Raiders of the Obsidian Sun

Interlude 1

The Year of Priest’s Defiance
190th King’s Age
Festival of the Cooling Sun
Altaruk

* * * * *

You slip away from the gate as the crowd grows and the yells to the guards increase. The sounds of battle from the east, punctuated by the thud of impacting rocks, roars on. High sun is approaching and your next thoughts are to find shelter from the sun and any wandering guards. You pull your “borrowed” cloak closer and look for a hidden corner to get some rest.

* * * * *

The corridors are made from smooth obsidian, jet black and unyielding. Every turn you make draws you further into the Maze. Spirits flit inside the walls, white echoes and silhouettes stir the flat surfaces.

It is cold, colder than the desert in the dead of night. You can feel the chill down to your bones. You do not know how long you have wandered this labyrinth, but you are hopelessly lost now. Your only hope is to find the center, find the pieces, find the escape. Find the Sun…

…or die.

* * * * *

You wake with a start. No more memories of your past surface in your thoughts, but the dream remains vivid in your mind. The suns have begun their descent and you realize nearly six hours have passed in slumber. It is nearly time to meet your House Wavir admirer and leave Altaruk behind. You peek outside your hiding place and blend into the flow of light traffic.

Somewhere in the Obsidian Maze, a crack forms in the perfect walls.


DM Notes:

The first adventure, Awakening, is now complete. You have the option of bringing in a new character or keeping your current one. Except upon death, there are no character switch points for this adventure.

The new Character Builder is now equipped with Dark Sun options. By consensus dice rolling, use 17 16 15 13 12 10 as your ability scores, for either existing or new characters.

Prepare for The Vault, next session!

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Awakening, Part 2

The Year of Priest’s Defiance
190th King’s Age
Festival of the Cooling Sun
Altaruk

* * * * *

(Summary pending.)


DM Notes:

Nok gave you a potion fruit of healing before your next fight and asked that you bring him a trophy. See DSCS 116 for an explanation about potions.

You defeated the craud in Locust of the Sands (level 2 encounter) and took some trophies.

Bringing craud remains to Nok put you in his favor. He gave you 2 augmenting whetstones (level 6) and agreed to ferry Arena Glory Favor requests for you.

You failed to sway the guard in Convincing Greed (level 3, complexity 1 skill challenge) and he sabotaged your equipment for the next fight.

You defeated Kra’yat the Butcher in The Champion (level 2 encounter). You took his obsidian greataxe, 2 stone handaxes, but could not remove his armor in time. You failed to improve the crowd’s disposition, Working the Crowd (level 3, complexity 1 continuous skill challenge) during the fight. You each gain 100 gp Altaruk Arena Glory Favor.

Nok led you out of the arena and onto the street. He gave you a final potion fruit of healing before sealing the secret passageway.

From there, you decided to blend into the crowd and make your escape through the northern gate. You succeeded at Escape Uncertain (level 2, complexity 2 group skill challenge), only to reach gate after it closed.

An dwarf agent of House Wavir approached you and offered you an escape and a job. Return at dusk or replacements will be found (extended rest).

Very creative and imaginative use of skills and descriptions for your skill challenges. You receive 525 XP each for the session, bringing your total to 895 XP for the campaign.

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Awakening, Part 1

The Year of Priest’s Defiance
190th King’s Age
Altaruk

* * * * *

You enter the arena with the excited roar of the crowd. They are thirsty for blood… yours. You are the criminals condemned to death and the crowd calls out for carnage and death. The execution team across the arena stands ready to please the crowd, the cheering grows louder as they are named. The announcer speaks, his voice psionically amplified over the stadium. The tension builds as you await for the word that seals your fate.

BEGIN!”

* * * * *

You leave the arena the same way you came in—surprisingly—on your feet. The crowd cheers your bloodthirsty efforts in dispatching the execution team. As the noise fades into the distance, you cannot help but smile at the modicum of new respect the guards are showing you.

“You will fight again today,” says one guard. He smiles and motions to another guard to pay him. “You won me a few coins, I had a feeling about you.”

