Beneath a Darkened Sun

Through the Hourglass

Having assembled with their accrued supplies near the Slave Gate of Urik, the companions set out early after the Athasian sunrise. They made good time in their morning travels along the Obsidian Way in their journey towards Malka. They broke traveling briefly during the the sun’s most brutal hours, everyone but the Dray and Mul were able to find food and water of their own.

Their journey resumed after the heat broke. They continued many hours on foot without note, before the shaman Da’nk noticed some unusually wilting plants. Upon further inspection the plants roots had been demolished, leaving only stalk and leaves. Ignorant of the meaning of this clue the group proceeded on, until the discovery of a supplies laden wagon being picked clean by vulturous winged-men. Despite a rude rebuke from the scavengers, they scatter quickly, leaving the “Clutch” with a sense of danger.

Their fears are quickly proven to be warranted as a subterranean gang of bone-clawed, beady eyed behemoths sprang from the silt and simultaneously grappled with Arkus, Veldya, and the Thri-Kreen. As the engagement progressed the Dray’s as so far unknown powers began to manifest. Dahnkain offered harsh rebukes in tortured pained Elvish to surprising effect. In the middle of the brawl, the beast holding Arkus disappeared into the ground with the Mul.

As the fight ended with the majority of the group surrounding the largest Anakore, the group scrambled to find their Quartermaster. Digging and clawing through the silt where he disappeared until uncovering a small hole to a seemingly extensive tunnel system. The Warlock, having suffered the least damage in the earlier battle was the first to descend into the tunnels. The others quickly followed before the sands closed in, securing the entrance and their fates in the dark cool tunnels of the dune freaks.

How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place
June 16 Session

Refreshed from sleep and an ample meal, the erstwhile gladiators follow High Templar Liticus through the City of Lions to their new home, a house in the Templar District.

The journey takes them past the Stel House with its twelve sword-capped towers (and a warning to stay clear of Stel affairs), past the foreign quarter (“full of rabble” and crime), into the artisan quarter, through the opulence of the High Quarter. They see the great mural depicting King Hamanu defeating “trolls” with a flaming sword, and then into the Templar District itself.

The Templar District itself is symbolic of the order and law brought to the city by the Templars: each house, road, and alley is perfectly aligned into neat rows. Each house, including the house assigned to Dahnkain and his retinue, is a three story structure with the top floor painted red and the lower two floors painted yellow.

Once there, the High Templar gives Dahnkain his stipend and leaves him to settle into his new role and his new dwelling place.

Beneath a Darkened Sun
Cast into darkness.

Urik, The City of Lions.

That’s what they call it, what with its huge army and towering walls. A model of efficiency, discipline and law Urik is a city whose citizens have traded safety and prosperity for freedom. Ruled by Hamanu, the self proclaimed “King of the World”, Urik is a city of order enforced by Hamanu’s legion of Templars.

None of that means much to you however, now that you’ve found yourself at the bottom of the Pit of Black Death, a depleted obsidian mine turned arena. You’ve been here only a few days but already it has been nearly unbearable. The arena chambers are cramped, searing hot and littered with razor sharp obsidian fragments. It is nearly The Festival of the Highest Sun and word has it Hamanu wishes to start the new year with a week long gladiatorial fights.

It is unlikely you will survive the coming fights, but the conditions you find yourself in now make death seem a welcome alternative. But there is hope, for in The City of Lions the worth of a man is dictated by his actions. If you stand victorious at the conclusion of the festival, there is precedent that Hamanu may recognize your abilities and elevate you from your current position. Whether attracting the gaze of Hamanu will prove a blessing or a curse, remains to be seen.


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