In The Shadow of the Dead Gods


Having escaped the desert with a piece of the “Crown of Dust” , your first look at the enormous walking citadel Slither you find yourselves in the familiar surroundings of Tyr. Things don’t appear the same though; people are still friendly but seem to keep you at arm’s length. After poking around a bit you find House Tslaka has placed a bounty on your heads, but your hero’s so you shrug it off as part of the trade. But, while talking with people you find a couple interesting things out……

A raider lord named Yarnath the Skull unleashed his forces to harass and disrupt merchant caravans operating near Tyr. The Revolutionary Council was stretched too thin to offer aid, and merchant lords were forced to hire mercenaries to deal with Yarnath. Apparently those mercenaries were successful, because Yarnath’s harassment finally ceased.

Yarnath sought a shrine dedicated to an entity called the Dust Kraken, a kind of sand monster.
Rumor has it that Yarnath has unearthed a powerful relic in the desert, called the blood jewel. The raider lord believes the relic will unlock incredible power-power he could use to one day to raise his status from a mere desert raider to perhaps one day topple a city-state of Athas.

The Sea of Silt is home to a dormant beast of great elemental power known as the Dusk Kraken, Ul-Athra, or the Mouths of Thirst. It is likely the silt horrors that hunt in the sea are the spawn of Ul-Athra. Over the centuries, a number of elemental cults have risen to worship the Dusk Kraken, seeking to rouse the beast from its slumber and use its power against their enemies. These cults perform strange and unnatural rites in the name of their god.
Sometimes, those especially favored by Ul-Athra’s dreaming awareness are rewarded with secrets of powerful elemental magic or vile rituals that summon and bind lesser avatars to the Dusk Kraken.

A bit later our intrepid adventures are met by a lanky elf name Kivrin, a member of a secret organization called the Veiled Alliance. He informs our hero’s he has infiltrated Slither and has found Yarnath has uncovered and acquired an artifact of immense power called the blood jewel. He enlists the help of our adventures to sneak onto Slither in the dead of night and take the blood jewel from Yarnths possession. Being the hero’s they are they accepted the invitation and headed out into the bleak desert with Kivrin their guide.
As the second day of the journey wears on sand stretches away in all directions, broken by ridges and boulders. Our hero’s find a brief relief from the sun as they walk into the shadows of a facing cliff face. Directly ahead of them the sand thins to a fine slit, when suddenly the earth rumbles and moves beneath their feet and Khashana has barely enough time to set her feet when Anakore Render hits her with all his force scoring a perfect hit, Khashana fly’s though the air landing unceremoniously on her back in the sand. Exploding from the silt are several feasting Zombie’s. Brom, Godric, and Khashana move as a well-oiled machine, fighting, controlling and healing. A Gaj Mindhunter enters the battle and adds a little chaos to the battle but in the end our hero’s walk away victorious.

Now, as night falls our heroes crest a large dune and find slither, it seems like it has ceased movement for the day. There is a large patrol on Crodlu which will make things difficult because as they are watched they patrol in no set pattern. But that does stop our adventures, first they Brom psyches Khashana and Godric, then Khashana studies slither with a critical eye finding the best way to enter the tower, then Godric, using dark wrappings, dark chalk and the such prepares Brom to blend into the night as he assaults slither. Now they move, relying on the grace to run lightly over the sand, then using brute strength they pull themselves up the side of the fused mekillot shells. All of a sudden the patrol is there, circling around and everyone slips as far back into the shadows as possible. It must had been enough, the patrol rides off. Now hanging off the side our adventures pull themselves up closer and closer to the top of the tower. Again the patrol is back, Godric and Khashana make sounds of the desert to distract the guards, that was close. But it worked and Brom has made it to the top and as he steps over the crenellations he is confronted by something out of nightmares.

Marauders of the Dune Sea

The story so far…..

Your small group has attracted the attention of various power groups seeking lost artifacts of an ancient age. You have been asked by Karlin, the half giant owner of Karlen’s Eye to investigate a rumor of the recent discovery of the Face of Stone. If found Karlin is willing to pay a handsome some of money for it. Later you are relaxing in the inn when a pompous dwarf walks up to you, drops a sheet of rolled papyrus, sealed with the wax mark of three dragonflies on your table then stomps off. The papyrus reads:

Greetings from House Shom.
We’ve sent messengers thorough Tyr to deliver this communication to those of mercenary guise. If you be such, and you wish to earn a great reward, read on.

