Dark Sun - A Veiled Alliance cityscape campaign

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Intro
Intoductions

Dark Sun

The City Campaign with Veiled Alliance influence…..

Scene 1: Fighting for freedom
Each piece at arena for different reasons
-2 caravan guards? (gladiator, primal guardian)
-3 slaves
-1 spectator (noble)

A large crowd gathers for the gladiatorial games. They are unhappy as the games are not going well. It’s been a slaughter; combatants either have dealt with the beasts much too quickly or the beasts slew the combatants without a hitch. The day is hot, the crowd became unruly and the slave trader Nug, the Mul caravan leader who brought todays combatants here has been thrown into the ring. His leg lies at your feet (point to guards) and his entrails adorn the cactus in the center of the ring.

(Guards) Your master is dead, you’ve been re-branded and told you are now part of the entertainment. You stand in the center of the ring waiting to fight for your life.

(Noble) You stumble back to your seat, slightly intoxicated from the cup of brog in your hand. As you near your chair, you realize it is now occupied by a rather large half giant. You suggest he’s mistakenly taken your seat, he disagrees. You find your self floating through the air over the heads of the other patrons, time slows as you fall, over the wall of the arena and settling into the sand below.

(Slaves) You’ve been in the situation before, fighting desperately for your lives. Today is no different. Should you win your matches today, you may eat tonight, else you may be the one being served. Four other slaves stand in front of you, one of them pissing himself while waiting for the gates to open.

(Guards) Your equipment is in tact, the gladiatorial organizers have informed you they will collect your things off your cold, lifeless body.

(Noble) The guards refuse your re-entrance to the stands. They find your situation comical and look forward to the spectacle that is to be your end. They urge you to pick through the items left behind by those others who have shared your fate. You insist they’ve made a mistake. “Hrmph” says the guard to your left, “so is this then” he tells the other guard as he presses a red hot brand to your forehead. You fall unconscious.

(Slaves) Sun pours through the portcullis separating you from the crowd. They scream for your blood, the raw primal energy of their chanting drives your body to prepare itself for war. Your blood pressure rises, your cheeks begin to flush highlighting the tattoo that marks you as a slave on your cheek, and the sweat begins to pour from your face.

The gates open, the light shining in blinds you momentarily as your comrades rush out to meet the crowd. You hear a series of thuds and liquidy squishing as something wet hits your forehead. A quick inspections reveals you appear to have been splashed with their blood.

“GET MOVING!” is shouted from behind you as you are escorted onto the arena floor.

Scene 2: Gladiatorial games
Encounters 1-3
Halflings
Silt Runners & Sun Sickness
The gladiator

Scene 3
You stop to catch your breath in the hot desert sun before the next opponent is escorted out. The sweat tricking from your head down your ears muffles the roaring sounds of the next monstrosity you are to face. The crowd cheers at the sight of an enormous lizard like creature being hauled out in a cage made of large timber. A moment of despair washes over you as you realize in a few moments time, this creature will be freed of its bonds and its attentions focused on you.

Gasps and shrieks hail from the audience while a shadow creeps in to provide cover from the shade. The temperature noticeably drops; a great relief in this sweltering heat. Instead of taking enjoyment in this brief respite however, the crowd begins to scramble, climbing over each other to reach the exits and flee.

The burley pit crew working to release the bonds of the lizard takes notice of the crowd; they too begin to shriek like little girls as they flee in terror. The great beast roars out in frustration, the guards had almost finished releasing it of its bonds. It begins to push and kick at the structure surrounding it.

You finally look to the sky to see what all the commotion is about, perhaps its the dizzying effect the sun can have on you that made you hesitate so long, perhaps you were just scared as well. To your amazement, a small town sized creature begins making its decent upon the area stands.

“What can you decipher about this situation?”

*Perception check 15 – You can see there are people, many people riding this creature. All are armed and equipped well with the armor and weapons slave traders prefer, long spears, bolas and nets, etc.

*Perception check 20 – This creature truly does resemble a small town. Small one room huts and tents are scattered across the top of this beast; flanking them are small but study cages, enough to carry a hundred people or so if jammed together tightly.

*Nature check 15 – The creature above you is an elder cloud ray. See MM for more info.

*History, Dungeonering, Streetwise check 25 – You’ve heard tales of raiders such as these, these are no slave traders, the captives these thugs seek will not be seen again.

*Insight check 15 – The situation is grim, even more so than before, the lizard on the other side of the arena has broken through.

Smoke billows from somewhere in the town, the sounds of a riot underway fill the air, its momentum is building.

From the corner of your eye you notice the head of a Dwarf peering out from behind a small hidden door in the wall of the arena. You recognize the Dwarf as Dulge, the gladiatorial pits’ physician and mortician. He carries scars across his face, has a wide stance and strong muscular shoulders, like all the dwarves of Athas, he is hairless. He speaks in a hoarse whisper “c’mon than o’er here now”. begin moving lizard toward group

You have only a moment to decide, which path will you choose?

Assuming the adventurers go with Dulge he leads them through narrow tunnels descending below the sand to a hidden room. The room is dimly lit but large enough to accommodate all of you. The only available seating is that which can be found on the cots surrounding the outer walls. Three of them are taken, two by a half-giant and the other by a human female, neither look as though they carry the spark of life. The half-giant is the son of Nug, a gladiator by trade but treated no better than you were. You heard he had in fact died this morning, the cause of the crowds’ dis-amusement and the bloody remnants of Nugs’ body to be strewn about the pit.

