Dark Sun: Into the belly of the beast

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The land is dying, Arcane arts defiles life and great wars ravaged the world till almost nothing remains. Yet creation hangs on to the edge of the precipice.

Magic is hated and few but the sorcerer kings and their disciples the Templar dare use it. They are hated and people are no better than slaves to their whims. They extend their lives to near immortality and now few know of any thing other than scraping a life from the sand.

Only ruins are left of the old world, their decaying skeletons of stone, ghosts of better times.

Will you be lent magic by a Sorcerer King and steal life from all around you? Maybe you will try and preserve life and take the hard Road to magic?

There are many opportunities to be taken advantage of, scavenging or slaying, slave or Lord.

There are jobs to be done.

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Intro The Story Begins

You are in the City of Tyr, ruled by the brutal sorcerer King Kalak.
A promulgation has gone out, the king is dead. Orders now come from a powerful members of society, Lord Hemtal is ‘temporary’ protector till a council can be convened.
Rumour is rife, word has it a slave uprising has toppled the sorcerer tyrant.
Civilisation is unstable, power plays are being made. All the old contract and accords no longer hold. The King no longer protects the Templars and those with out magic to strike back are openly attacked in revenge for their past sins.
Now a posted bill has gone up in the bars frequented by mercenaries, the elf market, gladiator ludus and other less salubrious places in the city. A call to arms.

Adventurers willing to go where other fear to tread are called to protect their city. A mission of immeasurable danger but fitting reward.
Immense wealth and power awaits those that succeed in this mission.
Be warned by coming to the meeting place you are agreeing to this mission, all that enter the circle agree to never speak to another of what they are commissioned to do and you will endeavour to fullfill it or forfeit your life.
If thou be strong of body and courageous of heart, come to the stone circle.

Most of you will know that the stone circle is not far out side the city, it is not marked on the maps but is known be reputation. It is a cursed magical place few go near.

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Dawn of a New Day

Keon sat by the fire watching the night sky beginning to lighten, an arm wrapped round Alakesse’s shoulder so they could share some warmth in the chill early hours as they kept watch. He smiled with bemusement – who’d have thought when he’d seen the proclamation for adventurers that he would have met such a beauty and had such an enjoyable evening. Of course he shouldn’t have been surprised there were charming women there, it was just the sort of place that he might bump into Fianna for instance.

Ah Fianna! Alakesse reminded him of Fianna in many ways. He let the memory of her linger in his mind for a moment. She was probably the best sword fighter he’d ever met and stunning with it. Even after training with her for months it took all his efforts to fend off her attacks when they sparred. Every movement she made was graceful and her technique was flawless. He’d learnt a lot under her guidance, but he doubted he’d ever match her for pure sword skills. Still – he had no problem being bested in training by a woman when she was the better fighter. He had other talents. Some of which Fianna was most delighted to discover and enjoy. Their time together had been both educational and breathtaking.

He swallowed a sigh. There was something about a woman with fighting skills that he found highly attractive. He wasn’t sure what it was, though they did also seem to be less bothered by his mixed heritage. Not that lack of fighting skills would preclude him from appreciating any woman he found appealing, it was just that so far the most captivating women he’d met were also handy with a weapon. He suspected that Alakesse would be no exception. Whilst he wasn’t hankering for a fight, he was curious to see how his new companions would fare, Alakesse in particular.

They were certainly a mixed bunch, though none were so far comparing to Finley for eccentricity. There was something in his manner or maybe his affectations that reminded him of one of his childhood tutors. He just couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. He pushed it out of his mind – much time had passed since then and now was not the time to think on it.

Scanning the horizon, Keon calmed his mind and enjoyed the feel of Alakesse’s warmth against him. Perhaps she would be interested in enjoying his company for more of this journey. The nights were cold in the desert after all.

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S1 E1 Meeting at the Crooked Crown

Dusk draws in Tyr casting a sickly red light falls on the adventures, creatures of all shapes and sizes, drawing near the Crooked Crown. An ominous circle of stones shaped into curved spikes. This is a cursed place, the soil has been sterilized by magic and the very air feels defiled. Few beings venture near this place and you have to abandon your mount far from the crown, posts seem to have been recently put up for your convenience.
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Around the edge of the circle shamen and ex-templar (the kings sigual ripped of their cloak) check people before they pass. They warn you that entering is a pact, you can tell no one of what you hear and that you must attempt to complete you mission on pain of death.
Before entering some of you notice a line drawn in the sand , the air feels thick as you pass through, there is powerful magic at work here.
The meeting begins, there are three key figures on the stage at the center; Mistress Esmay Fairborn the leader of the Trimmer Merchant House, Lord Hemtal ‘temporary Lord protector’ a powerful noble and Grim-Marshal a slave Gladiator that has chosen to remain among his brothers rather than take freedom despite his huge fame and popularity. Most of you would put good money on Grim_Marshal being part of the slave uprising that seems to have put an end to the Sorcerer King Kalak. Those with connections in high places have heard rumor that both Fairborn and Hemtal have been connected with the conspiracy.
Mistress Fairborn informs you that the water supply for Tyr has been contaminated. Citizens around the city are falling sick (similar to Flu some fall asleep and never waken), the city needs you to go to the source, the fact that this has happened just after the King has died is not a coincidence. By entering the circle you are now cursed, you can not inform anyone of this troubling development. Riches, land, influence await those that succeed in solving this mystery.

