The Dead Lands of Athas

The Obsidian Plain
Entering the Dead Lands

After awakening from Joudao-Fong’s dream-travel, the adventurers find themselves amidst sand dunes. Their guides lead them forward, and soon they can see the expanse of the Dead Lands. Miles of black stone and ashen clouds stretch out beneath an immense cliff side. Their guides have brought them to a cleft in the cliffs, likely caused by a massive earthquake. The rent in the cliffs has left a steep, but climbable slope down onto the Obsidian Plain.

As the adventurers descend, they can feel the eerie stillness and absence of life all around them. Even the air itself lacks life. Some of the party succumb to jagged shards of obsidian rising up from the dense ocher earth which spills out from the rent. Once everyone is down they head West, and quickly take notice of a bleached skeleton crushed under some of the debris from the fissure collapse. The poor soul must have been here when the cleft was formed.

After travelling west for a time, the adventurers come across a sprawling trail of insect exoskeletons forming a sort and winding barrier. Upon seeing this, Ceirenia demands to speak with their guides, and exchanges strong words. It seems they have been led to a place she calls The Buglands, and the party must head North immediately before they are swarmed by creatures she says even the undead fear.

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As they leap over the break-wall, swarms of bugdead spill out from the crevices within the wall itself, while three giant undead spiders emerge from hidden burrows in the obsidian. It turns out that the diminutive bugdead were much harder to deal with than the larger ones, and only Kheldar’s psionics and Urza’s elemental spellcraft were able to deal with the swarms. Unfortunately, Urza was unaware of Perditus’ fear of lightning, and the warrior flipped out.

The adventurers soon realized their fight was not quite over. To the South, a small army of bugdead were heading right for them, while a patrol of well armed humanoids approached from the Northwest. Worried for the soldiers, and already running in their direction, Perditus tries to warn them of the undead insects. The lead soldier steps forward and identifies himself as Ashwaran Salar Iskender of the Orc Plague’s Army, and commands Perditus to step in line as they deal with the Up close, it is apparent that this contingent of soldiers all undead.

With much trepidation, Perditus carries on with the Fallen Legionnaires, who show no signs of malice towards himself or his companions, but are totally focused upon fighting the bugdead. The fight is brief, and the adventurers with the help of the legionnaires are victorious. In the aftermath, Iskender warns them of a hated enemy in the Southern portion of the Dead Lands known as the Scarlet Wardens and that they should head further North to be safe from them.

Iskender is questioned about Gretch, and learn that the Dead Lord once took up residence in the Obsidian Spire, where a huge army of both mindless and intelligent undead have amassed. He says that Gretch himself has not been seen in over 10 years, presumably destroyed in a fight with one of his apprentices.

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A Noble Procession


Though the endeavors of Urza, he managed to convince the knowledgeable historian and Dead Lands researcher, Lady Ceirenia to accompany them into the dangerous land. With her aid, the adventurers may be able to circumvent some conflicts with undead, and possibly lead the group to places of wealth.

She meets with the party and their guides emerging from a lavish palanquin set upon a massive Inix lizard. She, her bodyguard Nevaro, and the massive beast of burden accompany the party in the Dream Travel.

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Sweet Dreams
Dream Travel to the Dead Lands

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Ascher runs into an “old friend” on the streets of Celik, and learns that she serves as a guide to the Southlands, and has recently led a team into the Dead Lands. He then introduces her to his companions.

Akulaa Darkmoon agrees to meet with the adventurers in a restored courtyard, and introduces her business partner, a towering reptilian New Race called Joudao-Fong. They discuss their terms, which involve a modest upfront fee and a percentage of any wealth brought out of the Dead Lands. The guides agree to reduce their commission if the adventurers are able to recruit a brilliant scholar whose knowledge of history and undead would increase their chances of wealth and survival.

After discussing their terms, they instruct the adventurers to prepare an meet them at the North Gate, which is strange being that they need to head south. When they meet their guides 1 mile above the city, Akulaa instructs them to each take a sip from an ancient silver cup. After everyone takes a sip of their kool-aid, Joudao-Fong taps each on the forehead. They instantly fall asleep.

Moments later, they see themselves in a hazy, dream-like state, heading off for their journey. It wasn’t a normal pace; each step they took moved them hundreds of yards in a long, smooth glide. They slid over boulderfields as if they weren’t there, rising and falling over the rolling hills with a hypnotic rhythm that matched their pace.