Dulge points to a table that holds a bucket of water, some flatbreads, and cactus fruit. “Ere” he says “take sum o’ dis it’ll help. I need ta know I can trust ye here wit ‘em two and my lil hold up ‘ere so tell me bout yourselfs and why ur in this predicament. What caused ya to become mapfaces, and tell it straight, I’ll know if ya don’t. Ye first” he growls and points to a pc.

group introduces themselves and provides background story

*Dulge asks them what they are going to do next and reminds them they are now marked as slaves and presumed to be dead. Will have to stay in hiding and if they don’t cause no trouble, are welcome to stay here.

*Dulge tells the party he thinks he knows someone who can remove those marks or at least knows someone who can tell them who they can speak to. But it ain’t here and they’ll have to head to the city to get it done. Those obscene tattoos mark them as slaves and will hinder them at every pass.

*The party will have to be snuck out and at great risk to Dulge. He asks the pcs what they can offer him as compensation.
Side missions, wealth, or information would be accepted.
To prove their worth, pcs could take out the Elf, Whitlan Duskwalker

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Dulge is lost
Dulge

Sorshana, being the clever and devious minx that she is, is tired of hiding and curious about the true nature of Dulge. So she follows him. When Dulge reaches his door, it’s obvious he knows something is up.

“I see that the pain and terror have not yet dulled your curiosity. How strange we must seem to you, like monsters from the old tales. Our raids seem random. We rarely steal from those we slay and, even then, we take only food, water and essential supplies, never trade goods. Those we capture alive are never sold, nor even kept, as slaves. We kill quickly when we must, slowly and agonisingly when we can. And, now that you yourself face that fate, you still wish to know why.

Know that I bear you no personal malice. Therefore, I will satisfy your curiosity. We were soldiers, once, in a great war that ended millennia before you were born. The sun burned golden then and the land beneath it was green and lush. You must have romanticized that this world was different once.

Our lord sought to cleanse the world, to return it to those who had first ruled it. And we were his greatest warriors, born of mortals like yourself, but invigorated with our lord’s sorcerous might. We were his most loyal servants, far more loyal, it turned out, than his trusted lieutenants. Those fools thought his purpose was to deliver the world into their grasping hands. So blinded were they by their own avarice and pride, they thought him as shortsighted as they. They were the very ones who had ruined the world with their unthinking greed. Why should he, whose purpose was redemption, give the world he had saved back to those who had despoiled it?

When they learned the truth, they turned against him. They have doomed this world, merely in order to rule some infinitesimal specks of it as petty tyrants for a few short millennia before the end comes and devours everything in fire.

But we, our lord’s last faithful servants, still have reason to hope. And you should be grateful. Instead of merely fading into nothingness in the Grey, your soul will serve a great purpose.Our own souls are already sworn to him, but so too are the souls we reap in his holy name. Every soul we send shrieking into the Grey finds its way to our lord’s side, and each soul is a weapon. We have found over the millennia of our exile, that certain strong emotions can forge these souls into more potent tools to aid our lord. Terror, despair, anguish, even rage and hatred: all these emotions we seek to instil in our prey before we send their souls to our lord.
It is like the process by which iron was turned into steel to make swords long ago, when there was still enough iron in the world and the secrets of its forging were not confined to our people alone. Thus, we forge weak mortal souls into useful tools, through the proper application of the furnace of terror and the hammer of agony.

He will rekindle the cleansing of this world. The blood of the impure will soak the barren sands, bringing life back to this world through their deaths. With our aid, he will return the sun to its proper state as a bringer of life and hope rather than the baleful flesh-warper and death-bringer it is today. The oceans will return from beneath the earth to wash away the taint of the wicked.

Oh, you wonder what we hope to gain from all this? Do we expect our lord’s undying gratitude?

No. We are monsters. We are the damned. We recognise that there will be no place in this new world for us. Like the prophets of old, we are blessed with the foreknowledge of Paradise regained, but doomed never to see it with our own eyes.

Now, perhaps, you understand us a little better. I can see that you think us insane. Perhaps we are. But we have something you will never know. Hope. Not some expectation of mere personal advancement, the pathetic aspiration of a slave that she may one day taste a few scraps from her uncaring master’s table. Our hope is for the redemption of the world itself.

For you, there is only pain now. And, eventually, the sweet release of death. You will beg for it before long. They all do; as will the friend who accompanied you here last time. We’ll find him too, and you’ll be joined together again.

But do not weep, for him or for you. It’s a waste of good suffering.”

You hear the scrape of a blade on a leather hide and an exasperated breath fleeing a large body.

The group waits too long and find that they are too late to save Dulge.

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Leading the caravan

Rhotan’s caravan consists of three sand skiffs Rhotan’s group consists of himself, two sand skiff pilots, and six deckhands (two per sand skiff). Rhotan pilots one of the skiffs himself.
Rhotan and his crew are not warriors; they expect the characters to do all the fighting. In fact, for the first leg of the adventure, the trek to Silver Spring, Rhotan expects the characters to scout a full day ahead and deal with whatever danger the desert presents before the caravan can run afoul of it. In addition, the caravan does not enter the Canyon of Gothay until the characters have found the vault of Darom Madar and given the all clear.
In the third act of the adventure, things change a bit. Laden with treasure, Rhotan keeps the heroes close to the caravan on the journey to Tyr. The characters must not only defend themselves from the dangers of the Athasian wilderness, they must ensure that Rhotan and his crew survive.
Fleeing the fort
While getting aquainted with Rhotan, you can hear the rumble of a large host moving throughout the fort, seemingly toward you. A dust cloud confirms the host’s presence. Balazar looks over and asks “coming for you?” and laughs, the brief note of fear that can be seen from the corner of your eye confirms his suspicions. “We best get going then, Hi’Ya!!” he begins to direct the other drivers forward as he directs his whip at the Crodlus. The wagons spring into action, lurching forward.

