Friday, December 27, 2013

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

12/21/2013

10, Sedulous, Dragon's Agitation, 190th Kings Age
Cyrus appeared in a hidden area in the Black Spine Mountains. A place where he had often retreated to to meditate in private. He began using clairvoyance to locate the rest of the group.
Meanwhile, the sandstorm passed and Ren, Yaotl, Aziza, Basheera, Alroy, Jabrek, and Tubaloth moved on.
A couple hours later, Ren and Alroy heard some strange, wicked, sounding laughter. Ren halted the group. He then activated psionic camouflage and move slowly around the rocks toward the laughter. He peeked around a large boulder, where saw three curious creatures. Two were small and gaunt, with large, pointed ears, and sleek long faces. Their hands were clawed, small wings and a tail sprouted from their back. The were sandy colored. The other creature was a small, red lizard with a large mouth and thick tail.
The sandy colored monsters were dipping the red lizards head into a small basin of silt. Then, the red lizard would struggle to breath and the little monsters would pull it out and laugh, as it coughed up silt. They would poke it with their long, sharp, claws and kick at it also. Then, they would do it again, laughing as they tortured the creature.
Let's play a game!

They didn't notice Ren, as he waved Yaotl over. Yaotl moved slowly, making sure not to be seen. However, unlike Ren, he knew what the creatures where. The sandy colored creatures were from the paraelemental plane of silt, called mephits. the red lizard was from the plane of fire, it was called a flamling. Yaotl became enraged at seeing the silt creatures torture the fire creature. He drew his scimitar and charged.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Athas Claims Another

12/08/2013

9, Sedulous, Dragon's Agitation, 190th Kings Age
Everyone quickly turned around and saw a five foot sand colored snake, that had bitten Tubaloth's leg. They looked around and realized they had inadvertently wandered into a nest of snakes.

Fenuku and Jabrek were also quickly bit, as the rest of the group rushed to their defense. Ren began stomping on the snakes, Aziza slashed them with her tortoise blades, Yaotl hacked at them with him scimitar, Alroy had no weapon, but he stepped in front of Arabella and Basheera. Fenuku, Gahiji, Tubaloth, and Jabrek all attacked with their spears, with varying degrees of success.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Riches to Rags

11/24/2013

7, Sedulous, Dragon's Agitation, 190th King's Age
Ren and Aziza sat together for awhile, then fell asleep.

8, Sedulous, Dragon's Agitation, 190th King's Age
Yaotl woke first. He immediately woke Alroy and told him to go wake Ren and Aziza, in the other room. Alroy walked to the other room and knocked loudly. Aziza jumped up, ready to fight. Ren stretched and lazily walked over to the door and opened it.
"Yaotl wants to talk to you." Alroy muttered.
"Okay." Ren replied, then shut the door.
Aziza laid back down and went to sleep, while Ren hit his head against the door jamb to wake up. Ren made his way to the other room and promptly laid down on Yaotl's bed and fell back asleep. Cyrus was wake at this point, due to the commotion and began getting dressed. After a few minutes, Yaotl went to the other room and banged on the door.
Aziza opened the door and asked Yaotl what he wanted. Yaotl explained that they have to decide what to do with their prisoner. Aziza agreed and got dressed in her normal clothes. She finally arrived at the other room and the discussion began.
They discuss selling him into slavery, so making him look like an escaped slave. They decided not to make him look like an escaped slave, because they only slave markings they know really well are Nibnese. They all agreed that trying to sell a kidnapped agent, for the most powerful merchant house in Nibenay, in Nibenay was a bad idea. Finally, they decided that Cyrus and Aziza would teleport to Balic and trade the agent for a slave there.
Balic: Home of make up, fake tans, and photoshop.