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S1 E2 The Cart

A hot tip means you can cut more than a day of your travel and get ahead of the competition.
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A wagon has been left half raided between the crooked crown and the entrance to the water source.
Bur others have found it before you.
A chathrang is hidden under a canvas, a well thrown axe means it is discovered before you step on it.
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Aarakocra have tied it down in the hope it will kill you. They decend on you from the sides and above.
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Victory is yours
200 xp for fight
100 xp Crooked crown
100 xp city start and character creation.

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Diaries of a Gentlemen Goblin Vol 1

These are the distinguished memoirs of Sir Finley La Croix, Gentlemen Shaman about town. I’m afraid I am not in a terribly distinguished position to be recording events, I fear my fellows do not respect me because of the colour of my skin and my stature, apparently they lack the refinement to appreciate the cut of my jibb, which is beyond reproach! but one does ones best. It’s not easy being Green.

It seems the call has gone out for adventurers of a certain sort to attend… the business – most foul I am sure. For my part, however, I had worked tirelessly to have the Goblins of the mountain tribes respected as Free Citizens of this fair city, With the death of the King, I am left with naught.

I was moved to disagree with the foul magics binding this gathering at the crown initially, not that a healer from the last forests is equipped to take on templars.

So instead I took a step back, adjusted my hat and took a listen to the uncouth ladiy and fellow presenting their case. All very passionate and all, but lacking class, clearly not trained in rhetoric.

Apparently they have some fool problem with their water supply. Strikes me as the sort of problems that arises by not keeping a Gentlemen Shaman on staff!

On can appreciate a civilised city might not want to have the likes of feral druids of shaman poking around, not a clue given to the correct angle of a Bowler or which side to wear one’s pocket watch, but if water if the matter, a city could do far worse than recruit a Gentlemen Shaman like Finley La Croix.

In all honesty it’s a good job they found me! Less than a day into this job and they are most in need of the services of a Gentlemen Shaman. They are brave fighters, I grant, but a Gentlemen was put to task! I shall need more pipe weed if I am expected to continue at this extent, I bet this lot don’t even appreciate the value of good shag!

I close this diary and mark my thoughts, Let those who can read it do so, coin to they that translate to goblin and make spread of it!

Sir Finley La Croix

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Twilight Watch

It was still twilight when Keon, closely followed by Alakesse, took up their posts for the last watch of the night. From the looks of him, Finley had been barely awake during his watch & was snuggled back in his hat within seconds of the changeover. Keon wondered if they should perhaps rethink the order they took watches to best utilise the times Finley was most alert. It was of no matter right now though – the night had apparently been quiet so far and Keon hoped that would remain true.

He stretched for a moment to loosen the tension in his muscles & push away any remaining sleepiness. He let his eyes sweep across the camp, checking where all his companions were bunked down. He could see Chewy propped against one of the mounts, smiling in his sleep, while the other beasts cuddled close. Keon smiled fondly. His friend had a way with creatures that was for sure, much more than he had with people. He would be a safe pair of hands to leave the mounts with if they found they couldn’t take them with them all the way.

As he sat down on the sand to settle into watchfulness, his eyes strayed to the Elf that had joined them. Keon frowned, uncertain. There was something odd about that man. He was sure that the newcomer had clocked his half-breed nature, but unlike practically every other Elf he’d met, there was no barrage of insults or attempts as violence. He could be wrong, but he got the distinct impression that he was trying to be…..fatherly…..towards him. Keon was baffled. Sure – the guy said he had kids, but that didn’t usually mean a father would treat all those around him as if they were also his children! Well…some of those around him. And especially not a dirty half-breed abomination!

Keon took a breath, releasing it slowly to calm the flash of anger at the thought of the insults he’d had drilled into him for as long as he remembered. He was no abomination. He was an honourable man. But no Elf would agree with him….or so he’d thought. He was going to have to learn more of this Elf. He was a conundrum that was certain.

His mind calm again, he let his eyes survey their campsite once more to make sure he hadn’t projected his anger, accidentally disturbing the others. Satisfied all was still and his emotions were contained, he shifted his attention outward of the camp with just a brief lingering glance over the shapely curves of Kiera. Another beautiful woman he thought, though this one he suspected had a more eclectic skillset than the rest of the party. Pondering, he wondered if she’d have been as keen as Alakesse had been to help him massage salve on his wounds. It was a moot point though – Alakesse had a dexterous touch that had been as soothing as the salve. Spending time in her company was a pleasure without a doubt and one that he hoped would remain of mutual interest for a while longer. There was something exciting about her, which he suspected was a subconscious inkling that she was as deadly as she was beautiful. He just hoped that their odd Elf companion would stop trying to spoil the mood with talk of babies. They might be indulging in the pleasure of each other, but they weren’t reckless teenagers! Besides – life could be short round here.