Your weapons are removed and you are back in cells, but there is noticeable improvement your treatment and living conditions. They even let you keep your trophies. You are being treated as gladiators. The food is only marginally better.

“The crowd is demanding the return of the criminals that survived the execution squad, you better get ready,” says the guard. You are taken to the staging area and led out to the arena floor.

The opposite gate opens and you heard the barking noise of the small, but deadly, jhakar. They race towards you…

* * * * *

Bruised, battered, some unconscious, you return to your cells after the fight with the animals. You have bite marks all over. The halfling, Ostrad, was left in the arena, his blood had already stopped pumping by the time the inix was put down. You won a victory, but not a triumphant one.

“Congratulations,” the guard is smiling, “another victory! And good riddance to that cannibal! This one’s next!” he motions to the gnoll and laughs. “Great day! A full week of games left, you’ll be seeing much more action!” He waves a bag of clinking coins as he locks your cells and walks away.

You realize it must be the Festival of the Cooling Sun. A whole week of fighting lies ahead.


DM Notes:

For defeating the execution team in Grand Melee (level 3 encounter), you each receive 145 XP. You also receive 40 XP each for Crowd Favorites (level 5, complexity 1 skill challenge). Those who gained a success in the skill challenge received a +1 bonus to attack rolls for the next encounter, until they were hit.

For Release the Hounds (level 5 encounter), you each receive 185 XP for defeating the jhakar and inix. Ostrad is killed when he bled out on the arena floor, first character death.

After your two battles, you have garnered some favor in the arenas of Altaruk. You each gain 200 gp Altaruk Arena Glory Favor (DSCS 211).

Please create a character and mark him dead or deceased if one of your character is killed.

Information about the Festival of the Cooling Sun and Athasian calendar is on page 15 of the DSCS.

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Awakening, Prologue

The Year of Priest’s Defiance
190th King’s Age
Altaruk

* * * * *

The lump on the back of your head is all the reminder needed that you are not where you were when last conscious. You breath in stale, oppressive air and notice a few around you do the same, all prisoners dressed in rags. The light of a few guttering torches tells you that you are currently the guest of a dungeon, an arena pit by the looks of the racks of bloody and well-used weapons. You discern you are probably in Altaruk, by the tidbits of heated conversation between the guards down the hall. The confining cage around you does not let you stand or stretch.

You shake the cobwebs from your head, but there is a veil of haze in your memories. You think your name to yourself, then try to remember yesterday, or the day before, or anything else before today, but nothing comes to mind.

Your movements bring the attention of the trio of guards down upon you. “Pipe down, criminal,” threatens a tall mul. He hammers the butt of his spear into your side, but you do not give him the satisfaction of a grunt of pain.

“Do not hurt him too badly,” says the female dwarf with a purr, “they become flaccid and useless if you tenderize them too much.” She licks her lips and crudely scratches her nether regions underneath her armor.

As you coil back in disgust, the third guard roughly pushes them aside. “Shut up, both of you. This riffraff is scheduled to die in the arena tomorrow for their crimes. Leave them in their misery for one last night.”

The air around the guard ripples and you taste the familiar discharge of psionic power before it washes over you. The ground rushes up at you, but not before darkness descends.

Tomorrow is going to be a bad day…


DM Notes:

Create a character according to the house rules, but do not select a Background—not until you can remember who you are. Athasian weapons are not made from metal and you should specify what material your weapons are made from. Any unspent money left over is gone—you are prisoners after all.

As for your “amnesia”, you can remember your name and all the skills of your craft, but you cannot remember your past, your background, or your upbringing. You retain basic and historical information about Athas, but no personal history.

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Overview

DM Notes:

Please review House Rules for making your character.

Special Note: Switching Characters

Character retraining works as normal. However, you may—at any time convenient to the story—switch your character for another. This gives everyone a chance to try out different character ideas and concepts. The new character has none of the treasure or rewards of the previous character. The previous character can be brought back in the same way as a new character.

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