DarkSun: Sinister Ascendancy

The fortress

Jengi in tow, the characters approach the fortress being occupied by the elves. Jengi makes small talk, and begins to explain her tribe. The Jura Dai were nomadic up until recently. The King of Urik had made much of the increased slave trade with Tyr, and so had sent his army deeper and deeper into the desert. This has put much pressure on the Jura-Dai, and so they have taken residence in the abandoned keep. This had raised tensions in the tribe – many of whom wish to be nomadic once more.

Jengi leads the party up the dusty road to the fortress. The structure is truly impressive – black stone reaches out of the desert, a reminder of what was once possible on Athas. The elves have made changes of their own – filthy huts have been set up on the inside, a stark contrast to the magnificence of the fortress.

Jengi leads the characters to the largest tower, where Tuga has established his throne room.

Tuga receives the characters and questions them. Tuga openly admits to capturing the druid – the oasis is a watering hole for the Urikite army, and so it must be neutralised.

After a while, Tuga tires of the conversation. He explains that he can’t very well allow the characters to leave now they know the location of the fortress, so they will be his guests until he can figure out what to do with them.

The characters are led to the other side of the tower, and down a set of spiral stairs. They move through what appear to be the lavish living quarters of Tuga-Dai, down to another set of spiral stairs. This original purpose of this room must have been a lot grander than its current purpose – a store room. The party is led into the room – inside the room stands an open crate full of what appears to be open, purple, flowers.

The room is quite majestic, but they are shoved in unceremoniously. The door is slammed quickly behind , and the party hears a bone bar slide into place. The door is made of thick wooden planks, bound together by what looks like giant hair rope. It is clearly not part of the original construction.

Inside, the room has fine stone work, far better than the rest of the fortress. The room is circular, and in the centre sits a well. On four sides of the well are four finely sculpted statues. The statues depict four dwarves – although they are different to what the party has seen in the past – they have long flowing hair that extends to their faces.

The statues are dressed in strange garb, plates of what the party guesses must depict bone plates.

Around the room are ancient runes carved carefully and precisely into the walls. The characters are not familiar with them, but the workmanship is exquisite.

Miraculously, huddled against the well, is a familiar shape. Zul lies there, clearly recovering from wounds.

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