The Dead Lands of Athas

The return to Balic, The rise from lost sands of time
Perditus's Family

Many of the adventurer’s have met and befriended a lone Oasis in the flats, while others hastily travel as fast as the wind across the silt tides.

AND Then there is Perditus, living in his parent’s basement…..

Caravan to the South

Willem continues his mission to collect his former companions, given personally by the Queen of Raam. With Ascher and Lofe in tow, Willem guides them into Balic. There they first encounter Keldar, who is not entirely happy to see them, especially on short notice. He has done well for himself as a shipfloater. Willem yet convinces him that it is imperative that he follow.

When the will of Abalach-Re leads Willem to Perditus, some are surprised to see him alive. Others remember all the trouble he brought them. Perditus, on the other hand rejoices at seeing his former companions and greets them with much jubilation (and more drinking). Hearing about the mission, he immediately signs on board.

They set out into the desert, and soon come upon a grove cloaked in illusion, dispelled just as they came upon it by Willem’s Sigil. He sees a brief vision that tells him to expect a ThriÔÇÉkreen, a Mul, a Human, and a woman with golden skin.

They meet the group in the vision at a pool in what appears to be the center of the grove. Amiska addresses the new group and states that she has an agreement with the one who sent them on their quest, and that the three with her will accompany Willem and his band to complete their task. She then states that there will be a caravan passing nearby, and they should book passage to Celik.

Amiska's Hidden Grove
A hidden grove in the middle of the desert

A few nature-minded travellers have begun to discover a lush forest in the middle of the desert wastes – certain it was never there before. A clutch of Thri-Kreen have even taken up residence within the glen.

An enigmatic woman, calling herself Amiska, claims the grove as her guarded lands, and called upon three such visitors to her grove for aid. A thri-kreen hunter named Akile, An ex-slave known only as Number Five, and a water cleric named Urza were brought together in confidence, and told that she would require their aid in a few days with a delicate matter.

The Quest
The Mission set out by the Queen of Raam

The Queen of Raam informs her templar that there has been a rise in the attacks of the undead as of late. Though the unliving are not an uncommon sight upon the face of Athas, each of the attacks seem to be coming from the south and directed by malign intelligence.

She believes that they are coming from The Dead Lands, or are at least being commanded by a native of the blighted obsidian plain, known as Gretch. She is not the only one who thinks so.

She has learned that Hamanu, Sorcerer King of Urik, has already sent his own team to the south. She fears that her rival is attempting to make an alliance with this ancient abomination, and commands that Willem and his former companions intercept this team before such an alliance can be made.

She also requests that they discover how the ancient spirit barrier has been breached, for no undead has escaped from the dead lands for thousands of years.

A Queen's Request
One year after the battle with the Dark Man of Shadows

Having triumphed over the Dark Man of Shadows and his minions, the Heroes resume their lives. Ascher met up with the Nightrunner elven tribe to prove himself, and his transformation into an elf (curse or blessing that it was) completed after surviving an elf-run. He was accepted as a full member of the tribe and considered a blood relative of Niraj and Mejia Lone Moon.

Lofe left that battlefield and began to wander, loosing himself in the endless wastes. He was never alone though, as Djor’il was his constant companion. Each learned a lot about the other and their abilities.

Having strong contacts within the Raamin Templarate, Willem was assigned to infiltrate the organization. After forming a true friendship with the templar Jagjiit, and reaping the benefits of the organization, Willem discovered that he was truly dedicated to the templarate.

One year later, the Queen of Raam personally summoned her templar Willem for a task of imminent importance. Immediately declaring him a rank-less High Templar, and instructed him to gather his former companions for an important mission.

Meanwhile, Perditus, the brash warrior who sacrificed himself to defeat the army of the Dark Man of Shadows, awoke alive on the barren and abandoned Narrows of Sceleris. Feeling abandoned, he took his bearings and headed for Balic.