Monday, November 18, 2013

NPC - Dwarf


Here's a sketch of a Dwarf. You can use it as a PC, or NPC portrait.
Drawn with pencil, inked with pen, and colored with Gimp. 
© Brent Welborn 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Affluent and the Mendicant

10/11/2013

Without another word, Ren turned and began walking away. “Let's go.”
Everyone followed. They marched until dusk, the undergrowth slowing them considerably. They searched for a safe place to camp, but found nothing. They decided to keep a double watch that night, because they felt exposed.
An hour before dawn, Rata and Ren were watching. Rata was telling a convoluted story that Ren was having trouble following. The story was so dull that it was challenging Ren's Mul endurance. Out of the forest emerged an erdlu. Before Ren could speak, it grabbed Rata's backpack and tried to run. Rata got dragged off the log he was sitting on and he screamed in surprise. Everyone woke from the scream.
Ren quickly used psionics to put the erdlu to sleep. Aziza, Cyrus, and Yaotl laughed at Rata's misfortune. Once the shock of the incident wore off, Rata had to laugh as well.
Ren checked the erdlu for marks, or a harness of some kind. He found none, so he tied a rope around the creatures neck. Once it awoke, it panicked and tried to run, but Ren held it tight. Yaotl quickly walked over to the beast and calmed it down.
“This can be useful for the village.” Ren suggested.
Yaotl simply replied, “Indeed.”
Yaotl checked the sex of the erdlu and discovered it was male.
The group packed up camp and began the arduous march through the Crescent Forest. A few hours into their march, they ran into a group of four foot long scorpions.
I hate it when dinner fights back.

The scorpions and Yaotl were surprised. Ren attempted to activate accelerate, but failed. Rata blessed the group, Aziza used the psionic ability flesh armor, Cyrus shot at the scorpions with his longbow, and Alroy ran and hid behind Cyrus.
The man who swore to serve Ren rushed in front of him, as the scorpions rushed up to attack. Ren was struck, but the scorpion's poison did not effect him. Ren's guardian was struck a few times and fell. He died and the group had never even learned his name.

Monday, November 4, 2013

NPC - Human or Half-Elf


Here's a sketch of a human, or Half-Elf. You can use it as a PC, or NPC portrait.
Drawn with pencil, inked with pen, and colored with Gimp. 
© Brent Welborn 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Waters of Freedom





10/27/2013

The party marched down the pass, nursing their aching shoulders. A couple hours into their march, Ren and Aziza spotted something glittering in the sunlight. Ren shots for everyone to wait. Suddenly, a creature crawled on top of a nearby rock. It's shinning body swirled with color. It looked like a spider made of glass, throwing prisms of color all around it.
A beam of concentrated sunlight shot out from the spider and struck Ren across the chest. Aziza shot a magic missile and Cyrus shot an arrow at the creature. Rata, Ren, and Yaotl prepared themselves with magic and psionics.
I'm gonna shank you, sucka!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Worthy Quest, A Worthy Foe

10/13/2013

The rock rolled away from the entrance to the cave. Hot air rushed it, carrying with it bits of sand and dirt. Even early in the morning, the heat was already oppressive. Ren moved outside and began photosynthesizing. Aziza and Cyrus both set out to find water and were both successful. Yaotl used his psionic ability of concentrate water for himself and Nuru.
The ground was made up of loose rocks and sand. They traveled slowly, Ren guiding them. They walked for a couple of hours, sand and hot air blowing against them, when Ren, Yaotl, and Cyrus saw something flying in the air. It looked like a large bird, but all the dirt in the air made it difficult to identify.
Cyrus pulled his longbow and shot at it. He was sure he hit it, as it quickly climbed into the thick haze above. Yaotl shook his head and they continued on.
An hour later, a large group of birds emerged from the sandy haze and rained javelins down upon the group. Nuru took a spear in the neck and collapsed in a pool of blood.
“Great job Cyrus!” Aziza yelled angrily.
The birds swooped down and attempted to impale the characters with spears, but the group repelled them. They could see now that they were Aarakocra. Ren tried to speak with them, but it was clear that they did not speak a common language.
Ren knocked out two and Yaotl put one to sleep with psionics, but the group was still out numbered and no one had escaped the attacks unscathed.
It's more dangerous than it looks.
Yaotl leaned down and examined Nuru, and could clearly see that he was dead. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Accusations of Veracity

09/29/2013

Cyrus pulled out his iron dagger and slit the strangers throat. Yaotl and Ren grabbed him.
“What are you doing?” Ren demanded.
“Evil must be removed from the world.” Cyrus coolly explained.