As you break through the gates, a herd of wagons can be seen turning the corning, bringing forth a swarm of town guards. You can hear the bloodlust in their voice as they call for your head. “Stop the slaves, stop the slaves. Defiler” They are quickly gaining speed, what will you do?

Skill Challenge
Level: 1 (XP 100)
Complexity: 1 (requires 4 successes before 3 failures)
Primary Skills: Endurance, Perception, Stealth
Special: Success in the skill challenge requires 4 successful primary skill checks. Each of the three pri- mary skills must be used at least once, in any order, before any of them can be attempted a second time. After that, they can be used in any mix and order the players choose.
Endurance (DC 10, group check; 1 success): Your group is tough enough to survive even the relentless heat of the Athasian sun.
Perception (DC 10, group check; 1 success): Keen eyes and direction sense keep you headed in the right direction.
Stealth (DC 10, group check; 1 success): Dangers abound in the Athasian wilderness, but they can be avoided if your group is quick and quiet.
Secondary Skills: Bluff, Heal, Nature
Special: If a primary skill check earns a failure for the group, then one character can use one of these secondary skills in an attempt to convert that failure into a success.
Bluff (DC 13; 0 successes, 1 attempt per primary skill group check): By creating a diversion that keeps hostile humanoids and monsters from noticing your group, you convert a single character’s failed Stealth check into a success as part of the Stealth primary group skill check.
Heal (DC 10; 0 successes, 1 attempt per primary skill group check): By treating the emerging symp- toms of heat exhaustion and sun sickness before they become debilitating, you convert a single character’s failed Endurance check into a success as part of the Endurance primary group skill check.
Nature (DC 13; 0 successes, 1 attempt per primary skill group check): By carefully navigating the harsh Athasian wilderness and avoiding its worst flora and fauna, you convert a single character’s failed Percep- tion check into a success as part of the Perception primary group skill check.
Success: The characters reach the next encounter unharmed and intact. They have had ample time to rest and have maximum hit points and all powers available to them.
Failure: Group failure (not individual failure) at a primary skill check has the following results.
Endurance: Each time the group as a whole fails at this skill check, every character who failed the Endur- ance check individually is exposed to sun sickness (Dark Sun Campaign Setting page 199).
Perception: Each time the group as a whole fails at this skill check, every character who failed the Perception check individually gains a cumulative -1 penalty to all subsequent Perception checks made as part of this skill challenge.
Stealth: If the group as a whole fails at this skill check, they have a combat encounter with one of the desert’s many dangerous inhabitants. Choose and run one of the following optional encounters.

