Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Session Sixty: The Ruins of Kalidnay

Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

The group rested and explored for much of their time at the oasis. Kalino asked Shade to stealthily take some cuttings of a few of the plants. Kalino showed Shade where to trim the plants, as to not harm them. Shade did so, but was caught by Hakim.
Hakim was confused why Shade was pruning the plants and asked him to discontinue his actions. Although Shade was not harming the plants, Hakim preferred to let nature take care of itself . He explained that if a caravan came to a well pruned oasis, it would be obvious that people lived there. Shade understood and apologized.
The clippings Shade did acquire, he gave to Kalino. It was fewer clippings than he wished, but it was enough. Kalino secretly used his magic to preserve the clippings for planting elsewhere.
The group slept under the greenery that night. They kept their usual watch cycle.

Day 1, Week 1, Macro, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

Upon waking, Vashti preached her sermon and created water for the group and the oasis dwellers. The group gathered up their items, wished the oasis dwellers well. They then struck out toward the ruins of Kalidnay.
They walked through green grass and marveled at its beauty. Soon, however, the grass turned brown and gave way to an immense salt flat. The heat reflecting off of the salt flat was a harsh contrast to the cool greenery of the oasis.
The group spent a miserable high sun on the salt flat, doing their best to shield themselves from the harsh rays of the sun. Julius noticed some movement in the direction of the ruins of Kalidnay. Hakim had warned them about undead coming from the ruins, so the group readied their weapons.
As they approached the shambling figures, they could clearly see that the figures were desiccated and wearing rags. The group attempted to give the figures a wide birth, but the figures rushed to attack them. The zombies targeted Kiara and attacked her en masse.
The zombies tore open Kiara and began lapping up her blood. The group was disgusted and attacked the zombies drinking at her wounds. The fight was brief and the group was victorious. They moved on to the ruins and arrived in the late afternoon.
It was obvious that the walls were once grand fortifications. The ruined walls stood thirty feet in some places and appeared to be just as thick. As the group walked through a large collapsed portion of it, they began wondering aloud how the city had fallen.
Once passed the walls, the group saw the crumbling ruins of the once proud city. Shockingly, some spires were still pointing toward the olive sky. Most of the buildings, however, had been reduced to their foundations with a few crumbling walls secured to them. The ancient city was far larger than they had imagined, rivaling Tyr for sheer area. 
The lord of the mind told them that he could feel the other gem and encouraged the group to move further into the ruins. The first intact building they came to appeared to be, possibly, an old tavern. Inside, they were surprised by a creature that was a giant serpent with humanoid arms. The serpentine creature held a bone dagger to Vashti's throat. Shade was embarrassed that he'd allowed someone to sneak up on the group.
Surprisingly, the creature spoke Urikite and demanded the group leave the area, for they were encroaching on the territory of the yuan-ti. The serpent then told them that they would find no treasure in the ruins, only death. Vashti explained that they were not seeking treasure, but the serpent slipped through a gap in the wall and was gone, before Vashti could finish. As the group was getting ready to leave, Vashti realized that the serpentine creature had stolen her waterskin.
Back on the street, the sun was setting on the horizon and the group did not want to be caught in the ruins after dark. They hurried through the streets, going in the direction the lord of the mind directed.
Suddenly, the ground collapsed under Alaxander and Kalino. They fell into a pit that spanned the roadway. As they dust cleared, the group saw a bizarre looking creature emerge from a hole in the wall. The monster had rough striped skin, four legs, two eye stalks, bony ridges on its back, and long fangs. The creature attacked with its claws and teeth. Alaxadner and Kalino fought back, but the creature had thick hide and kept circling to get behind one of them. However, Alaxander and Julius engaged the creature with psionics. The creature attempted to fight back with psionic attacks of its own, but was overwhelmed by the groups combined physical and mental might. The creature retreated back into its hole and the group chose not to follow.
Alaxander used the way and Kalino easily climbed out of the pit. The rest of the group jumped over the hole, or had Alaxander assist them with the way. The hurried on. The lord of the mind told them they were getting closer to the next gemstone.
The lord of the mind lead them to a stepped pyramid that had obviously been partially repaired. Outside of the pyramid were two crude ten foot tall statues of a horned inix. The group had never seen a horned inix before and thought the statues were rather odd. The lord of mind told them the gem had to be inside of the pyramid.
The group saw a large doorway at the top of the pyramid. They began the arduous trek up the side of the large building, weapons ready. Upon reaching the top, the sun had just set. The group lit torches and went inside.
Inside was beautiful, with a nearly repaired tile mosaic on the floor. The mosaic was a geometric pattern of blue, green, and turquoise. Their were pillars that were under repair with similar mosaic patterns. There was a large ramp at the far end of the room.
The group moved toward the ramp, when all of a sudden, the doors to the pyramid closed. The group turned and saw two tari with bone carrikals. From behind each of the pillars emerged more tari, who were brandishing various weapons.
On Vashti's suggestion, the group lowered their weapons and she began talking to them in various languages. She discovered that one of the tari spoke broken Balican. She explained that they were searching for a specific green gemstone. She guessed that the gem was green, as the lord of the arms and the lord of the mind were green also.
The tari told them that they would not find any treasure in the pyramid, to which Vashti replied that the gem they sought was not treasure, it was a tool. The tari then accused them of being bandits, to which Vashti replied that they would have attacked if they had been bandits. The tari was about to say something more, but stopped suddenly and appeared deep in thought.
The tari told everyone to wait in the upper chamber, but for Vashti to follow him. The group agreed, but Julius joined his and Vashti's minds with the way. Vashti then followed the tari into the depth of the pyramid.
She walked down the wide ramp and the end of the chamber. The second level was a barracks, with replacement weapons, armor, and six more tari. The third level was a home for non-militant tari, including children.
The fourth level down was the largest chamber and the tari pushed open sandstone doors on a pivot. The doors were a little noisy, but moved easily. Beyond the doors it was very dark, but Vashti followed the tari inside. Vashti's tari escort stopped and knelt. Vashti was confused, but then she heard a voice.
"Welcome to my home," Said a deep rumbling voice from the darkness. A huge horned inix head emerged from the shadows. The huge lizard opened its mouth and continued its sentence, "little treasure hunter."

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.

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