(Tony did not make it so Senri fell behind in the desert lost in a sand storm...)
After arriving in the small tent city of Al'Karesh, the brave band purchased two camels and enough supplies for two weeks for each of them. After looking at their rough picture of a map they decided to set out for the southern tip of the mountains to the north east. Still getting used to the extreme heat changes during the day/night out in the desert, the party traveled slowly trying to avoid heat stroke, and built fires at night to stay warm. It was the first night out that the peaceful desert trip took a turn for the more violent. Skaldor taking first watch kept a vigil eye out for anything that might move. Suddenly a shadow swept over him and the camp from above. Awakening the others they tried to lock in on the shadow but it moved swiftly and was hard to see. Only when it let out a screech did the danger become all to real. Skaldor grabbed his axe, The Mage his staff, The young rat catcher Estevan cowered in fear from the beast, and the lithe acrobat readied herself.
It was about this time that the creature dove down to attack its prey. The next ninety seconds was a blur of sand, talon, tail, axe, sling, and blade. In the end the young wyvern laid slain, his head remove, Killed by Skaldor, with the help of the Wizard who power caused the creature to fall asleep. But such a battle is not without wounds. Skaldor soon collapsed from the poison bard wound he took in his back.
The group stripped what they could off the beast and taking the dwarf and their belongings they ventured back to the tent city in search of help for their friend would surely die if not assisted. Upon returning to the tent city they called out for help. A Older Elf was summoned to assist. He was the healer and wise one of the city. With skillful hands and keen intellect Skaldor was cured of the poison and body bandaged. He would recover but it will take a few days.
During this time the rest of the band told stories of the epic fight with the beast and secured the towns thanks. As a reward they were given 2 crossbows 30 bolts, another camel, and a feast in their honor.
Finally rest and restored back to health from the healers skills and an amulet borrowed from the Wizard, Skaldor was once again looking to die in glorious combat. Upset that he was saved he soon went back to their quest. As the brave group was readying to leave 6 strangers arrived on the outside of town. Dressed the same they seem to cause a little fear in to city dwellers. They spoke to a few who pointed fingers and the strangers moved on into the open area between the tents talking to others. With Senri lost in the desert sands during a sand storm the party invited the Elf herbalist to join them on their quest. Gladdly accepting the group readied their camels. Only trouble was they could not find the female Acrobat.
Earlier she quietly slipped into the crowed to try to overhear these strangers...what she heard sent her back to her friends with only one message "LET GET OUT OF HERE." After leaving the tent city and a safe distance away did she tell them that they were looking for a Northern woman. Being the only woman in the group she must be the one they are after.
With those thoughts put aside for now the group ventured on back towards the mountains and their original quest. It was not until later that day when resting that they all noticed a pillar of smoke coming from the way they came. Some thought it to be the bonfire in the middle of the village but the Herbalist new it was way more smoke to be just the bonfire. Compelled to return to his home and see what was happening he convinced the others to join him.
Traveling swiftly (as swift as you can in the desert heat) they forged their way back to the tent city. Suddenly a hawk swooped down and grabbed at the head dress of the acrobat. Tearing it free and exposing her face the bird screeched and swooped away back toward the city. It was the quick thinking of the young rat catcher who skillfully used his sling and brought the bird down in a single shot. After examining the bird and taking a charm type symbol from its leg they rounded the next dune and came face to face with one of the strangers. Upon seeing him his hands moved like lightning into the folds of his clothing and threw six bladed knives into the party. The following three minutes were long and bloody. In the end it was the Wizard that knocked the stranger over and Skaldor with his axe swung to kill his prone target. He blow missed its mark and severed the strangers right arm. With his dying breath he took out a vial with his left hand, emptied the liquid on his body and yelled "Muqtadir-Gahzi" upon uttering those words his body burst into flames and erupted burning the dwarf slightly and singing the sand near him.
With little to no time to recover from the fight the band pressed on to the tent city. Once they saw it there was little anyone could do. The tents had all been burned, the people killed, the dock destroyed and even the ship they arrived on sunk in the harbor. They encountered three more of these insane strangers another who yelled out the name of "Muqtadir-Gahzi" and immolated himself, while the other two were struck down and killed. Another day and a half was spent salvaging what they could from the ruins of this city and ONCE again they set out for the mountains....
For the next four days they made good time towards the foothills of the mountains. The sand gave way to sand with rock and outcroppings and some small vegetation and standing before them was the Tower of the Wizard Caliph. It was here that the wizard of the party was tested on his honor and his trust weighted. In the end the Wizard Caliph master of the tower granted them comfort inside. Here the brave group of adventures told the Wizard Caliph all about their quest and the happenings of late. Concerned by their stories the Wizard Caliph pulled a scroll from his library and presented it to the group.
In an age before the races of the world firmly staked their claims on lands near and far, after the fall of the Slann and the closing of the northern warp rift, the world was a wild place, where beasts and spirit owned everything their eyes could see. It was man, elf, dwarf, and the other races that were the prey. In the Deserts of Araby one such creature roamed the land and destroyed all that displeased him. A magical creature of the warp a Deamon, or unbound Genie, what ever this creature was he was called “Muqtadir-Gahzi”. He caused mountains to shake, and caused the sands to swallow whole settlements.
His anger was unbound, for he longed to rule the whole of the desert. There are those of the human tribes of the desert that saw his power and appeased him with gifts and with death. Those that bowed to his Godhood would became the disciples of the burning sands. A fanatical group that would burn themselves to show their loyalty to their master “Muqtadir-Gahzi”.
Before the time of the Tomb Kings of the east “Muqtadir-Gahzi” took his followers north to burn the forests and grasslands of the Old World and bring the heat of desert sands to the whole of the world……..
Much was discussed in the tower and the next steps and path were laid out for our adventures to take.
See you all next week... January 11th to continue the adventure...