“Evil begets evil.” Ren responded, “You cannot murder people.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Battle and Betrayal

09/16/2013

Yaotl took the lead and marched toward the left adjoining room. Peering inside, he could see movement, but nothing moved towards him.
Ren moved into the right adjoining room. Inside, he saw rows of stone tables, with bodies laid out and skeletal workers removing their intestines, blood, and other organs. Also, they were sewing the corpses eyes shut.
Yaotl moved into the opposite room. Inside, he saw rows of stone tables, with bodies laid out and skeletal workers pouring sand into their mouths. When the corpses were full, the mouth was sewn shut. Yaotl wasted little time, he rushed in and smashed the skeletal workers.
Ren walked up to one of the skeletal workers and attempted to communicate. The skeletal workers ignored him and continued their grisly work. He saw no alternative and began destroying the skeletal workers as well.
Cyrus went into the rooms and decapitated the corpses. Rata sprinkled them with holy dirt and asked that their spirits would find peace in the Gray.
While the party was discussing the possibilities of what the skeletal workers could have been doing, Rata began walking down a southern hallway. The group quickly followed. Although Rata was badly injured, he boldly strode down the hall, until he came face to face with a walking corpse. The corpse had it's eyes and mouth sewn shut, but a trickle of sand leaked from the corner of its mouth. Rata ran back the way he came.
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
He's brave Sir Rata

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kalid-Ma's Chosen Will be Blessed.

09/01/2013

“It's dark,” Cyrus began, “Perfect for taking a nap.” “Agreed.” Yaotl responded, shocking the rest of the group. “We need to block the doorway.” Ren stated. Ren looked around for something to block the door, but he found nothing. Ren decided he would watch from the doorway and let the others sleep. Everyone settled down and fell asleep. Ren heard a scratching noise a couple hours later. He saw something living come around the corner and come towards them. Ren shouted to wake everyone in the room. Quickly, three horax rushed him.

"Excuse me sir, do you mind if I eat your intestines, please?"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Erdlu and the Tagster. A Dark Sun Fable.

An Erdlu and a Tagster entered into an alliance so that they might capture the beasts of the plains with greater ease. The Tagster agreed to assist the Erdlu with his strength, while the Erdlu gave the Tagster the benefit of his greater speed.
When they had taken as many beasts as their necessities required, the Tagster undertook to distribute the prey, and for this purpose divided it into three shares.
"I will take the first share," he said, "as a partner with you in the chase and the second, because I am larger and require more sustinance. I would give you the third share, but it will be a source of great evil to you, unless you willingly resign it to me, and set off as fast as you can.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Into the Mine

08/04/2013

“If you are a friend of Roans, then you are a friend of mine.” Yaotl began. “What is your name?”
The strange man smiled, “You cannot pronounce it, but you may call me Tamar.”
“I am Yaotl. This is..” Yaotl began.
“Yes, yes, Ren, Aziza, Cyrus, and ...” Tamar looked puzzled and pointed at Rata, “I don't know who this person is.”
“I am Rata.” Rata introduced himself, “I did not know Roan.”
I am Rata. I speak for the trees!
 “Well,” Tamar smiled, “your loss.” 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Windswept Mountains and Killer Bugs

07/21/2013

 That night, Ren kept watch. It would have been relaxing, except for the howling wind. As the sun rose, the characters ate and drank. Ren used photosynthesis. They gathered up their belongings and woke up Cyrus.
They marched for 3 hours, finally emerging on the windbreak side of the mountains. The wind was fierce and the marching was slow going. The ground was loose beneath their feet and sand blew into their faces. Luckily, everyone had something to cover their noses and mouths from the sand and grit.
Ren happened to see some earth that was suspicious looking and avoided it and told the others to do the same. While doing so, Yaotl stumbled into a loose earthen pit. Emerging from the pit wall was a bloodthirsty giant ant lion!
10 feet long and thirsty for blood!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Inix and the Giant Lizard. A Dark Sun Fable.

A gaunt Giant Lizard was almost dead with hunger when he happened to meet a domesticated Inix who was passing by.
"Ah, Cousin," said the Inix. "I knew how it would be; your irregular life will soon be the ruin of you. Why do you not work steadily as I do, and get your food regularly given to you?"
"I would have no objection," said the Giant Lizard, "if I could only get a place."
"I will easily arrange that for you," said the Inix; "come with me to my master and you shall share my work."
So the Giant Lizard and the Inix went towards the town together. On the way there the Giant Lizard noticed that the scales on a certain part of the Inix's leg was very much worn away, so he asked him how that had come about.
"Oh, it is nothing," said the Inix. "That is only the place where the giant hair is tied to me at night to keep me from leaving. It chafes a bit, but one soon gets used to it."
"Is that all?" said the Giant Lizard. "Then good-bye to you, Master Inix."