Desert raiders harass and disrupt our caravans, yet the Revolutionary council of Tyr will not lift a finger to help. Thus, honest merchants must find aid elsewhere.
The raiders claim that our caravans know the site of a ruined temple called the Face of Stone. They say is we give up the location, their attacks will cease. But we know nothing of the ruin. All we have concerning the ruin’s location is a line form an old song “Where the devil’s horn threads the tunnel in the sky, a stony visage rarely blinks its hollow eye.”
Return with your findings to our emporium in Tyr, and you will be heralded as heroes of House Shom.
Regards, Delem Shom

After thinking about it for a bit you decide to sleep on it and talk about it in the morning. You then check out the elven market to by some healing fruits. On your way back, your waylaid by a group of elves, dwarfs, Thri-Kreen and what looked like a Templar of Hamanu. After dispensing of the minions, the Templar who announced himself as Sarhan, ran off with his preverbal tale between his legs. With barley a scratch on you, you all decided you should find this “Face of Stone” and reap the rewards.

The next day you set off to find where the devil’s horn threads the tunnel in the sky. Using your various skills in athletics, endurance nature and perception you, one don’t get lost and two find the right direction. In the distance you see a strange black dust storm which is up against a cliff wall, looking at it you see a rock formation which looks like devil horns and the storm is between them. Moving closer you see what appears to be raiders with numerous bond caravan workers. In your distain and disgust you see a couple raiders pick up one of the bound workers and throw him screaming into the storm, a few minutes later you see his mangle body ejected and the raiders laughing and slapping each other on the back. Taking matters into your own hands you attack the raiders and free the remaining caravan workers. You find they are from House Shom and you tell them the way back, a bit shaken they thank you and start off.
You then decide you need to enter the storm somehow and see what it’s hiding. First in the Brom after a few tense minutes Khashana gets a telepathic message from him that he’s made it and found an entrance to a cave of some kind. Next in are Godric and Khashana, both make it through no worse for wear and the party finds what they have been looking for, there is a huge face carved into the side of the mountain, it’s mouth opens into an enormous cavern, two rune covered pillars jut from the found looking like to huge teeth coming from the lower jaw of the carving. Entering they find themselves surrounded by Hejkin, old and young, male and female, and one odd human who seems to speak to them. He tells you they are his family and not to hurt them. He then escorts you though the lair into the back where the rough cavern walls give way to worked hallways. Turning you find he is gone with the rest of his tribe. Pressing forward you stumble onto a room where the ground is covered in salt, a large skeleton of a lizard sits in the middle of the room. As you start through the skeleton lizard tails lashes out, TRAP and zombies and skeleton appear from nowhere, again you make short work of them and press on. They now move deeper into the ancient ruins……..


Godric sits by the fire, his eyes staring into nothingness, he starts to sing under this breath a song you’ve never heard, abruptly he stops and says

Everyone hates tembos. These creatures feature in stories meant to frighten children into being good. Unfortunately, tembos are not mere confabulations but all too real terrors. Tembos delight in causing ruin and heartbreak by carefully picking a means of death that creates the most anguish for the victim and his or her companions. The fact that Yarnath could put a compulsion on one to serve as his guardian to the entrance of his Ritual Tower reveals something of the lich’s wide and varied power.

Then it’s over, you question him to what he meant and he just looks blankly at you. You realize then he doesn’t remember.

Adventures in the Tablelands

The Sandstorm

Although you all come from different towns or lands you have all gathered in the main room of this shabby inn to wait out the unseasonable sand storm raging outside. As you glance about the room your eyes dart from one individual to another looking for threats or maybe an easy mark. In one corner you notice a group from House Zefren, startled you notice a brawny Mul sitting in slave chains surrounded by two well-armed guards. If you didn’t know better you would think that it was ‘Brom Kinslayer’, but that would be impossible. You shake your head, damn he fits every description of the arena fighter you have ever heard, but it couldn’t be. You see a group of locals, almost cowering in a corner their eyes filled with mistrust and apprehension of so many strangers. Another group casting menacing looks consist of a couple dwarves in armor fingering their carrikals, a half giant with a large club hovering over what appears to be a human arena fighter, hands shackled. Various other groups all keeping to themselves, most seem to have with them arena fighters. You remember hearing of a great arena event being called for in Tyr, the winner will be granted his freedom and his owner great wealth. But the ones you keep watching are the individuals, you really don’t trust lone travelers in the desert it seems so risky, you chuckle to yourself knowing your one of them. Your eyes dart here and there, watching the Thri-Kreen trying so hard to fade into the shadows, the dragonborn sitting with his back to the wall watching everyone, the tall lanky elf, the Halfling at the end of the bar. But the one which gives you the chills is the devil horned Tifling sitting off in the corner, no one within ten feet of him, he seems so smug and dangerous. Suddenly……….

The door opens with a boom and the room is filled with wind and sand. Three people step in and force the door closed again. A Balican Dwarf jumps up on a chair and calls for silence….