Crimson Oasis
Halfway between Bremil pass and Silver Spring lies a small, nameless oasis that is little more than a muddy pool in a shallow, sandy depression. This humble oasis has long served as an important way station for travelers making the dangerous trip across the Tablelands. Recently, bandits calling themselves the Crimson Vipers have taken up residence at the oasis and have been mercilessly killing and robbing desert travelers who stop there.
The Crimson Vipers are led by Drokan, a dwarven priest, and his longtime companion in villainy, a half- ling wilder named Yassi. The rest of the gang consists of three human warriors, all of whom are considered expendable by Drokan and Yassi.
Knowing how vital the oasis is to desert travelers, the Crimson Vipers typically let their victims come to them. When an approaching dust cloud is spotted, Yassi ranges out to scout the approaching travelers and gauge their strength. Large, well-armed caravans are left unmolested, and the bandits make themselves scarce while such unattainable prey uses the oasis. Smaller groups are ambushed, murdered, stripped of valuables, and then buried in the desert.
The approaching characters fall into the latter group.
The characters can avoid walking into an ambush if they spot Yassi before they reach the oasis. The characters can spot the halfling wilder while he observes them from a nearby hiding spot place. Yassi remains at least 20 squares away from the approach- ing characters while observing them and uses natural cover for concealment. His passive Stealth check is 19; at a range of 20 squares, however, the characters need a Perception check of 23 to spot the hidden halfling. If the characters see Yassi, he immediately springs up and sprints back to the oasis to warn Drokan. If the heroes fail to spot him, he lets them pass by, then sneaks back to the oasis to join in the ambush.
If the characters spot Yassi, read:
Sudden movement among the rolling dunes ahead catches your eye. A small, lithe form springs up from behind a low dune and races off to the north, away from your group.
Once the characters reach the oasis, the Crimson Vipers are ready for them, hiding in the sparse scrub around the muddy pool. The bandits have a passive Stealth check of 11. If the characters spotted Yassi before reaching the oasis, give them a +2 bonus to all Perception checks made to spot the hiding bandits.
Approaching the oasis
Calling this muddy hole in the ground surrounded by desert scrub an oasis is an overstatement. However, even muddy, foul-tasting water is welcome relief from the desert. Before you can contemplate your first sip, the oasis erupts into violent action as three armed men burst from cover and charge toward you.
SilVer Spring oaSiS
Silver Spring oasis has long stood as a vital stop on the trade route between Urik and Tyr. Its longevity in a desert filled with dangerous monsters and brutal ban- dits is a testament to the skill of the Silver Hand elves who have guarded the fortified oasis for generations. Silver Spring oasis consists of a walled caravanserai within which stands the “Silver Spring,” the source
of the oasis’s water and name. Doors along the inner walls lead to sleeping chambers, a common room, food stores, stables, and vaults where traders can safely store their merchandise.
The characters’ goal here is to meet with the elven chieftain Toramund. The elves are known to have quite a bit of desert lore, and Rhotan Vor believes Toramund can tell them much about the dangers that infest the Canyon of Gothay. In addition to any information they may gain, Silver Spring is an ideal place to rest and resupply before heading back out into the desert.
The elves are not fond of traders beyond what they come to sell and buy, and Toramund only meets with those he considers important enough to warrant his attention. If the characters agreed to deliver Iseel’s message to the elven leader, they have an excellent way to gain Toramund’s attention. All they need to do is mention Iseel’s name and that they bear a message from her, and they are whisked through a bewilder- ing array of passages beneath Silver Spring and into Toramund’s presence. Getting the elven chieftain to tell them anything is another matter entirely.
Audience with Torramund
The characters’ attempt to bargain for information from the elven chieftain Toramund can be handled as a pure roleplaying encounter or as a roleplaying skill challenge.
Elves are notoriously tough negotiators; getting them to part with anything, be it information or mer- chandise, is a long, grueling experience not wisely undertaken by the faint of heart. In addition, Tora- mund has risen to his current position by being one of the shrewdest negotiators on the Tablelands.
In other words, the characters have their work cut out for them.
If the characters have Iseel’s message for Toramund and have decrypted its elven cypher, they can gain an edge in the negotiations with Toramund. If the characters decided not to deliver Iseel’s message, they must bribe their way into Toramund’s presence. A bribe of five survival days’ worth of food and water (or the equivalent) is enough to earn them an audi- ence with Toramund. This amount can be reduced to three survival days with a successful Diplomacy check (DC 17) on the elf in charge of who does and doesn’t gain access to Toramund. (Presumably, he will keep most of the bribe for himself.) Let players come up with this idea on their own or hint at it only broadly in their encounter with the guard.
Regardless of how the characters get to Toramund, when they are brought to his secret meeting chamber beneath Silver Spring, read the following aloud:
Your elven guide leads you through a bewildering array of narrow passages that seem to slope ever downward. You were promised an audience with the chieftain Toramund, and as you wind deeper into the labyrinth, you realize you would never had reached him on your own. You may not be able to find your way out again without guide. Finally, you stop before a curtained aperture in a narrow tunnel from which the soft glow of firelight emanates. Your guide pushes the curtain aside and motions for you to enter.
Beyond the curtain, a small, square room holds a single elven man sitting cross-legged on the earthen floor on a woven matt. Like all elves he is long-limbed and rangy, but this elf has a physical presence that most elves lack. An unsheathed obsidian longsword lies casually on the floor just inches from his hand. The elven man fixes you with steel-blue eyes and says, “Here I am. Now what do you fools want?”
Negotiating with Toramund
Level 2 (XP 500) Complexity: 4 (requires 10 successes before 3
failures) Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy Bluff (DC 13; standard action; 1 success, no maxi-
mum): You use your quick mind and silver tongue to exaggerate your group’s abilities in an attempt to impress the elven chieftain.
Diplomacy (DC 13; standard action; 1 success, no maximum): You are a skilled negotiator, and you match your skills well against the shrewd elven chieftain.
Secondary Skills: Endurance, Insight, Intimidate, Nature
Endurance (DC 12; standard action; 1 success max- imum): The elves admire physical endurance. You relate a tale of a grueling physical obstacle your group has overcome recently.
Insight (DC 15; standard action; 0 successes): Reading Toramund’s body language is no easy task, but if you pay close attention, the elven chieftain has a few tells that, once identified, can aid your negotia- tions. You grant a +2 bonus to one ally’s next Buff or Diplomacy check made as part of this skill challenge.
Intimidate (standard action; 1 failure): Any attempt to intimidate Toramund automatically fails and earns the characters a failure and a 1 penalty to all further skill checks made in the skill challenge. Toramund simply does not view the characters as a threat. Nature (DC 12; standard action; 1 success, 1 maximum): Elves respect those who understand the wilds of Athas. You relate some of your knowledge of the natural world in an attempt to impress Toramund.
Success: Toramund tells the characters what he knows about the dangers of the Canyon of Gothay. This knowledge gains them the following benefits, depending on how many failures they earned before completing the skill challenge.
0 Failures: So skilled were the characters in their negotiations that they managed to impress Toramund, and he tells them all he knows about the Canyon of Gothay. The elven chieftain’s detailed informa
tion grants them a +2 bonus to all skill checks in the “Exploring the Canyon” skill challenge in Part 2 and allows them to turn one failure into a success. Fur- thermore, Toramund is so impressed with their drive that he charges them only two survival days of food and water for the information.
1 Failure: The characters did not embarrass them- selves in the negotiation. They gain a +1 bonus on skill checks in the “Exploring the Canyon” skill challenge in Part 2. The characters are charged three survival days of food and water (or the equivalent) for this information.
2 Failures: The characters emerge from negotiat- ing with Toramund looking diminished and foolish, but they got some of what they wanted from the wily chieftain. They gain no bonus or penalty on skill checks in the “Exploring the Canyon” skill challenge in Part 2. The characters are charged five survival days of food and water (or the equivalent) for the scraps that Toramund revealed.
Failure: If the characters fail this skill challenge, they only confirm Toramund’s original assessment of them as weak, foolish outsiders. He gives them only the scantest details about the Canyon of Gothay, which they probably could have gotten from anyone at the oasis. This enables them to find the canyon without incident. If, however, the characters tried to Intimidate Toramund at any point, then he fed them false information along with the rest, and it will lead them directly into danger. In this case, the first time the characters earn a failure in the “Exploring the Canyon” skill challenge and blunder into a combat encounter, they are automatically surprised.

