Aspara: Mul Ardent Templar of Nibenay, unaligned very self interested and very authoritative. Looking to depose Kovit’s mother (Isra). Trying to find this psionic artifact that everyone seems to want.
Kovit: Half-Elf Noble Adept Psion, son of a Templar and House Shom scion, heavy into the merchant side of things, want to go to Tyr. Running from his mother’s (Templar Isra Anand of Nibenay) wrath.
Elkaas: Dray (Dragonborn) Battlemind, recent addition to the group. Wants to find the “Crown of DUst”, purely for the power of it. Is after his cousin Drex, who is also searching for the crown, because he doesnt think Drex deserves it.
Klickitat: Thri-Kreen Slave Ranger, a slave of Kovit, although he understands now that he’s not a slave, but chooses to follow the group looking for a pack. Currently Aspara seems like the pack leader. Has had visions ofThe Great One and seeks to find the Crown of Dust to make sure the Dust KRaken does not return.
The characters were thrown together in Nibenay. Kovit was under house arrest from his mother for dealing spell components to some druids in the Crescent Forest. Klickitat was a slave to the House of Anand and ordered to watch Kovit and not let him leave. Aspara was made to run Isra’s household for failing to find an item that was attempting to be smuggled out of the city by a minor noble and his bodyguard Drex. In that encounter (a prelude before the group game started, Drex a Dray bodyguard fled the city leaving his master to die at hands of the templars).
In the House of Anand those who were imprisoned were eager to escape and along with two Gulgan slaves (Fahamu a Gulgan disillusioned with his Oba, and his protector Half-Giant Juba, former PCs) fled after a fight during a party thrown by Isra. Fleeing the compound they fought guards at the Serpent Tower in NIbenay then fled into the seedy Hill District. Elves of which Kovit was familiar agreed to show them a way out if they would take care of whatever had taken over the old mansion that held the way out of the city.
Entering the mansion grounds they found bodies everywhere. Heading downstairs toward where tunnels would be they eventually encountered a huge beast that appeared to be a humanoid sewn together from parts of different races. After defeating the monstrosity they found a golden coin with the markings of the ancient ruined city of Giustenal on it. Leaving the city by way of a long tunnel the group emerged in the farmlands near the Plane of Smoking Water outside the city. Taking care not to be seen by Templar partrols the group made their way east to a waypoint used by the Shom Merchant Dynasty caravans, which Kovit had previously agreed to meet his father’s (Suda Shom) people there gain their help.
Travelling to the east away from the main road the group came upon some human female refugees, who were fleeing from tarek raiders who had destroyed their village. The group was low on supplies and the Templar gave them a couple of coins to buy food/water once they got to the city. The part fought some crystal spiders who were making a crystal web ambush site. After defeating the spiders they made their way to the Stone Cabin which was being swarmed by a flock of Kes’Trek’els. Getting closer Kovit realized that the Kes’Trek’els, vulture like birds that feed on fear, were swarming a servant of his fathers who looked to be nearly dead. The group attempted to save him, but the swarms were too much and the man died after giving cryptic last words to Klickitat. Upon closer examination of the Stone Cabin, it appeared to be made of wooden logs, but getting closer they stone, perhaps once trees from an ancient time. In addition there were rusted iron tools here and there. The group stayed in the cabin and had visions/dreams. Kovit of his fathers servant, dead, but still serving House Shom’s interest, told Kovit to venture to the SE to find his father. Klickitat had a vision of a great winged kreen fighting a many headed dust worm. And Aspara had word from her Husband-King Nibenay in a cryptic dream commanding her to go to the east to find this crown.
The next morning the group traveled east and found a great sandstorm and a large group of tareks with a bunch of captives, of which Kovit’s father Suda was one, which they were throwing in to this great dust devil. The party spoke to the raiders and agreed that they would enter the dust storm with two of the human raiders to seek what they were looking for, the “Face in the Stone” in exchange for the captives’ release.
Fahamu and Juba decided they would stay with the captives while the rest of the party and the the two humans went into the dust devil. Apparently the group got separated in the strange wind storm and all but one got pushed back out. Before the tarek saw them the party killed the remaining human. Then went on to ambush the tareks, who eventually gave up and retreated, leaving the humans.
After talking with the captives it seemed like the tarek’s worked for a defiler named Yarnath, who was seeking this Crown of Dust and “Face in the Storm” and were following ancient tales/songs that said the Face in the Storm was beyond this great Dust Devil. In searching for this the tarek raiders had been razing villages and House Shom caravans. Suda asked Kovit and his friends to investigate while he got the captives back to safety.
