Dark Sun: Into the belly of the beast

Street Rats!

Keon grimaced, rats…why were there always rats. He kicked a dead rat across the room in disgust. Tiny critters got everywhere.

Alexander had hated rats too, but Keon suspected this was partially due to food being scarce when he was young. The young man almost had a compulsion to kill them if he knew they were near. Still – it had given the young men some basic hunting practice….very basic.

The memory of the two of them running about the streets, picking up odd jobs and brawling for change made Keon’s heart warm. Those times had been tough, but they’d had fun. Alex had shown him what the city streets were like and he had adjusted. To this day he didn’t know what it was that had led Alex to take him under his wing, but he appreciated it. They’d been like brothers – sometimes told people they were too. There were few girls who couldn’t resist those lithe, blond, young men when they aimed the full force of their charm. Those had been interesting times.

Now was not the time for such rememberings though. It wasn’t safe here, Keon could sense the danger like a lovers caress. Scanning the area for threats, he turned to where his companions had headed and made to catch up.

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S01 E05 Oh Rats!

Behind the broken plaster there of a dark corridor. The pealing frescoes are poorly preserved, they seem to depict the old world, with people working and flowing water. Again the strange graffiti seems to cover the human figures, replacing them with strange child like scrawls.
At the end is a dilapidated and rotten wall that easily gives way, revealing and empty room with an earth floor. As the confident newcomer strides confidently across the room, un-quiet spirits rise up from the ground, attacking and possessing the adventures.

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As the spirit flow in threw the eyes and mouth, the party find them selves fighting their friends as well as their enemies. Some of the party run forward to unlock the door while others fight of their horrifying touch, while their weapons appear to be made of spirit smoke and pass threw the flesh, it still cuts and rakes the body with freezing pain.
The malevolent wraths are put down for now, but one day in the their souls will congeal and return to this spot to haunt it once again.

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After putting their hand threw a rat hole to get the final bolt on the other side (and being grabbed by a rat for your pains) the door gives way and the stranger yet again surges forward.
You are met by a room filled with Rats ‘As it said more taste morsels are here’ one says. The stranger demands passage or he will ‘Kill every last man, women and child’, a lead dire rat seems to consult a great door at the back of the room in a whisperers before declaring ‘Attack’! The dire rats have a myriad of armer they must of taken from generations of victims and the small rats swarm you, getting into your own armour, gnashing and biting your unprotected flesh.
As the fight comes to an end one of the last rats left throws open the doors and a strange squeaking can be heard over the clashing of bone blades.
As the stranger steps upon the last tiny rat and cries, ‘I told you, every last man women and child!’ a huge silhouette falls across his, an abomination fills the door. Rat KIng a creature made up of fused rats creating one monstrosity. It has formed great arms and legs, it rides on wheels to help drag immense deformed body across the ground. Rat faces peer out from a cloth holding the body together, straining as if attempting to escape. Is all lost?

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Elementary my dear Bully.

The last blow to rocky sent a primal backlash through their bond, even as the squeaking grew louder Finley blinked furiously try to dismiss the psionic feedback.

Bully watched his mother and father pack up the cart, they were talking with the village elder, the Shaman, he was the one making Bully’s parents take him away from his home… he didn’t understand why all the other goblins liked the old fool. Bully didn’t have any time for the tale of a rich and verdant land where the goblins had been as connected to the world as the elementals were here, no mortal creature was connected to anything, they were just waste, floating on the wind from one Plane to another.

He felt a flash of heat at his back and turned to face his current playmate, a fire elemental he’d paled around with for several weeks now. The elemental seemed to know Bully was sad, he tried to engage the goblin boy in their games of play and chase, but bully didn’t join in. He stared warily at the swirling mass of primal energy that would take them to their new, old, home.


Bully collapsed on the edge of the forest, He was clinging to a hat as big as he was, it had meant something important.. The boy was thirsty beyond belief, the sun made him feel better, the heat didn’t worry him, but the thirst, he had to drink! He didn’t know when he came too, but he knew what triggered it; a mouth full of sharp teeth sunk into the flesh of his shoulder!


