Dark Sun: TDH

A Secret Unveiled

Arisphistaneles’ Story

“I was once a Balican templar, and I served my city with great honor. But in time I came to see the truth: that defiling magic was tearing apart the very fabric of our world. I learned in my service that the ruler of Balic, the Shadow King, was a powerful defiler. And though he claimed to serve the city, I believed that good intentions, however pure, could not undo the harm defilers wreak upon this land.”

“I knew that to voice such opinions was a sure death sentence. So I begin to share my belief quietly, with a few trusted associates. Nevertheless, word got out, and a faction of templars formed against me.”

“In Balic the punishment is harsh when one templar slays another. Yet I believe my enemies still would have killed me, if they so desired. It is not just luck that left me alive. I was to be taught a lesson.”

“It was arranged that I would be nearby when a powerful arcane ritual was being performed. When the defiling spell went wrong, it reached out and sought a source of life to sustain itself – and found me. A horrible curse descended upon me, and I was left the withered and crippled man you see before you, unfit to serve as a templar. And so I was banished here, to Altaruk.”

“But I said I was to be taught a lesson. You see, the defiling curse upon me cannot be cured, except by one thing – defiling magic. If I was willing, another ritual could be performed, drawing on the lifeforce around me to heal me. But I. will. NEVER! use defiling magic. I would rather die first.”

“But I still have hope. I believe that there must be other, greater powers in the world than defilers. I have sent all over the world for exotic plants and strange potions in hopes of a cure. Thus, the strange fruit which nearly poisoned me just now.”

“Now this is what I have brought you here to ask of you. I have heard of a man named Dr. Lapezious. It is said that he deals in ancient artifacts, artifacts from a forgotten Green Age, artifacts with healing powers. He charges a sorcerer-king’s ransom for them, far more than I could ever afford. But, I have heard that he is sympathetic to the Veiled Alliance’s cause. Perhaps if someone found him and told him my story he might sell me one of his cures in exchange for mere eternal indebtedness. Would you be willing to find Dr. Lapezious, and present him with my request?”

“Do not nod and smile to my faces. This is a dangerous task and you owe me nothing. Go into the bazaar and take the rest of the day to think about it. There you might also, if you so choose, find news of the whereabouts of Dr. Lapezious.”

“If you should take up this task, you will earn the trust and gratitude of the Veiled Alliance. We are growing in numbers daily, and our victory in Tyr has given us great strength. At last the tides of Athas may be turning towards light and justice. You would do well to be part of this.”

“If you are not for us, well. Some of my councilors say I should have you killed for what you know about the Veiled Alliance, and they are probably right. But you did kill a defiler and a spy in our midst. I owe you a little gratitude, so I won’t simply have you executed here and now. But if you decide not to aid the Veiled Alliance in this, I suggest that you leave the city, very quietly, by nightfall. Otherwise your lives will be forfeit in Altaruk.”



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