Monday, June 24, 2013

A New Friend, or a New Foe?

06/23/2013


The group continued to march, for a couple of hours, and then settled down to rest. Ren kept watch, as usual. When dawn was a few hours away, Ren suddenly found himself being attacked on the mindscape. The landscape of his mind was mountainous and bleak, like the land he was raised in. The construct was a feral image of himself.
With a yell, the construct attacked, striking at Ren with nerve strikes. Ren called to his friends in the real world and told them he was being psionically attacked. Yaotl and Aziza rose and began searching for the attacker, but were having trouble with the unfamiliar forest and darkness.

Could you find someone hiding here, at night?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Living in the Crescent Forest is Hazardous for Your Health

06/08/2013

Ren pulled away from Aziza and dashed off into the forest, wishing to be alone. Aziza initially chased after him, but decided to let him go. It wasn't long afterward, when Ren heard something crashing through the forest. He tried to hide, using psionic camouflage. As he hid, a giant creature crashed through the trees above him. The monster was a gargantuan lizard with multiple legs. It sniffed Ren out and stared right at him. Ren ran.
Forty feet long and hungry.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Into the City State

05/26/2013

The line into Nibenay was long. The music continued to play and everyone swayed to the tune. After an hour, the group finally reached the gates. They were nervous, Aziza is an escaped slave from Nibenay. The gate guard asked them their business and had them pay two bits per leg to get inside the gates.
The sights of Nibenay overwhelmed Ren, who had never been to a city before, and he stared blankly at the carvings and colorful clothing of the city. Seeing an attractive topless Templar caused him to blush. Yaotl pushed Ren along, not wanting to attract attention.
The krama is the checkered head covering.
 Cyrus saw all the krama wearing Nibnese and noticed the strange looks he, and his companions, were receiving. A merchant called out to them that the look like outsiders, because of their clothing. Cyrus, Ren, and Aziza bought some new clothes, including kramas of their own. Yaotl simply bartered for a new pair of boots and new clothes for Basheera. Cyrus insisted on buying expensive clothes, snake skin boots, a embroidered linen shirt, and high quality breeches. He noticed that Nibnese attitudes, toward him, changed for the better.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day Wishes

Although our Dark Sun game normally falls on Sunday, we decided to cancel it for Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dust Thou Art, and Unto Dust Thou Shalt Return

04/28/2013
 The group decided to follow along the edge of the Black Spine mountain range. They were unsure how long the distance was across the Great Ivory Plain salt flats. The group decided to wait out high sun in the bazaar, then set out.
They walked until evening. Nothing bothered them, except the relentless sun and dehydration. Finally, the sun began to set. Cyrus sat on a large rock.
“Time to rest.” He declared.
As Yaotl began to build a fire, he bumped into Ren, just as Ren was about to take a drink from his water skin. Precious water spilled over the fire and put it out. Flustered, Yaotl set off the hunt. Ran and Aziza set off to find food and discovered some wild farro. Unfortunately it wasn't fruited, so they picked the spines. Yaotl caught a small lizard and returned to camp.
He successfully started a fire and cooked a bland dinner of lizard meat and farro bread. Ren kept watch that night.
Ren shouted a warning, just as a huge scorpion scrambled out from behind a boulder and attacked a sleeping Roan.
Imagine this thing four feet long.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Small Burden

04/14/2013

 Yaotl began by approaching the little girl. "What is your name?"
 The girl responded in Rammin, "Where is my father?"
 Kaza moved the body and placed the gruesome side of it against the ground. Yaotl, who is the only player character who speaks Raamin, brought the young girl over. She immediately began crying.
 "Daddy! Daddy!" She wept, as Yaotl did his best to comfort her.
 After a few minutes she looked up at Yaotl and asked with tears in her eyes, "Are you going to sell me?"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sand Women are Nothing but Trouble

03/31/13

    Yes, we played Dark Sun on Easter. Only one player decided to spend time with his family, instead of play.
    The characters woke up and immediately began memorizing spells, while Ren photosynthesized. Afterward, they set out to find water. Cyrus created water for those who failed. They packed up their camp and set out into the rocky badlands.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dark Sun: Original vs Revised Part 1


The original Dark Sun boxed set came out in 1991, designed by Troy Denning and Timothy Brown, and the revised box set came out 4 years later, 19951 designed by Bill Slavicsek. Both are for AD&D Second Edition. What's the difference?

