Dark Skies

Overcome by The Dark Sky Storm
A band of slaves is freed by the fury of a Dark Sky storm

Dark skies crop

A band of cruel slavers transports their cargo across the blue-sands desert. They are savage and merciless. Before reaching their destination, the band is overtaken by a Dark Sky storm. Their cargo, Pau the fangling monk, Torment the dark one psion, Naut the scarred beast-man warrior, and Samiel the human bard are chained together and given clubs and knives by a slaver hoping to use them as muscle to escape the terrors in the storm.

Most of the slaves survive by fighting their way out of the storm and fleeing to a nearby cave to take shelter. Samiel and Torment are killed by the skeletal creatures that lurk in the storm. All of the slavers perish in the howling wind.

In the shelter of a small cave, other escaped slaves find shelter and join the initial group. These newcomers include Ranor the lizardling marshal and Minron the bull barbarian.

In the following day, the former slaves salvage what they can from the wrecked caravan, including a [mysterious gold coin that Pau feels a connection with, and depart in search of shelter. The rag-tag party soon finds an oasis and overcomes a sand folk ambush before sheltering there.

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Three Strangers - Kindness, Darkness and Undeath
A friend goes missing and the remaining former slaves meet three strangers while on his trail.

Pau, Minron, and Ranor awake in the lizardman burrows and discover Naut is missing and possibly abducted. During their pursuit, they nearly succumb to the harsh realities of being poorly equipped in the desert and are saved by the kindness of a stranger. Pau learns a bit of mystery surrounding the turtle coin he wears, while in the care of the stranger, Boroff.

The following day, the trio proceeds towards Marlone at Boroff’s advising. Along the way, they must defeat the darkness within Marlone’s cursed walls, then face the acolyte of death who has camped along the silt lake separating them from the city itself.

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The Temple of The Great Other, 'Mur'
The heroes are gathered and sent to Marlone

In the frigid cold of night, with the eerie green aura of Marlone lighting the western sky, three strangers are drawn to the unguarded camp recently set by the trio of escaped slaves turned necromancer slayers; Pau, Ranor, and Minron. First is the beastman druid, Wodewick, in search of his lost treasure, second is the sun child ardent, Malharath, in search of glory, and last is the human weaponmaster, Andal, in search of vengeance.

Food and water is shared among the strangers, and the strangeness of their surroundings is discussed. What are the massive pylons that span this narrow channel of the silt lake? Why is there a ladder and light atop the central pylon? What is the strange light emanating from the ruins of Marlone? Later that day, the pylon’s resident introduces himself and Marlone reveals some of its secrets.

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Besieged by The Great Hunt of Zatch
Night falls, and Minron is slain by the hounds of Zatch in the tunnels below Marlone.

The sun was low in the sky when two strangers claiming to be allies, servants of Ro-Rex in league with the Veiled Alliance, confront the party in Mur’s ruined temple. There’s a brief exchange of words before the form of the Great Other, Mur, rises from his remains and warns the party. “Outlanders! Barbarians! But, I see you have noble hearts and minds. If not selfish at times,” glancing at the Bull barbarian. “I failed my goddess in life, but in death I protected her heart these long centuries. The seal has been broken! When night falls, my brother Zatch will come to claim the Heart’s secret! He wants what we want, but his purpose will cost us everything! Trust in those before you. They know what must be done.”

Fearing the restless shadows at night and the demon that commands them, and having no other options for escape, the party follows the strangers through the ruined city to a hidden tunnel complex. Once underground, a ritual is started to hide the mysterious arcane constructed box from the sight of Zatch and other creatures of power. The ritual had only begun when Zatch’s minions arrive to slay all and claim the ancient stone box as their own before it is complete!

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Tower of Horrors
The party learns about the opposing Ro-Rex factions and how each rewards its servants.

Garret, a member of the Veiled Alliance, is sent from the nearby city of Buma-tu to aid the party and direct them to the Iron Riders. He arrives just before dawn, and explains his purpose to the wary heroes, with Bugard vouching for his identity. The party interrogate him and Bugard at length before placing more trust in their counsel. Ultimately, it is the words handed down from Mur that convince them of their good intentions.

With a better understanding of the perils that lie ahead, the party decides to take the fight to the enemy before seeking aid from the Iron Riders. They confront Pyre in his decrepit tower and learn what “rewards” are bestowed on his followers, as well as witnessing some of the horrific nature of the Hierophant of the Night’s power.

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Knowledge of Chaos
Much is learned from slaying the Ro-Rexian chaos beast, but not before a friend is betrayed.

In the waning light of day, Andal and the remaining party members pass under the shadow of Marlone. His weary eyes are focussed intently on the pylon jutting from the silt sea, while his shield hand absentmindedly fidgets with the fresh bandages covering the acid burns on his right arm. He looks beyond the tower to the ridge line that is actually the ancient haunted wall.

‘Will Wodewick survive,’ he ponders, ‘and who is this Boroff creature that they seem so concerned about?’

