Alaxander teleported to Abu's pile of ash and belongings. He began rummaging through the items, looking for the gem. One of the four henchmen did likewise. A portal to the Plane of Elemental Earth opened and Jessel fell through it.
Another henchmen, who was robed in brown, reached his hand toward the ground and the sparse vegetation around him crumbled into ash. Vashti screamed in pain, as a portion of her body crumbled to ash as well. The defiler then shot a lightning bolt from his fingers and electrocuted Shade and Kiara, who had rushed forward to attack. Kalino shouted a warning to Alaxander, who dove to the ground, then launched a fireball at the group of four henchmen.
Vashti rushed forward to heal Shade. Julius drew his finely crafted bone longsword and rushed forward as well. Two of the henchmen fought in tandem, one of them striking with his iron scimitar and the other, shooting with his short bow. Their first target was Alaxander.
Alaxander grabbed Abu's pile of belongings and teleported two-hundred yards away, so he could search the items without interruption. Shade and Kiara began fighting as a team, concentrating on the henchman with the iron scimitar. Julius rushed the defiler and Kalino assisted him.
The defiler drew energy from the plant life around him and from Vashti's own plant-like body. He created four illusionary duplicates of himself. The henchman, who had previously been searching through Abu's belongings, turned to Julius and stared at him. Julius' skin grew red and hot. Shade and Kiara continued to fight the henchman with the scimitar. The scimitar wielding henchman attacked Shade in return and the archer henchman joined him. Julius slashed at the defiler, but struck one of his duplicates instead. The duplicate vanished. Kalino tried to strike the defiler, but missed completely. Vashti magically healed herself.
As the battle raged, the group kept switching targets and not teaming up together. The henchmen fought more as a group. The defiler was devastating to Vashti, who would collapse, be healed by Kiara, and then collapse again. Fearing the defiler would kill her, Shade eventually grabbed Vashti and ran. Kiara covered his retreat.
Kalino and Julius turned on the way using henchman, who was cooking Julius and Kalino. They wounded him badly enough that he fled. They then turned their attention to the defiler. They managed to destroy all of the defiler's duplicates, but the defiler's last act was to cast a spell that allowed him to fly away.
Even though they were badly wounded, Kalino and Julius turned on the fighter henchman with the iron scimitar.
The group reconvened away from the intact area of the fortress ruins and caught their breath. Kiara revived Vashti and Alaxander showed the group the second gem. It looked very much like the Lord of Arms, but introduced itself as the Lord of the Mind. The Lord of Arms thought he was superior to the group, but his arrogance paled in comparison to the Lord of the Mind.
Even though his personality was insufferable, the Lord of the Mind was incredibly useful. He provided mental energy and access to telepathic powers of the way. He told them the directions and rough distance of the other gems. He also told the players that each gem could also sense the direction of him, so anyone with a gem could find the group.
With this new information, and enemies still present in the area, the group decided to leave the area sooner rather than later.
Using the way, Julius mindlinked Vashti and Alaxander. Vashti used the way to look at the base of the mountain and Alaxander was able to open a large extra-dimensional doorway for the group. They walked through it and emerged into a large rocky badland area.
Shade began looking for a place for them to stay and found a cave not too far from their location. The group limped to the cave and found it cool and dry. It went deeper, however, so the group explored further.
They heard noise ahead of their position, so Shade sneaked ahead of the group and peered around a corner. He saw a dozen elves sitting around a small fire, where they were cooking a large rodent of some kind. They appeared to be hunter-gatherers. Shade observed that all of their equipment and clothing came from animals and plants in the area.
Shade stepped forward and told them in elven not to be afraid. He told them he was a traveler and was just looking for a place to rest and recover. The elves were cautious, but the group showed their good intentions by laying down their weapons. They also offered the elves fifty feet of hemp rope, a set of bone crotalum, ten pounds of dried meat, some honey, and a bottle of common wine. The elves agreed to let the group stay, as long as their left their weapons were they were laid.
The group rested for the rest of the day and slept through the night. They kept watch, of course.
Day 28, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending
In the morning, Vashti preached her sermon to the group and the elves. She created water for everyone, allowing the elves to keep the excess. The elves were grateful.
Vashti and Kiara then healed the group, so they were not on death's door, but were only moderately hurt. The group thanked the elves for their hospitality and that they were leaving. They gathered their weapons. Alaxander used the way to transport everyone to Urik, by creating a large extra-dimensional door.
Upon arriving outside of Urik, Kiara pulled her templar medallion out from under her clothes. She led the group past the line of people waiting to be allowed entrance into the city-state. Kiara approached the guards at the gate and told them to move aside, which they did. They all went inside.
The group assured the woman that they would not be a bother and Alaxander gave her a silver piece for their lodging. The woman was astonished and happily served the group her best vegetable stew. She offered both bedrooms to the group, but the group said the main room would be fine.
A few hours later, Kiara had a lower rank templar drop off ceramic disks that gave the group permission to buy and sell items in the market district. The group went to the market district and bought new armor, a pack kank, a barrel of water, new clothes, and also sold various items.
Upon returning to their temporary lodging, they discovered that the man of the house, Ziad, was an obsidian carver. He owned a slave, Salim, but treated him well. Going so far as to compliment him on his work and saying he didn't know how he would do things without him.
The group questioned Ziad and Salim. They discovered that Salim was a slave due to unpaid debts. The group paid Salim's 75 ceramic piece debt and got a templar to certify the transaction. Salim was now a free man.
Ziad was worried that he could not keep up with the demand of his obsidian business, but Salim offered to come work for Ziad for a share of the profits. Shade helped negotiate the deal between the two men. Ziad and Salim came to an agreement rather quickly, as they had known each other for years. The shook hands and became business partners.
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, Balican, and Urikite.
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.