First, we'll take a detailed look at the rule books that came with each set.

Appearance: They're both ninety six pages long, so neither is thicker than the other. Both are soft cover. The art of the original rules book is much better, in my opinion.
The original cover features the familiar Dark Sun logo. The artwork shows a Tarek charging an unknown foe. The land is desolate, a city is far in the distance, Ral, or Guthay, is rising above the horizon, and a creepy skeleton guy is watching what's going on. Painted by Brom, it's simply a wonderful work of art.
The revised edition cover features a new logo. I don't know why they felt the need to change the logo, because there was nothing wrong with the original. The artwork shows a Mul, Thri-Kreen, and, who I assume to be, the Wanderer fighting a Pterran riding a Silk Worm. There's some ruins in the background and a dark, cloudy sky with lightning crashing down. Painted by Stephen A. Daniele, it's a nice painting, but lacks the quality of the original.

Conclusion: The original looks better.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Problems with Holes

03/17/2013


The party set off, marching through the rocky badlands. A few hours into their journey, they encountered a group of about a dozen Thri-Kreen. They quickly decided that discretion is the better part of valor and hid among the rocks. The Thri-Kreen spotted them and stopped close by. Yaotl stepped out from behind the rocks.
"We are travelers. We mean you no harm."
Thri-Kreen are awesome.

Monday, March 11, 2013

NPC Mul

Here's a quick sketch and coloring of a Mul. You can use it as a PC, or NPC portrait.
Drawn with pencil, inked with pen, and colored with Gimp. 
© Brent Welborn 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gith, Cactus, and Carru, oh my!


03/03/2013

The group began by turning its attention to the gith they captured. Yaotl held it down, while Ren, Kaza, and Roan psionically broke its mind. Roan, using his psionic probe ability, was able to determine the location of the gith camp and the location of the slaves in the camp.
        They turned the gith over to Ishak, who tied him up.
        “We turn him over to your justice. Free him, kill him, it is as you wish.” Ren explained. “Tomorrow, we will go and find the people they took from you.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Aziza Din in Color

Drawn with pencil. Inked with pen. Colored with Gimp.
© Brent Welborn 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

First session. Gith problems and drinking urine.

02/18/2013

Cast of Characters
Aziza Din – 18 year old Human Fighter, Preserver, Psychometabolic
Cyrus – 26 year old Human Water Cleric/Psychoporter
Kaza – 30 year old Human Earth Cleric/Psychokinetic
Renault (Ren) – 16 year old Mul Psychometabolic
Roan – 20 year old Human Air Cleric/Telepath
Yaotl – 25 year old Human Fire Cleric/Psychokinetic

The group began by discussing how the party got together. He is a short version, until they write up the full length version. Knowing my players, that may never happen.
They decided that Yaotl, who is originally from Draj, was causing trouble in Balic. A small group of templars were casing him. Cyrus, who is a native of Balic, saw him and sneaked him out of the city.
They traveled together up the Legion Road, and then the Trade Road, until the came to South Ledopolus. Here, they thought it wise to cross on a silt skimmer to North Ledopolus to throw off any pursuit. In North Ledopolus, they came upon Kaza, who is a native of that village. Their cunning plan to hop over to North Ledopolus wasn't as cunning as they thought and discovered Balican templars waiting for them. With Kaza's help, they were able to escape into the Salt Flats.
Meanwhile, Aziza, who is a native of a wandering tribe, is a slave in the fields around Nibenay. Roan, who is a native of Nibenay, sees her being abused by a taskmaster. Roan slays the task master and flees with Aziza into the Salt Flats. The groups run into each other just north of the Mekillot Mountains. They decide to travel together, as they are both on the run. The head east.
A few nights later, Cyrus falls asleep during his nightly watch and the group is jumped by gith. They are captured and hauled toward the Black Spine Mountains, were they are to become dinner, or possibly sold into slavery.
Pirro and his son, Ren, attack the small group of gith and free the others. Pirro feels it is quite auspicious to have a cleric of each type and invites them back to his reclusive home in the Black Spine Mountain range. There, he begins teaching them the way.
The story begins one year later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dark Sun Coloring Page Heavy Crodlu

Here's a free coloring page for your kids, or you, to color. It is a Heavy Crodlu.
If your kids color this, e-mail it to me at Aeskalis@gmail.com and I'll post it on this site.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Aziza Din. Original Artwork.