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Dragon's Alter
Alter

VA contact in Nibenay: Marhand Darkin, the Protector – (Male Dwarf Artificer/Blacksmith)
VA scouts report that a large group of individuals is on the move from Ft. Bremil to the south. The group was not seen leaving any of the major city states nor on the road heading to Ft. Bremil. The Fort itself is not large enough to accommodate the residence of such a large quantity of people, making their appearance seem odd and mysterious.
The scouts also report groups of armed men riding on flying cloud rays seemingly herding the group further south, through the salt flats and silt seas to the mountain range directly south of Nibenay. Scouts could not get any closer at time of this report nor have they reported anything new since this report came in yesterday.
In light of recent events, the VA would ask you to investigate as all other agents are currently deployed on other missions.
*
The Dragon’s Altar is located well within the mountains, in a canyon surrounded on all sides by towering, red-stone peaks. The Dragon’s Altar is actually within the caldera of an extinct volcano which erupted in a time so ancient that there is no record of it, not even in the vast memories of the sorcerer-kings. A narrow, winding path leads through a crevasse in the side of the canyon, granting access from the outside. At the bottom of the canyon is a single, massive block of chiseled obsidian—the Dragon’s Altar itself. Though no one knows who carved this obsidian slab, it has been fortified by some external means— magic, psionics, or something else—to remain pristine despite eons of use as a place of hideous sacrifice. The walls surrounding the Dragon’s Altar, on the other hand, have been carved repeatedly by the wretched beings waiting to be claimed by the Dragon .
The Dragon’s Altar is located in the mountains to the south of Gulg and Nibenay and near the Great Ivory Plain. At the base of those mountains lies an archway of carved stone bearing warnings (in the form of both pictographs and rarely- seen written languages of many of the races of Athas) that the region beyond the arch belongs to the Dragon of Tyr. The archway is not hidden but it is relatively small, so only those who know where it lies (or have a map leading to it) can find it readily. Without such knowledge, one could spend days wandering the foot- hills of the mountains, expending precious food and water while searching for the entrance.
Upon passing through the arch, a path winds for several miles through the mountains, where dozens of caves lead into darkness. Taking you off guard are the whispers of the sacrificed dead who call out from those caves to anyone who passes. Luckily for you, the pictographs warned you that those who were brave enough to follow the whispers have never been seen or heard from again, perhaps ferried directly to the land of the dead.
Tribe called alter saulkers makes its home in the system of ancient lava tubes surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. The “whispers of the dead” that people hear as they march toward the Altar are members of the slave tribe trying to lure potential sacrifices away from the Altar and into the safety of the caves before the Dragon arrives. They can save only a few at a time, both because they fear drawing the attention of the templars and because the tribe lacks the resources to absorb more than a few new members at once.
Other than those being sacrificed, templars are the only people of Athas who can openly claim to have visited the Dragon’s Altar and survived. Even when the Dragon is not there and no sacrifice is waiting, templars (in well-guarded entourages) sometimes visit the Dragon’s Altar on missions for the inscrutable sorcerer-kings. Mercenaries hired to accompany these templars tell stories of the visits, but all are different; sometimes the templars claim to be looking for slaves that escaped the Dragon’s wrath, while other times they offer no explanation but spend hours or days per- forming frightening, arcane experiments on the stone surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. Though explorers, dune traders, and raiders have almost certainly journeyed or wandered up the winding path to the Altar, they were either captured and killed by the Altar Skulkers or are too afraid of the stigma attached with standing so close to the shadow of the Dragon to tell anyone about it.
Streetwise  DC30: The escaped slaves of the Altar Skulkers tribe live in caves surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. The first Altar Skulkers were slaves who chose to risk their lives in the dark caves lining the path to the Dragon’s Altar rather than face the Dragon itself. The caves led them to a network of lava tubes where they could live without fear of discovery. The Altar Skulkers are a paranoid tribe who want their secret protected at all costs. On occasion, they rescue a few sacrificial victims by drawing them off the path to the Altar. When necessary, the Altar Skulkers send representatives to meet with dune traders at neutral locations and bring back supplies for the entire tribe. They use the spoils of attacks against visitors to the Dragon’s Altar to pay for their goods but live a meager existence nonetheless.
The Altar Skulkers are a slave tribe that has lived in the caves surrounding the Dragon’s Altar for decades, if not centuries. They use the area’s reputation to their advantage; since most right-minded people fear visiting a place so tainted by the Dragon, there are few visitors that the Altar Skulkers need to hide from or kill to preserve their secret. In essence, the superstition about the Dragon’s Altar, no matter how valid, serves as the tribe’s greatest defense against discovery.
Despite the rarity with which the Dragon’s Altar gets visitors, the Altar Skulkers have developed a relatively sophisticated system for warning against the approach of visitors. Lookouts wearing animal skins stained with red clay lurk in the peaks surrounding the rim of the caldera. They relay warnings to one another with a series of hand gestures. These scouts have learned to remain so still while on watch duty that (with the help of their cloaks) they appear to
be stones rather than men. When templars or other visitors approach, the tribe moves deeper into the supposedly haunted caves and waits out the visit. If the intruders are few in number, the Altar Skulkers may decide to ambush and slay them, then claim
the travelers’ belongings for their own. In the rare event that the Dragon comes to the Altar, the Skulk- ers have plenty of warning. They can retreat through their caves to a place so deep underground that the Dragon’s defiling does not touch them.
Caldera
If pcs continue through path: Upon nearing the peak of an interior mountain, you come across an unnatural bridge spanning to another peak where you can see the path starting to make it’s decent to the caldera. The path here is roughly 20ft wide and unusually sturdy. The path is obviously well warn, pointing to often use over decades if not centuries of heavy foot and cart traffic.
A strong odor catches you by surprise as the wind picks up, carrying the stench of sulfur and directing you to the  lower reaches of the scene before you. A field of open earth lies below on the far distant path’s end scattered with bursts of flowing and erupting lava. The smoke plumes can’t quite hide the massive hoard of people gathered at the center of this massive area. It’s impossible to tell from this distance just how many are gathered as the scale of the site reminds you of a colony of ants all descending upon a newly found carcass. Surely, there must be thousands.
Perc: 22: the gathering crowd appear to be attached, perhaps a rope or vine connects one to another
Perc 25:  All around the perimeter and scattered throughout the crowd, men wielding great spears and whips seem to be directing the crowd to stand or gather around a central point, perhaps a rather large stone or dais?
The wind picks back up, bringing in a fresh supply of sulfur cloud to obscure the view below. The decent downward makes for an easier trek than making it up to this point. The spiraling path, while still in good repair, begins to take you through a much more harsh environment. Devoid of any plant life, even the rock down here is stained black by a past eruption.
Far off in the distance, the weak sounds of screams, moaning and cries for help can be made out between the loud noises made by lava flow. Overhead, the air begins to stir, like that of a jet wash, as something has taken flight and has begun fleeing this range.
Around the next corner, you can hear several individuals speak aloud in the common tongue " I don’t know how they would have escaped, but Doolf said they must have and were heading down here. When she heard that, Doolf was sent back on patrol to find better coordinates of where they are now and she told us to start heading up there, it’s to happen soon".
Stealth check: DC15. Pass = surprise round, Fail = spotted and attkd.
In rd 3 of fight, all knocked prone, weakened (save on start of turn ends), lose 1/4 remaining hp and 1 surge. Audible gasps for breath can be heard on a massive scale, followed by a sound that reminds you of what horribly dry bread would make when crushed, sort of a crackling as it fades to dust. A horrific beastly scream ensues followed by the sounds of flapping wings.
Perception / Arcana 15: cause was obviously defilement
Perception / Nature/ Arcana 30: this was a very large scale defilement that came through in a wave, like that of nuke, coming from center of caldera. A great essence of life was just lost from this act.  A great leathery beast has just taken flight from this location.
After defeat, pcs can explore caldera. Find remains of dusted humans, etc. 