Amongst the survivors was a Dray by the name of Elkaas. He was Drex’s cousin and had followed his cousin after coming to the clan stronghold just south of where they currently were. Fahamu and Juba decided they didn’t need to be so far into the desert and wanted to return to their forest home. So it was that Elkaas joined the group and the gulgans left.
Fighting their way through the sand storm the group came out and saw a maw in the stone wall that resembled a face. They fought their way through some lighting obelisks and some mutated hej-kin. After a hard battle the group rested within the cave and shortly saw three figures emerge from the back of the cave. It was Drex, an elf named Arneth that Apsara seemed to know, and an unknown Gith.
The group wanted the piece of the Crown that Drex was holding but Arneth seemed to be discouraging Aspara from going directly after it. Drex reasoned that the group should enter the Temple beyond on talk to the ancient one there and they could all search for the Crown of Dust fragments and bring a glorious new start to Athas. After a tense negotiation. The Drex and his party were allowed to leave and the Nibenese party went on through to the temple in the cave.
In this ancient temple they learned from it’s custodian, an ancient unliving being named Uketh that the Crown is an ancient artifact of a being known as Ul-Athra, the Mouths of Thirst, the Dust Kraken. He explained that the Crown was Created for Muldrea, high-priestess of Ul-Athra and first of the Broken Builders. Muldrea was a great defiler and servant of the Warbringer. He explains that she realized what the Warbringer wanted was broken and struck out against him and destroy all he worked for. In doing so she brought about Ul-Athra, although how us unknown. Uketh will told them how the Crown of Dust was destroyed when the great Ul-Athra was banished by Zi’ Tho’kliktet, (Teacher of Life Changing Knowledge). Uketh questioned that if the burnt world of Athas is literally forsaken by the gods, and there is precious little hope of respite from its dangers, why, then, would so many of its inhabitants cling to their meager lives when promise of rebirth is not so far away? All the people of Athas need to do is finish the job that was started long ago and destroy what is left of their surroundings—clearing the rubble of a ruined world so that a new one can be raised in its place. This is the aim of the Broken Builders and the followers of Ul-Athra. In that aim they hope to bring back Ul-Athra by finding the crown. The Crown allows its wearer to channel the will of Ul-Athra and is needed to bring the primordial back from it’s prison.
Uketh expalined that there were three parts of the crown, Zi’ Tho’kliktet, has one, one was lost to time (Drex) and the third was taken by a great champion,Aru-Madar.
As he said these last part Kovit recognized the name of Madar, as an old Merchant House that was wiped out by House Tsalaxa in the Tyr area. And Klickitat new the name Zi’Tho’kliktet and had a vision of a place near Tyr (but did not mention it to the group).
Leaving the Temple the group encountered more of Yarnath’s servants, the human raider they had thought lost in the sand storm with reinforcements, more tareks and some zombies. After defeating them the group followed their tracks, finding only an old encampment. Strangely klickitat found the track of 1 and a half mekilllots, but they looked odd. Aspara reasoned that they could be tracks similar to undead war beetles that Nibenay sometimes used. The tracks headed SW away from the mountains they were in.
Again following the tracks the group encountered a tribe of gith and their B’rohg (4 armed giant) and Cilops slaves. The gith, who heavily outnumbered the party told them that if they could kill something for them they would let them go. The party agreed and the gith took them to a waterhole where they battled two Cha’Thrang (turtle like creatures that shot out spikes from their shells).
The gith allowed them to leave peacefully and again on their way the party hit the Great Ivory Plain, a huge salt plain. Klickitat found the tracks of Drex and Arneth, but no gith, being followed by some tarek tracks. Kovit and Klickitat didn’t care what happend to Drex and wanted to go toward Gulg, across the plain, while Aspara and Elkaas wanted to find Drex and the crown fragment that he had. The group could not come to a consensus and they split up.
Kovit and Klickitat croseed the Great Ivory Plain for a day and a night without stopping, but Kovit finally had to stop to rest.
Elkaas and Aspara finally found Drex, badly wounded blood on the ground. Tracks that looked like someone being dragged led off into the Great Ivory Plain. Helping the unconscious Drex as much as they could they followed the tracks. Eventually they stopped where they intersected the giant mekillot tracks they had seen earlier, which continued toward the middle of the salt flats. Elkaas didn’t want to leave Drex to die and Aspara didn’t want to walk down the middle of the Great Ivory Plain so they returned to Drex.
Elkaas and Drex’s clan was nearby so the two attempted to drag the huge Dray toward the nearby Dray clan. After a day they were intercepted by a Dray patrol and taken to the clan.