Here's the NPC for the group, Aziza Din. Drawn with pencil, while I was at work.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Character History

This history was for a past character. A Half-Elf Gladiator. I hope you enjoy it. The characters name was stolen from a Science Fiction Television series that I enjoy. I'm terrible with names, so please just go with it.

History of Martok 

 I wasn't born a slave, at least that's what I'm told. I never knew my father or mother, all I remember from my childhood were cruel taskmasters and trainers. I grew up in the slave pens of Gulg. I was first owned by Renmar Creedy, a minor noble. Renmar hated gladiators, but kept them on orders from the Oba. I was fed and watered as little as possible. My training was subpar compared to other Gladiators and it was obvious, so obvious, in fact that I was soon transferred to a templar, Korik Sutler. To say Korik was cruel is an understatement. He delighted in seeing others in pain and often ordered his slaves whipped with bramble branches for even minor infractions. However, Korik was also known for training the best Gladiators in Gulg. 
My trainers were hard on me. They would have me punch pumice stone until my hands bled. They took delight in having me attack them and then quickly overcoming me. They would punch or kick me to the ground. The trainer I remember most was Nigol, not because he was the kindest, or the most cruel, but because he taught me what fighting in the arena was really about, survival. "Defeat means death." Was a favorite phrase he would use. Nigol was never gentle and showed no mercy. I did not like him, but his lessons were the most valuable for my survival in the arenas. One day he did not return.  
I was first sent to the arena as a young man, not yet old enough to sire children. My first opponent was a man who had been caught stealing water from his master. We were both given daggers. He was told that if he killed me, he would go free. His attacks were clumsy and awkward. I easy dodged them. I had never killed another man before and I was reluctant to start. He kept attacking and I kept dodging. The crowd began booing and hissing. The man surprised me with a slash across my forearm. As I saw the blood run down my arm I remembered what Nigol had told me. Defeat means death. I had two choices, kill or die. He swung again and I grabbed his dagger arm. I pulled him toward me and buried my dagger into his chest. I heard him cough as blood dripped from his open mouth.  
"Defeat means death." I whispered to him as he dropped to the arena floor.  
The crowd cheered.
Killing became easier the more I did it. I killed a dozen criminals in the arena. My master did not deem me ready to fight another gladiator. I could kill criminals, but I was awful against a trained fighter. During practice, I was constantly defeated by the other gladiators. There were whispers of sending me to the arena to die, if I did not improve. That is when I decided that I needed to escape.  
During a trip to Raam, I saw my opportunity. As we were being led out of our wagons and into the arena pens, I grabbed a guard's spear and ran him through. I ran, I ran as fast as I could through the streets of Raam. I did not know my way and was slowed down by dead ends and confusing twists. The templars caught me and I was dragged back to the slave pens. My master was furious. If he had lost the Oba's property, he would be punished. My master decided that I should be made an example of. The worst pain I ever felt was when the first hot stick entered my eyes, blinding me. I was to fight the next day for the crowd's comedic delights.  