View
Salt View
Salt View

Awake:
Perception check (20)
The party is awakened by the sounds of soft clanking outside the shed you’ve been hold up within. The Kanks you’ve brought with you give off a snort and a short stamp of the feet. It’s quite obvious to you that something or someone is out there and digging through your hard earned stash.

As you look / go outside you spot 3 humanoid figures digging through your cart, paying no attention to you. (Perception 25 reveals a 4th individual untying one of the Kanks from the post you tied it to.) When noticed, the 3 humanoids surrounding the cart stand at attention, hands going to hips where presumably a weapon is sheathed. Before you stand 2 what could be elves and a thri-kreen (insight 20+ reveals their hostility is probably driven because you have caught them off guard)

A raspy voice to your left speaks to you “Settle down boys I don’t believe these are with them, are you?” The 4th creature is familiar to some of you, red leathery skin, golden eyes, long pointed fingers, and horns growing from the side of his head in a upward direction. Across his face lies an unusual marking, perhaps not inked on but a differentiation in skin tone. (perception / history 15 reveals this mark is the same as Au-Rokan, the 6 fingered hand and is in fact a birth mark).

“Ishmale, Dravik, Chu – relax your weapons. These men only mean to secure what is theirs”. “I apologize, we did think it odd that they would leave such things behind and that anything survived after that atrocity”. I saw you, I saw you while you were being watched, I saw you when you came up the mountain pass. Alone you came, yes?” “Yes, alone I think. If you were with them, you would have left with them. So who are you?”

“Ah me? I am Mokari. Born and raised here in the Salt Meres, Elder of the Alter Sulkers. We would normally not allow outsiders to know of us but since you are here…” “Why are you here?”

Mokari is polite and does invite the group to join them for salt and bread.

If the party joins the sulkers, they will be led through miles of cavernous lava tubs to a rather large opening, mimicing a large hall. While the hall is majoraly natural, it is still filled with stalagmites and stalactites, it has been carved to make the space more hospitable. The space is dimly lit with dung fires and carries with it a pungent aroma. Makshift shelters dot the landscape as a swell of feeble peoples swarm about their daily tasks. Most are pale and appear to be malnourished. Races and genders vary greatly.

