Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.
Vashti, Julius, Shade, and Kiara finished packing up their camp and began walking through the scrub plain. As the evening grew close, they could see the rocky badlands close by. Shade and Vashti stopped them and whispered to the rest of the group that a group of bandits were waiting to attack them on some of the cliffs above the ground.
They moved a bit closer, with their weapons drawn. As the got close enough, Julius used the way and made the rocks beneath the bandits explode. The bandits tumbled to the rock strewn ground. As the bandits started to rise, the group could see that they were people with the features of rats.
The rat folk rushed toward the group, with bone tipped spears, bone machetes, bone longswords, or bone battle axes. One of the rat folk stayed back and started chittering loudly, like a battle cry. The attacking rat folk swarmed Shade, Vashti, and Julius.
Two giant rats and three rat swarms came rushing from the rocks in the canyon. Julius used the way to explode the ground and kill most of the normal rats. The rat folk were very confident, at first, but the battle quickly turned against them.
The group killed the giant rats, normal rats, and most of the rat folk. Two of the rat folk dropped their weapons, dropped to all fours and fled deeper into the canyon. The group found a couple of nets among the rubble of the rockslide, that Julius caused. The group decided that the rat folk may have wanted to capture them alive and keep them as slaves.
Thinking they might have slaves in their settlement, they decided to track the rat folk back to wherever they called home. Shade agreed to track the rat folk. Suddenly, the lord of arms started screaming at Shade and telling him that he was extremely offended that Shade doesn't care about the purpose of the lord of arms existence, but will go help some slaves at the drop of a bit. Shade brushed off the lord of arms complaints, which made the lord of arms even more angry.
Meanwhile, Jessel had returned to the elemental plane of earth and was sent with Riv back into the ethereal plane. Their goal was to find a misty curtain to the Gray, find Kwala, and bring him back to the plane of earth. Jessel wanted to find Kalino and Alaxander too, but the forces of earth did not care too much about them.
Riv and Jessel found a misty curtain, after a few hours, and they both felt that it lead to the Gray. Jessel passed through the curtain and found himself in the Gray. He closed his eyes and began feeling for life energy. Upon feeling a pin prick of life, he flew toward it. The feeling grew stronger and, after a couple of hours, he saw Kwala, Alaxander, and Kalino floating in the Gray mists.
Alaxander and Kalino were thrilled to have been found, as they were having difficulty navigating the plan of the dead. Jessel explained to them how to feel for the energy they are seeking for and Alaxander thought he could feel Riv calling out to them. Jessel and Kalino felt nothing and Kwala was still unconscious, so they followed Alaxander's lead.
A few hours of floating through the Gray and Alaxander could feel Riv near them. He reached into the gray mists and pushed them aside, revealing the ethereal plane. They passed through and saw Riv waiting for them. Riv greeted them warmly and took Kwala into his arms. Riv began leading them back to the plane of earth.
Upon arriving in the plane of earth, Kwala awoke. He was weak, but was able to use his magic to help Jessel, Kalino, and Alaxander breath. Kwala and Riv used their magic to shape the earth around them and walk through the plane of earth.
A few hours later, they arrived back near the front and they reported to the dao Gaul. Gaul thanked Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino. He asked them what was their wish. Jessel didn't know what to wish for, so Gaul gave him a smooth, flat, black stone. He said that when they knew what they wanted to wish for, to speak it to the stone. Jessel thanked him and he lead Alaxander and Kalino back into the hall.
Jessel then asked Riv if he could get them food, water, and a place to rest. Riv agreed and lead them to small room, where there was bland tasting bread and water with a lot of minerals. Riv then retrieved some cushions for the group to rest among.
Riv gave Jessel a bag or rich soil. Alaxander asked Riv for a gem that he could store mental strength inside. Riv pried a ruby from his sword's crossguard and gave it to Alaxander. Alaxander thanked him profusely. Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino then took a nap.
Shade sneaked back to the group and reported what he saw. After a brief discussion, the group decided to attack the settlement and free the slaves. Vashti used the way to get a bird's eye view of the settlement.
The settlement consisted of three small buildings and three large buildings. She saw, at least, three dozen rat folk and two dozen of the orange skinned humans. The humans were obviously enslaved. The group of buildings were built at the base of a thirty-foot cliff. She told the group what she had seen.
On the plane of earth, Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino were woken by Riv. He told them that now was the best time for them to depart. They rose and followed him. Kwala was in the hall, still recovering from his ordeal. As they passed, he reached out and grabbed Alaxander's arm.
He looked pained, but finally and obviously reluctantly said, "Thank you for rescuing me. It is humiliating to be recused by mortals, but I suppose that can't be helped."
Alaxander asked if there's anything else they can do for him. Kwala answered, "Kill every silt cleric you find."
Alaxander and Jessel agreed to do so.
Riv lead Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino down the maze-like passage. He stopped and pointed to a solid looking stone wall. Riv thanked them and indicated the wall. Jessel walked into the wall and passed through it. Although they were surprised, Alaxander and Kalino quickly followed him.
Shade explained the situation and described the rat folk. Alaxander explained that they're called tari and commonly lived in the sewer systems of Balic. The group began making plans to attack they village. Alaxander thought he and Julius could use the way to block the settlement entrances and rain death on the village from above. The plan sounded good, but was ultimately abandoned because slave lives would be lost.
Shade and Alaxander decided to scout the village again and see if there's a way to let the slaves escape, before their attack. Shade lead Alaxander slowly through the canyon. Alaxander tried to use the way to decrease the sound of his footfalls, but caused a loud popping sound instead. The two companions ran to another part of canyon and hid again.
Approaching the village once more, Shade and Alaxander decided to use the way to teleport to the top of the cliff and spy on the village below them. Upon teleporting, the tari guards on top of the cliff were surprised to see the two men appear. Shade and Alaxander were likewise surprised to see the tari guards.
Shade and Alaxander engaged the tari. One of the tari attacked Shade, but the other fled down the trail. The tari started screaming as he ran. Alaxander tried to use the way to teleport in front of the fleeing tari, but miss teleported and appeared thirty feet above the ground and thirty feet away from the cliff. With nothing underfoot, he plummeted toward the ground. Alaxander used the way to phase himself and sink into the rocky ground below. Shade killed the tari he was battling with, dropped his sword and then took out his bow. He fired at the fleeing tari, the arrow striking his thigh.
The village was alive with activity, armed tari moved toward where Alaxander fell. Using the way, Alaxander rose from the ground with with arms outstretched, he laughed madly and frightened some of the tari.
Alaxander saw two figures push through the crowd to see what was causing the commotion. One of the figures was a large, muscular tari wearing a tattered purple and gold silk robe. The other was a dark-skinned bald human that Alaxander recognized. It was Mohamed, the slaver he had killed. They locked eyes and Alaxander could see the hatred Mohamed had for him.
Join us in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures Under the Dark Sun.
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters
Julius: Human male psychokinetic. 22 years old. Played by Dave. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Giant. Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. 18 years old. Played by Ben. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Elf. Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, Tyrian, and Balican.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Balican, Elf and Tyrian. Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Party NPC. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican. Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.