Perditus, trying to impress, attempted to manipulate the dream and move it of his own volition. This threatened to place entire party in jeopardy, but Joudao-Fong re-took control and corrected their path. Soon, the group began to settle, and all awoke from the dream with their surroundings very different from when they were last awake.

The experience was eerily like the enhanced Elf Run which took Willem and Ascher from Raam to Balic at the beginning of their quest.

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A Lady and a Scholar
Knowledge imparted to the adventurers about the Dead Lands

Several party members have learned of the Lady Ceirenia, and arrive at her residence at different times. They are “greeted” begrudgingly by a peculiar looking guardian who asks them what they want. He permits them entry only after they mention an interest in the The Dead Lands. Willem goes out of his way to insult the guardian.

The guardian takes them to large room scattered with books, tablets, and small artifacts set about a long table. standing at one end is a dark haired woman pouring over the contents of the table, scribing her own notes upon a large vellum scroll. When her servant announces the adventurers, she arises from her notes and quickly moves them aside, revealing that she is an incredibly beautiful woman.

Willem asks, " We have been informed that you are the most knowledgeable person in Celik regarding the Dead Lands. Tell us how, apart from not traveling there at all, how we can best survive a foray into the region."

She begins by telling them that the first difficulty is getting there. She mentions many of the things that they have already heard about, but provides more detail. The cliffs surrounding the Dead Lands are nearly 1000ft high, and full of jagged obsidian for most of the way down. Climbing the cliffs are incredibly dangerous and time consuming. Teleportation is also risky, as the region’s connection with The Gray can interfere with its success.

Temperatures during the day can reach 190° and the glare can blind them. During the night it drops to 140°, however the undead are much more active and are drawn to sources of life like a beacon.

Ash clouds are both a boon and a burden, as they conceal the sun and decrease temperature, but breathing is difficult within because they are negatively charged they will boost the power of any undead within them.

Disease runs rampant, and Ceirenia advises that any wounds, no matter how frivolous or severe, need to be tended to immediately or risk loosing life or limb.

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The Ruined City of Celik

The caravan finally arrives in the ruined city of Celik. The entrance which the caravan enters shows beautiful architecture which appears to be fully restored. Archers keep a careful eye atop its walls, while armed guardians patrol below.

The city is an eclectic jumble of people of different races & nationalities – a mixture of retired adventurers, outcasts from other societies, ex-slaves, and humanoids from the wastes who have gathered in the city for the protection, resources, and wealth the location promises. Some races the characters may have never seen before (humans & other common races with appearances & accents from various nations, such as a pair of Villichi pilgrims- the nigh albino psionic warrior-nuns, the Pterodactyl-like Pterrans, and even a few of the so called New Races are present. Nearly everyone appears to be seasoned veterans.

Having reached the city, Willem‘s medallion no longer urges him where to go. It is now up to him and his team to discover a route to the Dead Lands and to root out the rival team sent by Nibenay. Going to on of the city’s taverns, Willem and Urza learn of a reclusive scholar who has been in celik for a few years who seems to know the most about their destination.

They quickly learn of her whereabouts and seek her out in hopes of learning about the Dead Lands and of any others who have made forays into the region recently.

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Merchant Outpost Yagmür

In the aftermath of the ambush with the Krags, all is silent as everyone works to tend to the wounded and deal with the bodies -both undead and of the caravan. Those who fell in battle with the Krags have been prepared and blessed by the caravan’s Sun-Singer to prevent their return. A mass grave is dug for the undead, and the sun-singer trills a dirge which calls down a beam of intense light upon the corpse pile to bleach the taint from their bones.

Once all are tended to, most of the caravan eat their meals in quiet before turning to their tents for the night. The festivities normally held during the night are not being observed. Even the caravan master, who usually tells one of his outlandish stories about now, remains in his tent in recovery.

Willem does his best to brighten the spirits of the caravan, and his masterful tune does an excellent job at doing so despite the circumstances.

The next few days, the caravan carries on as if the ambush never occurred. on the seventh day, the caravan reaches a Mareneth Outpost known as Fort Yagmür, to resupply and unload cargo bound for the outpost. Some of the caravan passengers stay, having reached their destination, while a handful of new passengers sign on bound for Celik.