Josh History 30: Mark of the Six-Fingered Sign
The mark that commoners scrawl into the walls of their enemies’ homes is a pale echo of the potent and rare glyph that it imitates.
Long ago, when the sorcerer-kings were still solidifying control of their city-states, a powerful preserver from Balic named Balodoro stood against the defiling tyrants. So great was the threat posed by the preserver that the sorcerer-kings set their squabbles aside and briefly united to destroy him. Upon his death, the preserver uttered a powerful curse upon his enemies, saying that his hand would reach forward through time, and that everything
it touched would be purged from the world by his vengeance.
Balodoro’s words are long forgotten, and the magic he used to cast his curse has dwindled or so some would say.

Tribe called alter saulkers makes its home in the system of ancient lava tubes surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. The “whispers of the dead” that people hear as they march toward the Altar are members of the slave tribe trying to lure potential sacrifices away from the Altar and into the safety of the caves before the Dragon arrives. They can save only a few at a time, both because they fear drawing the attention of the templars and because the tribe lacks the resources to absorb more than a few new members at once.
Other than those being sacrificed, templars are the only people of Athas who can openly claim to have visited the Dragon’s Altar and survived. Even when the Dragon is not there and no sacrifice is waiting, templars (in well-guarded entourages) sometimes visit the Dragon’s Altar on missions for the inscrutable sorcerer-kings. Mercenaries hired to accompany these templars tell stories of the visits, but all are different; sometimes the templars claim to be looking for slaves that escaped the Dragon’s wrath, while other times they offer no explanation but spend hours or days per- forming frightening, arcane experiments on the stone surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. Though explorers, dune traders, and raiders have almost certainly journeyed or wandered up the winding path to the Altar, they were either captured and killed by the Altar Skulkers or are too afraid of the stigma attached with standing so close to the shadow of the Dragon to tell anyone about it.
Streetwise  DC30: The escaped slaves of the Altar Skulkers tribe live in caves surrounding the Dragon’s Altar. The first Altar Skulkers were slaves who chose to risk their lives in the dark caves lining the path to the Dragon’s Altar rather than face the Dragon itself. The caves led them to a network of lava tubes where they could live without fear of discovery. The Altar Skulkers are a paranoid tribe who want their secret protected at all costs. On occasion, they rescue a few sacrificial victims by drawing them off the path to the Altar. When necessary, the Altar Skulkers send representatives to meet with dune traders at neutral locations and bring back supplies for the entire tribe. They use the spoils of attacks against visitors to the Dragon’s Altar to pay for their goods but live a meager existence nonetheless.
The Altar Skulkers are a slave tribe that has lived in the caves surrounding the Dragon’s Altar for decades, if not centuries. They use the area’s reputation to their advantage; since most right-minded people fear visiting a place so tainted by the Dragon, there are few visitors that the Altar Skulkers need to hide from or kill to preserve their secret. In essence, the superstition about the Dragon’s Altar, no matter how valid, serves as the tribe’s greatest defense against discovery.
Despite the rarity with which the Dragon’s Altar gets visitors, the Altar Skulkers have developed a relatively sophisticated system for warning against the approach of visitors. Lookouts wearing animal skins stained with red clay lurk in the peaks surrounding the rim of the caldera. They relay warnings to one another with a series of hand gestures. These scouts have learned to remain so still while on watch duty that (with the help of their cloaks) they appear to be stones rather than men. When templars or other visitors approach, the tribe moves deeper into the supposedly haunted caves and waits out the visit. If the intruders are few in number, the Altar Skulkers may decide to ambush and slay them, then claim the travelers’ belongings for their own. In the rare event that the Dragon comes to the Altar, the Skulkers have plenty of warning. They can retreat through their caves to a place so deep underground that the Dragon’s defiling does not touch them.
Through Mokari the Alter Sulkers have become a movement known only to few. A movement to bring back a once great power to end the age of oppression. He does not know this great power other than it is a quest of his people to do this great thing. He hopes that by disrupting this annual attack, he may be able to stop it. If asked, he can read the scroll. He describes it as an arcane scroll made with the intent to transcribe a conversation as one would use in a contract negotiation.
Mokari can tell the party about the slave traders stationed at salt view. He notes that a large portion of the inhabitants will have left within the next few days to again start gathering and herding their victims to the alter for the next event.They will take care to avoid the decay directly to the south.
Mokari can tell the pcs that he was brought here while looking for a tree of life if they ask. The continuous storms surrounding the mountains are unnatural, appearing in the same locations, throwing off lighting and thunder and always in the same location.

An even greater ruin lies dead south. A great abandoned city crawling with the remnants of lives past.

Salt View Village

History: An escaped gladiator from the City-State of Raam lead other former slaves to the Mekilott Mountains. They built (in order) a Village, a Wall, Pathways up the mountains, and a Fort.

People: Xaynon (ZAY-non) is a half-elf ex-gladiator, who still bears his slave tattoos. He and his partner, Korsk (a dwarf), escaped 30 years ago. Xaynon is still the Village Leader, although he bears no title. Korsk trains and leads the warriors of the village. Ava, (ay-VAH) a human ex-slave from Nibenay, leads the performers (theatre and dance).