The water was the most amazing he’d ever tasted, and he’d had water elementals serve him a glass in the Chaos. His shoulder hurt, the pale small eared goblin-like people were talking about him in hushed tones.

They were cooking something tall and slender on a spit over an open fire. He, on the other hand, had been shunned from the group – dismissed apparently as not tasty, but not a big enough threat to kill. He wanted his mother, and father!

Finley caught a feeling of loss, two people, important people, now all he had was the tall hat, of crossing a desert, endless sand, endless heat, shelter under the hat, then the edge of a forest.

The small sized humans wouldn’t let Bully share their food, or water, they made him sleep outside of their group. Luckily, the water and fire were far more kind than people, wherever he went.

“Water, I’m very thirsty, and they are very mean, I have a cup here for you, would you please come over here?”
“Fire, I’m very cold, I have been friends with your element before, in another world, I’ve got some sticks for you here, will you lend me some warmth?”

And so the shorter paleskins paid Bully some attention, because the fire came when he called, and the water came when he called. Later all the spirits would come when he called, the Spirit of Life coming to Bully if he asked very nicely, Athas, the world itself, would lend some of the last drops of it’s life to heal the small paleskin raiders after their dubiously heroic battles.


Bully back-pedalled at full speed, the new tribe leader had him on his back, a stone axe soon to crash down on his skull. The moment had come, he knew it could never have been far off, he was Goblin, he didn’t belong with the paleskins. While they shared many traits smaller quieter races had over the full size humans, Bully wasn’t one of them. The assistance the spirits lent him made them suspicious and jealous, but he called on them now.

His hand found a stone, or, a stone found his hand. Bully took a look at the rock, what an odd shape!

“Tell me; does this look like a heart to you?”

The chief froze

“I, I think it looks like a heart to me, do you know I used to have a friend who was a fire? I wonder, If I believe it’s a heart of a big old rock monster hard enough, if he could help?…”


Bully looked down at the caravan below, the rag-tag band of paleskins who had followed him after he had left the tribe could barely contain themselves, they fell on the poor tall ones before Bully had a chance to think about it. They were already picking over the victims, literally, very uncouth! Bully spied an ornate looking carriage amongst the hall that the little hungry buggers had missed, and slipped inside.


Sir Finly La Cruix stepped into Tyr. No one would dispute his title, his signet (which was too large) and papers confirmed his noble credentials, and most importantly, the 4’ tall locusts he’d come here with had been stopped at the gates. He touched the papers of a gentlemen in one pocket, and the stone in the other, it really did look like a heart, that was important.


Shaking the memories out of his head, Finley La Cruix recognised the flood of memories as the Spirt of Life flowing through him! He knelt for a moment and planted his Totem into the ground.

“Elements of Life and Earth, Athas! I know you are not quite dead yet, not ready to give up the fight! Your humble servant calls to you once more for aid, Earth, harden our resolve, Life, bolster our efforts!”

Finley felt the rush of the spirt of Life, it leant it’s strength. He looked across the room at a collection of elemental rocks around one suspiciously heart shaped.

“Does that stone looks stronger to you, I’d say that looks like a stronger heart to me….”

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Thoughts in the marketplace

Kalak was dead.

Gallard heard it in the marketplace first, as he walked it at first light. A whisper behind his back. He turned quickly to see who it was – such sedition must be dealt with firmly, swiftly, and permanently – but whoever had spoken with such foolishness had clammed their mouth shut. It could have been any one of the dozens of customers and stallholders.

He made a mental note to report the sacrilege to the Chief Templar when he returned to his office. The markets, after all, had not been purged for a while. And with the death of Xiara, all of the old positions in the arena would be up for grabs. New space at the bottom of the pool would help the transition. After all, new gladiators need someone to practice upon.

Yes, he would recommend a purge.

