Dark Sun Blood and Silt

To Altaruk

Undersupplied, will the party make it to Altaruk?

A Day South of Fort Kalvis…

After the Battle of Stones the party searched the splintered rubble of the argosy searching for their damaged gear and supplies, all the while dispatching the zombies that were left by the dead Nganaga. After finding supplies Kovit began shoring the hair of the dead giants to sell as rope. As he did so and elf approached who, after introductions was known as Kaldraas (of Blood Sand Arena) of the Black Sun tribe. It seemed that the elves had lost much as bystanders in the battle between the giants and the gulgans and they offered the use of their kanks to transport the giant hair in exchange for protection on the way to Altaruk.

The party, in tow with Mazzax the Tarek assassin and the elves left the battlefield before the bestial scavengers posed danger and traveled for several hours of the night, pushing the limits of their endurance. Finally they stopped and made camp.

In the morning it was decided the Mazzax needed to talk, and after some coercion involving NoName, the halfling cutting off one of Mazzax fingers and eating it before him the assassin began to speak. Not many words left his lips regarding the locations of Yarnath the Skull’s Slither, before the two hearted humanoid shook violently and died. Moments later his dead body was animated by a presence they were soon to find out was Yarnath. The lich more or less apologized for attempting to kill them and let them know he no longer was in search for the Crown of Dust because he had found what he needed, whatever that was. They learned he had been betrayed by a red headed elf named Kivrin (See Revenge of the Marauders) and the elf had taken the Crown piece he had.

The road to Altaruk was fraught with the dangers of Athas and with little food arriving at their destination was not certain, as they traveled the Peoples Road south they came to village that was burning their dead from a giant raid fended off the desperate villagers with some fierce words by Doren the 1/2 elf, and further words and action by Aspara of Nibenay.

After another day in the verdant belt the path left the Peoples Road after finding a cache of fruit trees for another day of food as well as a dead giant, who had succumbed from his wounds from the Battle of Stones, which NoName the halflign sliced up for some means. The road and headed NW into a small strip of the sandy wastes where one of the elves’ kanks wandered off during lunch. Finding the kank being savaged by a “Kank-lion” in a deep sand funnel the characters spent a few moments saving a comrade who had slipped down the side of the funnel. After Doren was out, the group watched the kank-lion finish it’s meal, mourning the loss of only the profit from the giant hair on its pack saddle.

The next day the sandy wastes gave way to rocky badlands and cresting a ridge the party saw a group of humanoids riding strange sail craft, floating above the Estuary of the Forked Tongue to the south west (See Raiders of the Chanth (Polyhedron #44)).

The party made their way as a silt storm blew in only taking cover when they couldn’t see any longer. They camped in a depression in a canyon wall to wait out the storm. The storm raged over night and into the next day, but with little supplies the group decided to press on despite the storm. Braving the wind and silt the party made it’s way through the canyons, not know if they were on the trail or not. A small argument broke out as to which way to go among the elves and the party, eventually the party relented and went the way the elves advised and were rewarded as the silt storm died down they found they were indeed on the right trail.

The rocky badlands turned into foothills, then the mountains of the Altaruk Range. Silt from the storm still piled in cracks and crevices and footing was dangerous on the narrow mountain trails. On the second day a kank slipped after being startled by NoName and slide into a raving, breaking its legs and carapace in the fall. The party quickly left, lest the rank smell of dead kank overwhelm them.

Half-way through the next day the party paid the fee to enter the protected mountain fortress of Altaruk. They followed the elves to the elven district to unload their giant hair only to be betrayed by Kaldraas and the Black Sun elves who demanded that the goods were his. A small skirmish started but before too many elves could die Tellemon, captain of the guard arrived with a dozen heavily armed and armored town guards.

While Tellemon seemed to agree with the characters that the elves were liars, he also didn’t know if he could trust the party, as such he commanded them to fight in the area on the morrow to decide who would take ownership of the disputed giant hair.

Leaving the elven district the party left to find a bookey to take the bets they wanted to wager on themselves for the next day arena match. The met Derekk the Dwarf at the Jankx Burrow Tavern, a seedy place worthy of its name. Just as they were about to leave they saw a talk cloaked figure entered with a shock of red hair hanging from beneath his hood. They assumed this was Kivrin, the traitorous elf that Yarnath the Skull spoke of.

Someone slugged Xendrik in the arm playfully and the minstrel turned to see a friend of his, looking somewhat haggard.
Ictinus of Balic and of the Dancing Dragon minstrel troupe, an old acquaintance stood before him. Turns out that Ictinus had come to Altaruk with a small contingent of the troupe to do a job. They arrived in town the night before and had gone carrousing. Ictinus had gotten sick and went to his room early, but the next day he could not find his companions. Seeing Xendrik, he implored him to find his friends so they could meet their employer the next day after the games. Xendrik and Ictinus left suddenly to search for the missing members of the Dancing Dragon troupe.

Noname and Dores stayed to keep an eye on the red haired elf and were shortly joined by Aspara who had previously been with Kovit searching for suitable rooms. Not wanting to beat around the bush Aspara approached the elf and began talking. After a few minutes she made some headway, learning that Kivrin has stolen the piece of the Crown of Dust, but the Yarnath had taken the Jewel of Muldrea (Blood Jewel) from it already. Asking where the Crown piece was Kivris lowered his hood to show his bruised face and bruised neck where it looks like he had been strangled. Apparently he had been ambushed and beaten by a group of gith riding the most peculiar wind sailing craft in the mountains a few days ago.

Up next…
To the Arena! The characters face the Black Sun tribe for the giant hair
What happened to the Dancing Dragon troupe?
What does Kivrin know and what does he want?

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