Goods and Services:
Salt: The denziens of the village mine salt, and do so well after so many years. Its hard work, but Salt View is the only place which regularly puts out salt, and brings the village valuable goods in trade.
Raiders: Xaynon and Korsk originally lead raiders in the Ivory Triangle region after their freedom. Xaynon never leaves the village anymore, but Korsk leads raiding parties when the village is in need of supplies, or when hired by other parties.
Traveling Troupes: A few years ago, Ava, a former dervish from Nibenay, escaped and joined the tribe. She free a group of performer slaves, and brought them to the village. She started sending them out as performing caravans, taking some of the warriors with them as protection.
Information: The Traveling Troupes have proven very adept at gathering information, particularly rumors, gossip and a solid grasp on cultural trends.

Choices
Mokari will try to convince the pcs to help him disrupt the Forts activities. A large portion of the militant force will be heading out in the next few days to await instructions and reported payoffs or go home for a bit until the next year, hiding in the neighboring city-states. The fort should be short staffed, less mercenaries, leaving behind some core community, the salt miners and leaders of the fort.

If the pcs go back to Nibenay to report on their sites, 2000xp bonus for following orders as prescribed. VA will send the pcs back to salt view with help (rouge, ranger, and _____)

If pcs go to salt view first, will be escorted to other side of mts and to the base of the fort. Will also get help if ask.

Getting to base must pass patrol can stealth, 15+, intimidate 25, bluff 18

PCs must get through the front gate. Can use bluff, diplomacy of 25+ or fight through. If fight, second patrol comes up on pcs immediately following fight.

Once inside PCs can easily find Xaynon. Fight or persuade, RP.

View
Sorashana refound
Sorashana

Sorashana

Pcs arrive at the Broy House Inn to find Sorashana pushing a broom behind the counter. She looks up and takes notice of you immediately but quickly drops her head to return to the task at hand. “later”.

A young make dwarf stands behind the counter as well. “I help you?” Rooms are 10 silvers, girls and drink are extra.

Sorashana will go up to the rooms if a girl is requested, else she will sneak up middle of the night. If she must wait until mid night, will be up after robbery attempt.

Robbery validate perceptions against sneak roll +7 ______. awake to find someone digging through bags and 1d4 person being stabbed.

After robbery, Sorashana tells the story of why she is here:
Thought she had died, lost contact with PCs, out of water, food, and will to survive. Laid to rest in the heat of the dessert sun to let it all go. She thinks she may have except a sprit of a old dwarven man dressed in clothes of a time long forgotten or a culture unknown to her called her back. The primal spirits called to her to fufill a higher purpose, to save Athas. Visions flashed before her eyes of a mountain surrounded by salt and storms. The storms continually remove debris from a opening in the side of the mountain, they’re trying to guide me to it. So I got up, refreshed, and feeling a new lease on life. I got up and walked westward. I was still weary and it began to become a strain on me. I struggled on only to be picked up by a trading caravan. A slave trading caravan. We were on our way here when they began to speak of meeting their quota and that I might fetch a good price. And so here I am.

She can tell of the society here, led by the half-elf and his human female advisor. Town previously slave -free and fought for anti-slavery causes apparently 40 years ago. But times have changed and money leads people to do crazy things.
As you step forward, you find yourself standing in an oasis, surrounded by fig trees and small song birds singing a lovely tune. A gorgeous female sits at your side in scantalty clad clothing, enticing you for yet another round… The pool sparkles with the rays of the sun and the breeze keeps you cool. Ahh, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Forget what you were going to attempt. Expend the power you were going to use and pretend like nothing is wrong, you don’t attack or heal or move or take opportunity actions. You’re simply too concerned with spending this day at the beach…

As you step forward, you find yourself standing in an oasis, surrounded by fig trees and small song birds singing a lovely tune. A gorgeous female sits at your side in scantalty clad clothing, enticing you for yet another round… The pool sparkles with the rays of the sun and the breeze keeps you cool. Ahh, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Forget what you were going to attempt. Expend the power you were going to use and pretend like nothing is wrong, you don’t attack or heal or move or take opportunity actions. You’re simply too concerned with spending this day at the beach…

As you step forward, you find yourself standing in an oasis, surrounded by fig trees and small song birds singing a lovely tune. A gorgeous female sits at your side in scantalty clad clothing, enticing you for yet another round… The pool sparkles with the rays of the sun and the breeze keeps you cool. Ahh, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Forget what you were going to attempt. Expend the power you were going to use and pretend like nothing is wrong, you don’t attack or heal or move or take opportunity actions. You’re simply too concerned with spending this day at the beach…

As you step forward, you find yourself standing in an oasis, surrounded by fig trees and small song birds singing a lovely tune. A gorgeous female sits at your side in scantalty clad clothing, enticing you for yet another round… The pool sparkles with the rays of the sun and the breeze keeps you cool. Ahh, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Forget what you were going to attempt. Expend the power you were going to use and pretend like nothing is wrong, you don’t attack or heal or move or take opportunity actions. You’re simply too concerned with spending this day at the beach…

As you step forward, you find yourself standing in an oasis, surrounded by fig trees and small song birds singing a lovely tune. A gorgeous female sits at your side in scantalty clad clothing, enticing you for yet another round… The pool sparkles with the rays of the sun and the breeze keeps you cool. Ahh, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Forget what you were going to attempt. Expend the power you were going to use and pretend like nothing is wrong, you don’t attack or heal or move or take opportunity actions. You’re simply too concerned with spending this day at the beach…

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