The thought gladdened his heart as he strode up the golden stairs towards revelation.

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Parting of Ways

Keon took one last look back, before stepping into the darkness, to give Chewy a reassuring smile and a casual salute. It was all front – he felt less than reassured and though he wouldn’t admit it, he was going to miss his tall friend. They had been together since that strangely overcast morning 6 years ago when he’d rushed in to help the young giant fend off slavers. A wry smile flitted across his features. He’d have never imagined that it would be under those circumstances that he’d have found one of the best friends he had ever had.

Aelbor, he later found out, had become separated from his family before being set upon by slavers who undoubtedly wanted him for his gladiatorial value. The young giant had quickly become overwhelmed, crying out in pain as a spear sliced into his arm. It was this cry that had captured Keon’s attention and drew him near. It was anything but a fair fight and Keon felt compelled to even up the odds. It hadn’t taken long to turn the tide of the fight. The slavers had hoped for an easy catch and once it was clear that this would not be the case, they had fled, leaving the bodies of their fallen comrades.

Once he was sure they were gone, Keon turned his attention to the wounded giant. Aelbor had curled in on himself, clutching his wounds. Keon approached him slowly, whispering what he hoped were calming words. When he was within reach, he tentatively reached out a hand. He felt the giant flinch at his touch, but he didn’t recoil or attack. Maintaining his quiet chatter, he slowly began to treat the giant’s wounds as best he could. His efforts were rudimentary, but they would keep the injuries clean as they healed. By the time he was finished Aelbor had sat up and was watching him with puzzlement. Keon continued to move cautiously about, still unsure as to how long he would be welcome. He brewed a hot spiced drink that his mother used to make to cheer him up & proffered a cup to the giant. It was accepted suspiciously at first, but after a few sips, it was gulped back with a grin.

It wasn’t long before they were chatting as well as they could with Aelbor only knowing the odd word of common and Keon knowing even less giant. Keon made them both some stew, figuring that they both needed something to fortify them before they parted ways. They were both ravenous, but as Keon glanced up from his bowl, he spied something he could never have imagined. Aelbor was eating his stew as if he was surrounded by gentry. Each mouthful was carefully spooned from the dish, delicately blown on, deposited in his mouth and carefully chewed 8 times before swallowing. A laugh burst from Keon, surprising them both. “Ah Chewy, you were too good for those slavers!” he exclaimed, “Too refined by far!” A puzzled smile was the only response he got, so he grinned back and went back to eating.

When they’d finished, Keon gathered his things and prepared to head off to continue his journey. He saw Chewy was doing likewise and so started to say his goodbyes only to receive more puzzled looks. He tried again, giving the giant a friendly squeeze on his arm as he stated “Bye Chewy mate!” The answering “Bye” had a tone of puzzlement, but Keon put it down to the language barrier. Heading off, he hadn’t gone more than a few steps before he realised Chewy was following him. Despite his efforts, it quickly became apparent that Keon was going to have a comrade on his immediate travels. He mentally shrugged – having company would be a nice change and perhaps once they could share more than a couple of words, he could find out why Chewy was staying close. He was fairly sure it wasn’t the trauma of the attack, but even if it was, it wasn’t likely to last.

Six years ago. Who’d have thought. He had eventually discovered that Chewy’s intentions were most honourable. He believed he owed Keon a life debt and there was no convincing him otherwise. He’d found Chewy to be quite agreeable company. He was a gentle lad, that was for sure, though he quick to anger when he thought Keon was in danger. He’d even insisted on carrying Keon when he’d caught a nasty blow to the head. In the end, Chewy had pointed out it was just quicker for them both if he carried Keon as they travelled, plus it made chatting easier.

It was amazing how quickly they’d taken to each other….and that was why Keon was not going to let him join him now. Life debt or no – this was going to be dangerous. He had no intention of putting Chewy recklessly into harms way. They’d had a tense conversation, with Keon playing down the danger and the time he would be away, Chewy insisting that they stayed together. It helped that the rest of the group had mounts that would need care. Chewy was great with animals and that was what finally swung it.