Arrival in Nibenay

On the road to Nibenay, the party is given yet another set of prophesies by the crazy nameless Survivor of Deneba. When they arrive they learn that the city-state of Nibenay is ruled by a king of the same name, but is commonly referred to by his subjects as the Shadow King, because of his elusive nature. He is rarely ever seen by them. It is known that all of his Templar are women, and that they all are officially his “brides”.

Upon entering the highly artistic city of Nibenay, you soon discover that living waters, referred here as “Life’s Elixir”, is now being sold in this city, and that a festival will soon be occurring in several days time.

Feeling strongly against the spread of the slug juice, Cyrss attempts to ferret out the source of the “elixir”, winding up in the Bard’s Quarter. He and Perditus broker a deal with one of the registered apothecaries for several barrels of the stuff, hoping that purchasing in bulk will draw them closer to the source.

Mulligan, in returning to the BlackTree Tavern, notices a patron bearing the colors of his former house, likely a Rakesh house-slave. He places a careful eye upon the youth, and sees him disappear behind a door behind the bar.

He and Perditus discover two more Rakesh slaves nearing the tavern, and attempt to overtake them, in hopes of passing themselves off as Rakesh slaves to the barman. Perditus walks up to them and declares the mark of Rakesh that Mulligan bears, hoping that they will try to pursue him into an alleyway. Instead, one pulls out a communication crystal to contact his master. The ensuing fight is a bit more difficult than they were expecting, and ended with them calling for the help of Loaf, and a huge psychokinetic burst of flame that fills the Shadow Square.

Cyrss, having already secreted himself in the aforementioned room through sorcery, follows the slave to a secret passageway. He plunges into darkness, and hears footsteps comming up the stairs, and uses is magic to at first stealthfully defeat them, and finally immolates the most resilient of them, hitting the psion with as much power as he could manage.

Too Late for Deneba

Renewing their journey, the party discovers a lone half-elf suffering heavily from exposure, dehydration, and starvation. He has become blinded by the sun and gone quite mad from the ordeal. Once he finally begins to speak, he voices only strange words of wisdom and prophesy.

In his ramblings, there seems to be an underlying prescient foreknowledge of things he could not know. He provides a unique prophesy for each party member, and a few musings which may affect the whole group.

“The one you seek after is no longer here, and yet you may still find a part of him left behind. You may not like what you find… Remember! Even the forces of darkness may fear the absence of light.”

As the party reaches the site of Deneba, they find evidence of mass abandonment and personal affects which were left behind as if everyone was forced to strip (or everyone perished). A sense of foreboding doom lies in the ravine village, and the party soon discovers a bitter cold which does not abate as the sun comes over the horizon.

Not long after, they begin to see shadows shifting and darting about their peripheral vision. Perditus lunges at one with his blazing amber blade of force, and is soon grappled in its cold embrace. It soon begins to draw sustenance from his blood, and the rest of the party joins in to combat the creature. More arrive, and strangely, they seem to swarm upon Loaf despite their repeated failures to do so.

Eventually the creatures are dispatched, and revealed to be emaciated humans(humanoids?) with elongated fingers. Each fingertip has a circular sucker lined with tiny teeth.

The Living Oasis

Following the vision provided from the shards of the Dream Crystal, the party soon learns of a village to the south whose inhabitants have suddenly vanished, leaving all of their possessions behind. This village located in the stony barrens north of Nibenay is known as Deneba, and was last seen by the merchants some 3 weeks ago devoid of life.

The traders they spoke to, while addressing their sense of concern for what might have befallen the village, were pleased with the windfall the village had given them in loot.

In speaking with the Templar Lord Jangjit, Perditus also learns that a colleague has gone missing, and seemed to have been behaving in a similar manner as those controlled by the puppeteer parasite, whom as also fled southward. Jangjit requests that Perditus inform him of any information he can gather about this lost Templar named Tenavir, and gives Perditus a blue crystal enchanted to permit communication between them.

As they continued on the road towards Deneba, they came upon a beautiful oasis, which turned out to be an immense carnivorous entity intent upon shoving them all down its watery gullet. While plentiful and edible, they find that its meat is difficult to digest, causing stomach pains & distress.


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