DarkSun: Sinister Ascendancy

An old friend

Continuing to travel south, the party tops a small dune and see a strange sight.

A giant wasp like creature is flying low, carrying a wax ball in its mandibles, and is dragging a silk cocoon behind it. Isaac notices a flash of red from the cocoon.

Two black feathered creatures peck at it, tearing at its flesh. After a time, the party decides to charge down, to assist the wasp creature. The group charges in, Isaac in the fore. Battle joined, the Aarakocra are short work for the battle hardy former slaves. With a mighty blow, Zul, the enormous half-giant, parts the final Aarakocra’s head from its shoulders.

Meanwhile, the wasp creature has succumbed to its wounds. the party discover the wax ball is full of water, but not before they accidently burst it. the cocoon is more intriguing. Slicing it open, the party finds an unfamiliar human, in tough desert leather, but dead to some sort of poison. Next to her, lies a familiar face – Nivean! The cocoon shredded, the party decides what to do.

Dri-kull spots a ruby red shimmer – and discovers a large red gem with one sort of rune written on its ‘table’ [ed – the top flat part of a gem].

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Cactus food

As the great sun of Athas descends below the horizon, the party decides to rest up. The gargantuan mekilots have all bot collapsed from exhaustion, and are now lying prone, out of the last rays of the sun.

The party sets watch and rests.

Morning breaks. The party has been unable to rouse the mekilots, and so set off into the rocky badlands. After some travel, the characters approach a large cacti fields Unwary at first, the characters are surprised when they are assaulted by the apparently stationary cacti. Tree-like cactus, writhing masses of cactus and thorny cactus prove to be predator, not prey and carnivorous to boot.

However, despite the deadly toxins from the purple ball cactus Harrr the Mul cleric is able to purify the cactus flesh.

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Flytrap

The party heads south, following the mekilots. The sun beats down, and the party realise that they will soon be dead unless they are able acquire water.

After walking some time, the party gets to talking – and hoping that the Halfling Nivean does not return. The large mul surprises them all, when after closing his eyes, he declares with absolute certainty that water lies to the south.

Soon the dark sun sets and the twin moons of Athas rise. Reaching the apex of a dune, the party despairs that they may never see water again, when suddenly, to the south Isaac gives a cry – water! Indeed, to the south there appears to be a pond of some sort, reflecting the light of the moon.

The party investigates, and discovers that the pond appears to be surrounded by bushes. The bushes have long spines – each over an inch long. Harrr, the mul, remarks on the substantial number of small bones that lie beneath the bushes. Dri-Kull, the lizard thing searches until it finds a small tunnel through the bushes towards the pond. Zul, and Dri-Kull creep into the bushes, which Isaac keeps a close eye on.

Soon the Dri-Kull and Zul are halfway through, when suddenly the bushes constrict, tearing them in half – or it would. Isaac- ever watchful – sees the bush begin to construct and with the strength of his deity, constrains the deadly bush with his power of compulsion.

“Hurry” Isaac screams. “I can only hold it so long.” Inside Zul and Dri-Kull discover that the bush is merely a fly trap – the water at its centre a sticky and inedible mucas, designed to look like water. The decayed body of a dwarf lies at the centre – Zul, taking its backpack discovers a small amount of water, and a broken obsidian sword.

Dejected, the party continues south.

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Bound for Tyr

A dispute breaks out between the slaves! Whilst the details are unclear (as is common on Athas), Nivan attempts to eat Isaac. But for the intervention of Zul, he may have succeeded…

A fight… almost begins, just as a cry – “The Jura Dai are not slaves” rings through the caravan. "Your king must release our people, or all his caravans will perish in the desert!” . With a crash the caravan lurches to a halt.

Zul, surprised at the halting caravan, rips the giant hair braid, freeing himself and his fellow slaves. Not wishing to dither, the slaves exit the caravan- except for Nivan. Cautious of his fellows, Nivan exits on the opposite side of the caravan.

Outside – hundreds of Jura Dai elves have gathered, many bearing torches. The set fire to the caravan, and soon it is an inferno. The elves do not wait long before beginning to depart. With disdain, and mocking grins they leave the slaves to their fate.

The Mekilots head south, followed by the party. Nivan begins to head west…

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Old beginnings

A slave barge, drawn by enormous lizard Mekillot pulls away from the city state of Urik. On board, are five slaves, bound for Tyr, destined to die building the great Ziggurat.

The five are a strange collection of oddities, and which no doubt caught the attention of the slave masters for this reason.

The first is strange indeed – a reptilian creature of sorts, the being known as Dri-Kuul appears neither beast nor sapient creature. Strange knotted cords are draped around arms and legs, giving the rags it wears a strange, exotic feel.

The overbearing presence of the half Giant is too difficult to ignore next – his strength is obvious, but his intelligence is questionable. He answers to Zul.

The next is a half-elf – strong and intelligent, a noble glimmer in his eye, and odd for his circumstance. Whilst dressed in rags like the others, the creature known as Isaac carries himself with a strange nobility, almost awkward on his kind.

The dreaded Halfling is next, Nivan, as he is known, is yet to eat the gruel supplied. Brandishing teeth shaved to sharp points, the small being clearly craves his next meal. Skittish – he glares hungrily at the others.

Finally, Harrr is contemplation itself. Like the rock that he worships, Harrr the Mul is strong, dependable and predictable.

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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