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The Executioner

He had only been having a moan to his friend. How could he have known it would get so out of hand?

It hadn’t been a great day, to be honest. He’d been stiffed by Lord Ashkenar over some very expensive roof repairs, and that kind of thing always angered him to the core. It had been all he could do not to let it explode out of him when his Lordship’s representative – his representative, no less! – came to his workshop with the formal notice. His Lordship’s Surveyor has assessed the quality of the workmanship as inadequate and consequently we are withholding de dah de dah de dah. Same old story. Cheaper to bribe a surveyor than pay a craftsman.

He was still shaking with rage on the way into the stadium. Usually, watching the gladiators helped him blow off steam, shouting and cheering with the crowd as they hacked at each other, but not today. Maybe because of that stupidly high bet he’d put on Xiara, the one whose acrobatics always got the stadium going. But no one beats Gock the Rock, he should have known that. Stupid.

So there he was, after the games, in a ram-packed bar on the South Side, ranting at Kolreth the baker about his high and mighty Lordship. To be fair, some drink was involved. But how could he have expected that anyone would take any notice?

It was when Kolreth went to relieve himself that the stranger appeared at his side. A man, dark and hooded.

“I know someone who can help.” His voice was calm, measured, barely audible amidst the hubub surrounding them.

“Help with what?”

“Finish your drink, and when you leave here turn left, then right. The glover’s place.”

“Jaskar’s? What can Jaskar -” But the stranger had vanished into the crush.

He probably should have forgotten about it, to be honest. But it had been a bad day, and anything that might make it better was worth a shot.


Jaskar wasn’t there. He closed the door behind him. The place was dark and quiet, a selection of sample gloves arrayed on the walls and the countertop, artfully arranged by colour and style. Jaskar’s workshop might be on the South Side, but his clientele were from the North East, and he knew the attention to detail those types expected.

From the back room came a woman, trying on a pair of elegant black gloves. He had never seen her before, but there was no mistaking that long, flame-red hair. Only one woman in Tyr looked like that.

She could only be the Executioner.

“Beautiful, aren’t they? I must ask Jaskar to run me up a pair.”

He felt his body grow cold. His mouth dried. “I haven’t done anything, please…”

“Don’t worry.” She smiled. “I’m here to help.”

“How?” He felt foolish as soon as he asked the question. Her reputation wasn’t exactly ambiguous.

“You are hardly the only honest craftsman to have fallen foul of Lord Ashkenar. Well, I say honest. It’s all relative, isn’t it?”

“These things happen.”

“They shouldn’t. These people think the rules don’t apply to them. They think they can treat the little people any way they like, with no consequences. I don’t think that’s the way it should be. Do you?”

She watched him. Waiting for his reaction. He opened his mouth, then closed it again.

“Well?”

“No. No, I don’t.” It felt good to say it, even though he knew as he spoke that he would regret it.

“Good. Be at the Stadium Gate at midnight.”

“Why?”

“Go back to your friend, enjoy your evening. The world will be a better place in the morning.”


By midnight, he was somewhat the worse for wear. Kolreth had insisted on visiting every drinking den on the South Side, or as many as they could manage at any rate, and they had only just made it to the Stadium Gate in time. He stood alone, as near to the great pillars as he could without being moved on by the guards. Somewhere nearby, Kolreth was retching noisily into a gutter.

He scanned the streets for the Executioner. What if the guards spotted her? She was the most wanted woman in Tyr. What if they saw her talking to him? Would they think he was an accomplice? Why had she chosen this place to meet? Maybe he should tell the guards right now that she was coming. There was a reward, after all. It would pay off a few debts. But she would know who had turned her in, wouldn’t she? What would happen to him then? And how painful would it be?

So lost in thought was he that he didn’t notice the old man approaching until he bumped right into him. Just some wandering tramp. The old man grumbled out a “Sorry, son,” before stumbling off again.

It was only after he saw him vanish into the shadows that he realised there was something heavy hanging from his belt.

A bag of coins.

Lots and lots of coins.


News of Lord Ashkenar’s murder spread fast. It had been the Executioner, of course. One of the servants had seen a flame-haired woman disappearing out of the bedroom window moments before finding his Lordship’s body, pierced neatly through the heart, lying quite still on a mattress slowly filling with blood.

The coins were more than enough to compensate him for his Lordship’s unpaid bill. In fact, they were enough to fund a modest but comfortable retirement. There was no need for him to go back to his workshop again – and under the circumstances, he decided that was probably for the best. Balic was a very fine city, so he had heard. He looked forward to finding out for himself.

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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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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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