While the caravan resupplies, Perditus chooses to follow some of the caravan guards for some recreational binge drinking, and is introduced to a little purple grub worm with hallucinogenic properties. Hilarity ensues as he trips out.

Urza goes to the local shrine and speaks with the rain cleric there, learning what he can about the The Dead Lands. Akile and Kheldar make their own inquiries about the Obsidian Plain, and learn that their is a 1000ft cliff that must be overcome just to get there (as well as the difficulties of bringing an animal companion such as Tik-Tik can cause).

Willem and Ascher go shopping for supplies, and learn about what obstacles they will face to survive the Dead Lands: They must protect their feet from jagged obsidian, protect from blindness from glare, and be mindful of clouds of choking ash.

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Ambush on the Caravan

The caravan you travel upon is returning to the ruined city of Celik, the base of operations for the merchant house Mareneth. As paying passengers, the group is entitled to their own kank to ride upon (or carry their burdens for those who don’t), provisions, protection, and entertainment. Entertainment includes recreational substances or alcohol, music, and exotic dancers. Many of the dancing men and women are willing to serve as escorts as well.

On the fourth day of their journey towards Celik, the party discovered first hand the rise in attacks by undead, just as both Abalach-Re and Amiska had warned about. Their caravan was attacked without warning as skeletal kraglings burst up from the hot sands beneath their feet. At least 50 of the elementally infused undead creatures swarm over the caravan. Two of them, a silt krag and a fire krag attack near the center of the caravan.

Normally two Krags will not associate with each other, as they would remind one another of their tortured existence, and would never be side by side with an opposing element. They also rarely are seen in such numbers, usually in packs of 12 at the most.

The party does its best to fight alongside the caravan’s own guards, psions, and magic users. Some, like Drive Master Yuri perform exceptionally well, while her husband the master of the caravan took a grievous wound. Akile, Ascher, and Perditus leap into the fray to protect any bystanders, while Keldar levitates into the air to get a better vantage point.

After setting fire to a few kraglings, Willem uses his templar magic to keep himself hidden while he aids his companions and the caravan with his bardic abilities. Urza does his best to keep others alive, and blasts a large hole in the Fire Krag, as Ascher closes in to fight it with Galaruung’s Nightblade.

While Akile battles with the Silt Krag and aids his friend Dra-Chakakik, Keldar takes out the Silt Krag by disintegrating it with his mind. Still invisible to undead, Willem strikes the final blow to the Fire Krag.

They discover each Krag had an Obsidian Cabochon imbedded in its skull.

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day 2 in the caravan
training and sparing

Akile after he finishes the harness for his companion, gives the large feline a look Tik-tik drops his head and lets out a playful growl, “no Tik-tik not play time” I need to get the harness on you come hear. Even with 4 arms Akile looks as though he could use a 5th or 6th, Tik-tik is resisting the best he can, and few growls and kreen curse words, the harness is set. See now you look better, Tik-tik begins pawing with his hind leg and swatting with his tail at the harness, " leave it Tik-tik don’t you do it ", Tik-tik flops his body on its back rolling and rubbing his back and sides in the sand swooshing sand about, after some time Tik-tik stops futzing with the harness.

after some he will take Tik-tik and do his nightly ritual of moving about the area surrounding the camp collecting herbs and eatable plants, looking for game to hunt, after he returns from that he will let Tik-tik nap and talk with Dra-Chakakik asking him why they call him that what things can you teach me I will trade your knowledge for some of mine. Akile will then pull out some dried animal meat and offer it to him as they speak and finish out the night.

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Perditus Meets with Canis Aurelius
Perditus' encounter with the Veiled Alliance

Aurelius continues, "Forgive me. Even many of my own men still think that I am a wizard. Although, now that most of those men are themselves wizards, I guess I can forgive them.

Now, you on the other hand are a lot like myself – a true fighting man. I can respect that."

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mean while back at camp
day one while the soft skins sleep

while the soft skins sleep and Tik-tik naps, he begins scouting around out side the camp looking for animals to hunt picking any herbs or plants that are eatable or useful. After a while of that he comes back and begins working on honing his weapons keeping the dasl edge sharp while making small talk with the guards who are up, offering to maintain there weapons and armor while keeping watch. after finishing that he begins finishing work on the leather harness for Tik-tik as the sun rises he will start to get every thing ready to begin the journey.

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