Keon sighed to himself as a wave of sadness hit him. He was going to miss his friend.

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Take Note.

Finley turned away, choking. From the recesses of his leather cloak he produced a book, leather bound, tied off with a red ribbon.

Diaries of a Gentlemen Goblin Vol 1.1

Notes to self:

The foul magics afflicted by that wicked crown are real, even thought of speaking about our mission, before one had uttered a word, or even had a moment to second guess one’s self, results in entirely undesirable shenanigans!

They do however prove one thing, newcomer was not welcomed at the gathering.

New power-hungry fan of the Sorcerer Kings on the scene, the cut of his jib? Reproachable! Foul villain, quick of mouth, slow of manners. Despicable!

State of one’s own jib: greatly improved, previous adventurer didn’t respect the local flora, but did respect good tailoring: New 3 piece for Finley (naturally), silk britches; as the pure hemp itches!

Human architecture: Few too many corpses used, no respect for classical lines, columns; sub par, What can a Gentleman do being seen in an establishment like this?!

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S1 E4 Zombie wall

After defeating carnivorous cactus, you discover that many victims have left behind many valuable weapons and armour.

Loot

  • Silver Silk Thread Robes+1 AC (cloth, feyweave)
    The thread of the Silver Silk Spider makes this tough and light
  • Robe of Avoidance +1 AC reaction Enemy misses shift up to one square
    folds apon folds of material means this cloak billows allowing you to escape
  • Scale of the serpent +1 AC +5 escape scale armour
    shiny slippery scale from a great desert lizard that allows you to slip free
  • Spiked Jacket +1 AC (leather Armour) + 1d6 damage when grabbed
    leather made from the skin of the sand shark, spikes from it fin sharpened
  • Silt sandals
    ignore difficult terrain dirt sand and silt. Daily, walk on none solid surface.
  • Blood Beetle Armour +1 AC (bark skin Armour scale or hide)
    Blood read beetle shell
    Power (Daily): Minor Action. Gain a +2 power bonus to AC until the end of the encounter. Each time an attack hits your AC, reduce this bonus by 1
  • Aarkocar Feather Robes (fayweave) +1 AC
    Powerfull feathers covering this cloth make it stronger
  • Cactus needles, seeds and sap
  • Carnage weapons +1 Dam and Att Carrikal, Lotulis, Battle axe and Great sword
    +1d12 dam on crit black obsidian blade, the gore will never clean off
  • Hidden weapon +1 Dam and Att 1d6 extra dam on crit dagger and short swords
    this light compact blade of bone, when hidden can not be found
  • Hungry spear +1 Atta and Dam range 10/20
    grabs enemy with craw like spikes
  • Rat killers coat +1 Robe +5 against swarms and can move threw them
    Smelly and made up of the pelts of many vermin

You enter the stone doorway observed from a distance by a new comer.

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Inside is a huge chamber with no apparent exit. As you investigate this building seems to have three layers of occupation. The building it’s self is ancient, even before the magical wars that ravaged the land. With history hard to come by, it’s hard to tell. The second history is about 100 yrs old, maybe more, the floor has been painted red and a great rune circle, the walls have been covered in releifs and frescoes. The latest occupation is evident in the graffiti and scraps of rubbish as if someone or thing has been living in here scratching strange child like figures into the peering fresco.
Investigating the creepy relief closely reveals a horrifying truth, the painful contorted and tortured figures are real people, nailed to the wall alive and hot plaster poured over them. Some have plaster filling there upturned mouths to brim others the plaster has crumbled away to reveal chared bone.

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Investigating the rune circle reveals resent burn marks, walking into it appears to be nothing. This happened recently, no more than a month but less than a week.
Investigation of the fesco reveals a painting of an iron gate at the end of the room. A rat hole at the base allows a draft of air to come through.
Destroying the fresco to create a way through activates the trap. The zombie start to rip their way out of the walls and attack.

