turkulkhan spots dust in the distance. He is uncertain if it is a dust storm or something coming. If it is something coming it is either very big or has many individuals causing it. Delphia has spotted it also and scans for a closer look. Nado spots it before either call to him. He calls for the caravan to stop and hold steady.

In time a lone figure is seen running down the road. Nado scoffs at the thought that this person is raising this big of a dust cloud. They wait. The dust the figure is raising covers the real cause of the much larger cloud.

A lone man appears running. He appears to be running for his life. When demanded to stop he doesn’t. Instead he calls for protection. Nado will do no such thing without knowing what is happening. “Undead….. fast…. Dozens…..destroyed my….. caravan….” Nado thinks not so much about protecting the new comer, he thinks about dealing with the undead and picking the bones of the destroyed caravan. Profit is profit, no matter how one comes across it.

“Defensive line!” He calls for as the first of the undead can be seen. The caravan guards are not happy about this. Delphia spits out a bit of sand in disgust. “Black Water Undead….. great.”

Over four dozen Black Water Undead stream forward down the road directly at the caravan. Whether it is for the survivor or a new target is unclear and doesn’t really matter.

The defensive line holds as caravan guards, Torruk and small earth elementals rise to face the charge. A few guards do falter and these are quickly overwhelmed by the rush and taken down.

The battle is not short. Torruk goes down to be revived at one point. Nado’s arrows protect the flanks along with Turkulkhan’s efforts. Again, the undead foolishly attack the mekillot whom is still injured from the dreadnaught attack (he took several hits also).

In the end, only eight caravan guards survive and most of them are injured. They are forced to stay there for the night. Delphia does what she can to heal the brutish Mekillot and when forced to- the guards.

The new member is Tanis. He is a soulknife lacking courage. He is picked on by survivors as he ran and tried to use the caravan cart and the Mekillot as a shield.

All during this, Nado watches the dark sky…. The year of Desert’s Fury is living up to its namesake.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
DARKSUN: RUINS OF DESTRUCTION
SEGMENT 012
ADVENTURE THREE: BLACK FLAMES
01/01/17

20th DAY OF 5TH MONTH

“What do make of it?” asks the psion beast master.

“Powerful storm. Maybe magical.” Answers Nado as he covers his eyes to better stare at the distant dark clouds.

“Steer the mekillot to the left.”

“I will but is that wise?”

“I am testing a suspicion. A suspicion I hope I am wrong on.” Nado watches the storm clouds with a stern stare.

“The clouds are moving to intercept us.”

“Stop the caravan. Get everyone sheltered.”

Turkulkhan lands on the caravan roof. “The winds are growing dangerously strong.” Before Delphia can answer Nado calls for them to get to safety.

Torruk squeezes under the caravan. Tanis also works his way under the caravan. The other guards try to also fit there or at least on the sheltered side of the wagon with the crodlus that have thus far survived the undead and other hazards of the desert.

The wind begins to build quickly. The mekillot leans into the winds with its head down. One crodlu begins to howl as the sand is blown into its exposed body. Sores develop on its thick scales and hide.

Delphia decides to cover up within the cargo. As she moves to do so, the caravan begins to shudder. Even as she begins to curse in elven…. She feels the wagon rock. Extreme dark then light happens as lightning can be seen. Blue lightning streaks side to side in the sky…. Not down from the clouds.

Torruk calls out as he suddenly feels exposed. The winds are lifting the wagon off the ground!!!!! Delphia shrieks as she is thrown out of the wagon as it lifts and begins to move in a circular motion. Turkulkhan is also thrown out a window. He tries to fly with the winds but finds they are too violent.

The sky turns black. Though it is first thing in the morning, it is completely dark. People find their lungs emptied of air and skin treated like sand paper.

Then everything goes black.
 
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