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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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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Session 2 - Betrayal at Altaruk (Bloodsand Arena)

The caravan rolls into the town of Altaruk just before sundown. As torches are lit they make their way into the elven market, where Kaldras is greeted by the rest of his moonrunner tribe. As the party is waiting for payment, they notice two things: one is a dwarf beggar with a disheveled beard and a crazy laugh. The other is that the moonrunner elves are watching them, rather then the cargo of valuable iron goods they have delivered. Quofire attempts to stealthily trail the dwarf beggar, with his usual success at such tasks. Also in the market is a bored gladiator named Marok, who is watching the arrivals with interest.

Things do get interesting when Kaldras emerges from his tent and announces his plan to sell the party into slavery. A fight ensues between the party and the moonrunner elves. The party seems badly outgunned and Alden Sneed goes down quickly, but when Kaldras wades into the fight they hurt him badly. How the fight would have gone from there it’s hard to say, as at that moment the fuzz arrive in the form of a towering half giant. He declares himself to be Tellemon, captain of the guard, and he is angry that they are brawling in the marketplace.

After some negotiating on both sides, Tellemon cannot decide who he distrusts more, so he declares that elves and guards will fight it out in the arena. Guards hustle the party (including unfortunate bystander Marok) off to the dungeon to await their morning trial in Bloodsand Arena. The group is finally able to get some rest in the cells, and to play psionic mind games with their opponents down the hall.

The morning of the fight they are marched into the arena, where they will battle in front of hundreds of spectators. Tellemon declares that the team who can carry the most massive stone coins into their coffer will win the match. No direct attacks on each other are allowed. A gong sounds and the games begin. Quofire wows the crowd by telekinetically juggling friends and enemies for maximum advantage. Kaldras and his elves soon find themselves outclassed. Things get trickier when a trio of Jhakar Trapjaws emerge from the bushes to attack the party with their trap-like jaws. But eventually Kovaki loses patience and begins throws one of the elves at one of the other elves, which isn’t quite in the spirit of the rules. Even as guards move to apprehend him, however, the party dispatches the rest of the elves and the game is won. Team Jhakar FTW!

The crowd is elated by the show they have witnessed, but not for long. Cries of joy turn to screams of terror as Tellemon falls out of the stands and into the arena. He has been murdered.

The party is immediately hustled back down to the dungeon, where they retrieve their weapons. A hooded figure named Kothinn then appears as a representative of the governor. He asks that they quietly investigate Tellemon’s murder.

The trail is a difficult one, and at first they find few clues. However, bribing a nasty noblewoman named Lavole the Mouth gets them the information that they need to know – a suspicious gladiator slave was seen heading towards the barracks. At the barracks they learn that the crazy dwarf, Birk Suntouched, has also been seen in the area. With the help of their new friend Marok they determine that both dwarf and gladiator have headed toward the training pit.

The mul gladiator is indeed in the training pit, but alone. Arcane examination determines that he has been dominated by powerful magic. In fact, he is still dominated, which he proves by attacking the party. Birk Suntouched rushes in, now revealed as a practitioner of defiling magic, and orders a group of dominated slaves to attack the party.

The ensuing fight is a bloody and lethal one, seeing several members of the party go down, some more than once. But through skillful use of their daily powers the party prevails. With his dying breath, Birk claims that the town is ‘infested’ with Veiled Alliance agents, and promises that they will pay.

Dun dun dun!

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Session 1 - The Road to Altaruk (Bloodsand Arena)

We are introduced to the players’ characters. Crixius the gladiator half-giant awakes from bad dreams with a feeling of unease. Going out into the Elven Market he becomes convinced that someone is following him. He decides that he needs to get out of the city immediately, despite having never left it in his life. He hurries towards the Caravan District.

Quofire Heavensent, a deva and former servant of Kalak, has been camping out in one of the royal gardens. He is discovered by two noblemen, but they prove friendly. They whisper to him that it might be wise to leave the city for a time. He heads for the Caravan District.

Kavaki, a half-giant and itinerant treasure hunter, is nursing a nasty hang-over. Stumbling half-blindly through the streets he soon finds himself in the caravan district.

K’Tho is a mantis-like Thri-kreen shaman making his first visit to a great city of wood and stone. Fascinated by the life that fills it, he has wandered its streets for days. On this fateful morning two suspicious guards nudge him out of his corner and into the caravan district.

In the caravan district Kavaki nearly stumbles over a clumsy merchant who calls himself Lemuel the Unlucky. Lemuel and his slaves are loading a crate onto a cart when there is an accident. The crate breaks open and a huge lizard-like creature crawls out. It’s very presence causes the slaves to go mad with fear. Kavaki recognizes it as an id fiend. Crixius, notably, does not. The PCs, mostly in self-defense, draw weapons against it. But just as they have defeated the creature (and are sawing off keepsakes) two templar arrive on the scene. Lemuel, claims that the PCs are the ones who brought this dangerous creature within the city walls. When the templar approach, Quofire attempts to telekinetically push Lemuel into them. Having been attacked, the templar give chase. The group attempts to lose them in the crowd.

Suddenly a strange elf appears and beckons them to follow. When he has lead them to safety, he introduces himself as Kaldras. Kaldras saw them defeat the id fiend and would like to hire them to guard a load of iron which he has just purchased off the black market. He offers cash up front and more on completion. The PCs jump at the chance.

The caravan is bound east through the desert to Altaruk. The elves run the whole way, and the pace they set is grueling, but not too grueling for the PCs. In fact, they spot an ambush not far from Altaruk and are able to successfully fight off a small army of opportunistic bandits.

Just before nightfall on the third day of travel the dusty, grimy caravan roles into the prosperous trade outpost of Altaruk. The PCs have survived the desert. But what hidden dangers lurk in this oasis of civilization?

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