The booming voice of Gloaming breaks his tribulations, “What sort of beast scars a man like that?”

Andal lingers on the dual connotations of the question before he smiles at the towering form of his old friend who is striding alongside the cart. He looks over his shoulder at his companions sharing the ride northward. Malharath is sizing up the well armed company of free gladiators they have joined, Pau sits meditatively, a hand resting on the coin worn beneath his cloth, Ranor is meticulously preening his acid scarred hide, and Garret is close by nervously glancing at the shape of the chest tucked into Andal’s pack.

‘I will tell you, old friend,’ he murmurs, ‘but let us talk quietly. I’m not sure I believe it myself, and I’d rather not have word get to Qq, lest he think me mad.’

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A Debt Repaid
The mystery that is Boroff is repaid for rescuing the party

All is not well in the hearts of the party. Out of concern for the fate of Boroff they strike a deal with Qq that allows them rejoin the fighting men within five days. They sail across the strait of Marlone on the Lir Khan sea, returning to the haunted wall and find the spirits of the fallen are tormentors no more. As the party passes into the darkness, the spirits bow in reverence.

On the far side of the wall, the party sees Boroff running for his life from a flotilla of Ro-Rexian sky galleons. The gravely injured Wodewick is slung across his pack lizard. The pair make the tunnel as a massive blast of energy collapses the entrance. Trapped in the wall, he and the party uncover an ancient passage. They flee deeper into the ruins, seeking an escape route. Far behind them, strange beasts born of the nightmare that is sentient chaos, claw and chew their way through the dark tunnels in pursuit.

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A Shadow of the Past
A narrow escape is followed by betrayal and loss

Before the party has time to contemplate their next move, the massive flying stone galleons begin converging from all directions. Their escape aboard the skiff is aided by the unexpected arrival of forces loyal to Malharath’s tribe. Flight takes them across the Lir Khan silt sea aboard the overladen skiff. At Boroff’s urging, they make landfall south of the tower in order to find materials necessary to bring Wodewick out of his coma.

During the night, Mika the warlock discovers the party and senses the presence of The Secret. There is some mistrust of her motives, but she provides invaluable knowledge to the party, and joins the journey north to the tower.

Things take a worrisome turn at the tower, which is strewn with recent signs of battle. Disregarding the setting sun, they turn east into the mountain to follow what they hope is the last of QQ’s caravan. During the night they are confronted by the servants of the God-Emporer, lead by an ancient nemesis of Boroff who seeks The Secret for his master. The party is betrayed, and the battle is won with great cost.

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Lir's Deputy - Reborn
Deep in the Broken Mountains, Lir's emissary is called forth by The Secret

The party has a final parlay with The Speaker during the night. Mika is brought into the fold, by the swearing of oaths upon The Secret, in the pre-dawn hours.

The journey continues eastward, with the fortune of shelter, water, and food being found easily enough while on the tracks of the wagon and its captors. During the third night of travel, a lone Zatch scout is discovered near camp, ambushed, and slain, prompting the wary seekers to immediately break camp. The trail turns northward, where two survivors of QQ’s fighting men, Tarak and Bami, are found. The familiar fighting men join ranks with the party and continue the pursuit of what all hope are QQ’s company.

Pursuit continues for another three days through the side canyon. Strange ancient ruins and glyphs are seen with increasing frequency, until on the final day the canyon opens into a massive bowl lined with cliff dwellings and two massive sets of stone doors. A frantic Boroff leads the party through the far door into a pristine and grandiose ancient temple of Lir carved from the stone itself. While inside, the party experiences the reincarnation of Lir’s chosen son, Rande, and learns the tragic details of Garlic’s sacrifice of Lir in order to summon the draconian and banish Ro-Rex.

From there, the party follow the tracks into the second door, where the smashed wagon and its captors are found. The aberrations are quickly dispatched, the strange complex is explored, and it’s demented denizen’s confronted.

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The Price of Corruption
An ancient survivor reveals another facet of chaos corruption
Ogolo closeup

Far across the chamber, the Ancient known as Og’olo, once a druid companion of the great Corala, is presiding over the dismemberment of one of QQ’s men. A shackle bound and unconscious QQ, along with four of his companions, await a similar fate. Rande, still weak from reincarnation, is overcome by the strange corruption of the laboratory and collapses into torpor. Boroff orders Rannor to carry Wodewick to safety before flying into a rage. The party must overcome not only the abominations created by Og’olo’s use of flesh binding, but also a room fortified with raw arcane energy and guarded by a host of failed creations.

A long and chaotic battle ensues, with Boroff ending the confrontation by committing the coup de grace of Og’olo. He then uncovers the chaos orb used to power Og’olo’s life siphoning sarcophagus before setting to the destruction of the entire structure.

Outside, the party discovers that Rannor has likely departed with Wodewick by means of an ancient rune portal. A portal that will not work, unless the operator possesses a Fey Fuser. Everyone takes shelter in the Temple of Lir, and some contemplate whether another of their company has been lost to deception and betrayal.



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