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The last zombie is brought down.
Run away …………https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5sQL7q_IOI

A figure emerges from the shadows, clapping his hands. ‘Well done’ he says, surveying the carnage. A few creatures still struggle against their confines, the stakes pinioning them to the wall. Scrapes a sample from the still snapping head and discovers the plaster contains a strange black sand. He proclaims the circle is for magical protection and that he knows all the secrets of the tomb and power lies ahead for those that would follow his lead.
sweeping majestically threw the door way as the last of the plaster is removed and the corridor revealed.

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The Making of a (Gentle)Man

Finley, he liked that name, looked down at the card he’d found in his new trousers, it was one of the few reasons to keep the stitched, restrictive things on; people with names like Finley La Croix wore them, and kept important wordy-cards in the pockets of them.

He presented the card to the man-servant at the door. It was a tribute to how much of a proper gentlemen he was, because he didn’t look at the man handing him the card at all, the stamp was enough. The portly man, who filled out his three-piece suit, made – as it was – from scraps of cloth and the best a city could scavenge, asked:

“And how should I introduce you?”

“Sir Finley La Croix, Gentlemen Goblin” Finley beamed, trying to match the angle of the chin the taller man adopted. Not easy as he was viewing it from 2 feet lower.

“Gentl?.. very good sir”

So he was admitted. A little wig amongst bigwigs, the movers and shakers of Tyr. Not that he understood why they were called that, they seemed to move as little as possible and hardly any shook, swayed, maybe. Fermented Cactus juice was doing the rounds.

Cactus juice wasn’t the talk of the party however; there was water! A fountain of Water so clear you couldn’t see a grain of silt in it! It was all newly Finley La Croix could do to stop himself plunging his face into the cool, rare, marvel! Other guests were choosing quaint little cups to sip and refresh at the glassy nectar of life, Finley did the same, the dinky cups unsuited to clawed hands, but at least not over sized.

As he drank Finley felt like every green cell in his skin was popping with joy. It wasn’t that he couldn’t find water, a Shaman simply had to ask the water where it was, but this, this was so pure and wonderful!

And at that point the water cried out a dirty human was about to squash it. Finley heard the elements cry and dove to protect it, accidentally getting in the way of a, woman he’d probably heard described as ‘well dressed’ who had apparently deemed to attack the water behind-first!

Sparing the water the assault, he ended up with a wealthy woman basically sitting on him. Thankfully she was hoisted up by another, a friend of hers, and they addressed their smaller benefactor:

“Oh my, thank you good sir, had I taken another step I swear I would have been in that fountain! Are you alright Mr…?”

“Finley La Croix!”

“well but of-course, a fine name, for a fine ma… er….”

“Gentlemen Goblin about town”

“Oh ew, it’s a goblin!” …

“No no, my daaaarling, were you born in Port Amber?! It’s a Gentlemen Goblin! I’ve heard about this, it’s all the rage, everyone has to have a goboh’ pal, their salt of the earth, character building, good sports… am I right Mr La Croix?”

“La Croix… La Croix, I know that name, Merchant as I recall, new money man, ran some caravans, no relation I suppose”

“Oh no sirs and madams… no relation AT all”

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S1 E3 Chaos with cactus

After a quiet night the character get to know each other as they keep watch. Before the mid day sun hits its zenith the adventures reach the entrance to the water source. The entrance seems to have been excavated from the hillside. Steep slops forming a channel leading up to the entrance, lined with brush and cactus, perfect for enemies to hide in. Dead bodies lie all around the entrance , the soldiers the city sent seem to have been ambushed. The fighting so furious several cactus lining the channel have been destroyed.

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An excellent perception roll reveals that the remaining cactus look shifty, an other that they there are large drag makes on the ground.

The goblin throws his rock monster into the group they come to life are start attacking. I terrible fight, theses creatures took down a regiment of the city. But your combined power brings them down.
Surrounding the last cactus
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