I am Rhotan Vor, House Wavir, I run this trading post and am looking for a few hardy men or women to assist in recovering one of my caravans lost in this blasted sandstorm. You will be paid well for your success and most likely die for your failure (laughs). So step up if your game!

The Adventure Begins

You set off into the GASW following the caravan trail towards the Silver Springs Oasis. You all find the day is brutally hot. A sweltering breeze kicks up a haze of dust. You follow the wagon’s tracks as they appear and disappear in the sands, following them into an area of jumbled orange boulders and creosote bushes. As you approach you hear an outburst of high-pitched hisses and battle cries in a language you don’t recognize. Five small hunched reptilian creature carrying spears, daggers, and blowguns leap out of their hiding places. Their mouths are full of sharp fangs, and they dart over the sand with great speed.Silt.runner

Swinging into action Brom charges into the fray, Godrick’s moves into a position to support and lend a bit of healing if needed and Khashana moves back into a advantageous spot summoning her doppelganger into the battle. The pitched battle goes back and forth; both sides taking damage but in the end out heroes did what hero’s do and prevailed in glory.

After a quick bite to eat and some water to quench the thirst our hero’s are back on the trail of the missing wagon. As they crest the top of a large sand dune the spot it standing in a jumble of rocks, half buried by drifting sand. you see no sign of the draft animals or the drivers. A portion of the cargo-jugs of wind and plancks of hardwood-lies broken and scattered on the nearby sand. A hlf-dozen creatures with chitinous shells and spikelike claws are scuttling around and chittering to each other as they pick over the wreckage.

Unexpected meeting

After taking with Kivrin, you all step outside for a breath of fresh air and find yourselves back in the market district. Walking around, checking the local wares you feel eyes upon you, but really shrug it off and being winners in the arena. Not knowing your way around you step down an alley and find it’s a dead end. When you turn you find the entrance blocked by an imposing figure, a half-giant!

Gerti med

As you walk back towards the figure you notice she, is not carrying a visible weapon and doesn’t seem like she’s a thief as she is dressed in merchant garb. She steps forward and asks, are you the hero’s people speak of as finding the treasure of Darom Madar? Godrick whispers to Khashana, and then they both seem to drop their guard. Godrick tells Brom she seems mean us no harm, and he tells her you are. She introduces herself as Karlen, the owner of “Karlen’s Eye” a collectible shop in the Artisan District. Then she goes on by telling you she has heard rumor of the recent discovery of the “Face of Stone” , an ancient relic of the past age. It was discovered in a ruin in the desert to the northeast of Tyr. She then asks if she could hire you to find and recover this artifact for her shop? She offers 50 gold if you would take on this job.

A little while later you are exhausted and walk back to your inn, where stepping inside you are greeted by the patrons with awe and excitement. Everyone knows you name and wants to shake your hands, buy you a drink, of just stare at you. It seems your fame is growing by the minute. You all find a quite (as quite as can be) in the corner and sit down to have a meal. Brom looks up from his plate and groans as there is a dwarf in non-descript clothing standing at the table. He has about had all the poking and prodding he can handle and in a unfriendly rumbling voice asks “What do you want, can’t you see I’m trying to eat here?” The dwarf doesn’t seem to take notice to the tone of voice and just placed a rolled up sheet of papyrus with a wax marked with three dragonflies on it. Then without a word turns and leaves.

Khashana seems a bit curious and opens the sheet, Godrick seems a bit puzzled by the seal saying he can’t think of which house it belongs to. Khashana reads the note:

Greetings from House Shom.
We’ve sent messengers throughout Tyr to deliver this communication to those of mercenary guise. If you be such, and you wish to earn a great reward, read on.
Desert raiders harass and disrupt our caravans, yet the Revolutionary Council of Tyr will not lift a finger to help. Thus, honest merchants must find aid elsewhere.
The raiders claim that our caravans know the site of a ruined temple called the Face in the Stone. They say if we give up the locaton, their attacks will cease. But we know nothing of the ruin. Moreover, a Shom caravan seeking to find the Face in the Stone never returned.
Our request is this: find the Face in the Stone, learn the fate of our lost caravan, and provide assistance to any survivors. All we have concerning the ruin’s location is a line from an old song: “Where the devil’s horn threads the tunnel in the sky, a stony visage rarely blinks its hollow eye.”
Return with your finding to our emporium in Tyr, and you will be heralded as heroes of House Shom.
Regards, Delem Shom

It is coincidence or fate? Is it a trap or more fame? This are some of the questions you think about. The biggest one of all……..Will you take on the offers by Delem and Karlen? What of Kivrin’s offer, could it all be linked?


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