The following day, I was lead out to the arena. I was given a small agafari shield and a bone short sword. When I entered the arena, the laughter of the crowd filled my ears. Sorrow consumed me. This was the day I was going to die. When the other gladiator entered the arena, I heard the announcer proclaim that the match was a night and day match, meaning my opponent was not blind. As my opponent moved forward, I swung wildly, my instinct to survive outweighing my sorrow. Easily countered, I received a shallow cut along my shield arm. The crowd cheered at the sight of blood running down my arm. I was to die slowly for the crowds amusement.
A sloppy second swing toward where I thought my opponent was brought gouts of laughter from the crowd and a shallow cut along my upper back. I swung back around, only to receive a cut along my shield arm again, deeper than before. I dropped my shield. I swung again, striking nothing, but air. My opponent didn't bother striking me again, he was going to let blood loss defeat me. I tried to listen for him, but the crowd's laughter and cheers were too loud to ignore. I swung wildly to no avail.  
After an eternity, I dropped to my knees, the blood loss becoming too great. The crowd cheered.  
"Kill him! Kill him!" They chanted and laughed.  
I could not hear my opponent approach over the cries of the crowd. I felt the wind shift and sand was kicked up from the ground. A strange scent caught my attention. Sweat and blood. The blood was mine, but not the sweat. I turned and thrust my sword toward the smell. I felt my sword pierce flesh and I threw my weight into the thrust, crashing down on top of my opponent. The crowd fell silent, too stunned to continue their blood thirsty chant. My opponent coughed and I could smell his blood.  
Finally he whispered, "Defeat means death."  
As he body fell limp, the crowd erupted into cheers.  
As the years passed, I developed my other senses to compensate for the loss of my eyes. I fought other day and night matches. I won and I survived. One day, the Oba decided to sell me to a Noble in Balic. So, I was herded into a wagon and set out for the city-state. A few days into the journey, I smelled a familiar, but strange scent. It was the smell of death.
"Death." I whispered.  
"Death." A little louder.
"What did you say slave?" One of my handlers barked at me.  
"I smell death on the wind." I told him. "Don't follow this path."  
"Oh, shut it." He laughed.  
The smell came closer and I felt panic in my chest.  
"It's unnatural, turn around!" I shouted.  
"Shut up, or I'll beat you!" He shouted back.  
"Death is on the wind, a beating is better than death, turn around!"  
"This is the only road to Balic."
The smell came closer, I knew it was right around the corner. I could hear its groans.  
"We're all dead." I told him calmly.  
"Sir, there's a man on the road." The wagon driver called out.  
"Clear the way, this is a caravan from the Forest Goddess of Gulg!" My handler demanded.  
I moved to the furthest point in my cage, away from the stench.
"By the Dragon, look how fat that blighter is!" The caravan driver called out.  
I heard some of the guards move toward it and demand. "We said move!"
"I'm so hungry." It moaned.  
The guards took out their weapons. They moved to attack. The sound of bones being crushed and the screams of the guards was terrible.
"My hand!" A guard screamed, "It bit off my hand!"  
The driver panicked and attempted to turn the wagon around. I heard the thing shamble up and attack the kanks. Biting through the insects chitin and chewing the insides. The cart tipped over and came crashing down. The other guards began doing battle with the thing. More crunching, more screams. I kicked at the roof of the wagon with all my strength and felt it give. I pried my way out. I felt a spear at my feet and picked it up, ready to fight for my life.
"Run." The voice in my head was male and ghost-like.  
"So hungry." The thing moaned as it began devouring the screaming guards. I heard every bone crunch and smelled the blood pouring into the road.  
"Run."  
I heard the thing beginning to shuffle towards me and I ran.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Characters

Just wanted to post a quick update. Sunday was spent drawing up characters, except for one of our players deciding he'd rather watch some football game. Anyway, two of the players had never played AD&D and one has never played a D&D game at all. So, much of the time was spent explaining the basic rules and game setting.
In the end, four of my five players decided to play Human Cleric/Psionicists and one is playing a single class Psionicist. The NPC of the group in a Human Preserver/Fighter/Psionicist. Details below.
1. Player: Tyson. Character: Human male, Fire Cleric, Psychokinetic.
2. Player: Mike. Character: Human male, Earth Cleric, Psychokinetic.
3. Player: Clyde. Character: Human male, Water Cleric, Clairsentient.
4. Player: Bumper. Character: Human male, Air Cleric, Psychoporter.
5. Player: Justin. Character: Mul male, Psyhometabolist.
6. Player: NPC. Character: Human female, Fighter, Preserver, Psychometabolist.

After the players decided to play the four Elemental Clerics, Tyson said if they had a "Heart" Cleric, they could summon "Captain Athas".
Pictured below: Captain Athas

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Original Artwork

Today's the day, I'm excited to get characters ready, but I doubt we'll get much play time. In the meantime, I'm posting a drawing I did a few years ago of a khopesh. It's free hand drawing with pencil.
I like the way the khopesh looks, the sleek and deadly design. That's a sexy weapon right there.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Elemental Clerics and Race


Elemental Clerics are one of the unique aspects of Dark Sun that I absolutely love. If playing an AD&D Dark Sun game, I highly recommend getting the elemental cleric book, "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water." The book is great, it includes a few cleric kits, paraelemental cleric options, and a detailed description of the elemental clerics and their mindset. Also, it includes a few extra spells.
There is one thing, however, that I am not thrilled with. The "PC by Element and Race Table". I feel the table is not well balanced. Dwarfs, who are normally allowed only 12th level cleric, can be 20th level Earth clerics. While that may make sense in a setting where Dwarfs live underground, I feel it doesn't make as much sense in Dark Sun.
My feeling on the matter is that certain races cannot channel elemental magic as well as others, it's just part of who they are. However, they are in tune with some certain elements that allow them to channel the elemental magic easier, thus allowing more levels.
That is why I drew up my own "PC by Element and Race Table". I feel this table is more balanced than the previous version. The table lists the race, followed by the element, followed by the maximum allowed level.

Aarakocra: Earth 14, Air 18, Fire 16, Water 16
Dwarf: Earth 14, Air 10, Fire 12, Water 12
Elf: Earth 11, Air 17, Fire 17, Water 14
Half-Elf: Earth 14, Air 17, Fire 17, Water 16
Half-Giant: Earth 13, Air 10, Fire 14, Water 11
Halfling: Earth 12, Air 12, Fire 10, Water 14
Mul: Earth 12, Air 8, Fire 10, Water 10
Thri-kreen: Earth 13, Air 13, Fire 10, Water 12

What are your feelings? Am I just being too critical?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Starting game soon.

We'll be drawing up characters on February 3rd. So far, one of players wants to run a human psychokineticist/ fire cleric (I allow multi-classed humans and dual classed demi-humans), and another wants to run a Mul Psychometablist. I think it will be inetersting having 2 psionicists in the party.
I thought this would be a good time to explain what I allow for race choice.
Right now, I'm allowing all the Dark Sun revised races, with the exception of Pterrans. It's not that I dislike Pterrans at all, it's just that I'm too early into the setting to have them very common. I am allowing Tari and Tareks, however. I do not allow Skills and Powers to be used for these two races. Their write ups are below:

Racial Ability Requirements:
                          Tari         Tarek
Strength              5/20        15/20
Dexterity            12/20        5/20
Constitution         5/20        15/20
Intelligence          5/20          8/20
Wisdom               5/20         5/20
Charisma             5/20         5/20

Racial Ability Adjustments:
Tari       +2 Dexterity, +1 Constituion, -1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom, -1 Charisma
Tarek    +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma

Racial Class and Level Limits:
Tari       Fighter 12, Gladiator 12, Ranger 14
             Defiler Not Available, Preserver Not Available
             Cleric 10, Druid Not Available
             Bard Not Available, Thief 16, Trader Not Available
             Psionicist Unlimited
Tarek    Fighter 18, Gladiator 20, Ranger 16
             Defiler Not Available, Preserver Not Available
             Cleric 6 (Earth Only), Druid Not Available
             Bard Not Available, Thief Not Available, Trader Not Available
             Psionicist Unlimited

Special Racial Abilities:
Tari       Bite Attack 1d3 + disease (5% chance). Disease is incapacitating for 1d6 hours in save vs. poison is not made. In addition, if the save is not made, the victim loses 1d3 hit points per day, unless a cure disease spell is cast upon the victim. This hit point loss is permanent. Natural Armor Class 9.
Tarek    Fists do 1d4 hit points of damage. Is able to fight until -10 hit points. Natural Armor Class 7.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Starting a new AD&D Dark Sun Game

Soon, I will be starting a new AD&D 2nd Edition Dark Sun game. The last characters died in an unfortunate accident, when they started a riot in Raam and attacked Abalach-Re. There will be 4 players, with a NPC to round out the group.
I use the split stats from Skills and Powers, as well as the proficiency system from that book. I use spell points from Spells and Magic and am toying with the idea of making the priests in the group channelers. I use various combat techniques from Combat and Tactics. I used the phase initiative system in my last game, but I think I will be doing away with it this time.