Legacy of the Sorcerer-King

Rescuing Alia

Adric’s Arcane Journal: (Session 0)
3 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age
I’ve decided to start chronicling my adventures now that I’m finally out of Kalak’s grasp. It feels strange to be outside the control of another. In many ways I never imagined a life of freedom, but in another I can see now that my entire being was screaming out for it. I will never allow myself to be caged again.

Still uncertainty gnaws at me. Since Kalak’s death my powers have grown unpredictable. Powers I used to call on so reliably that I took them for granted now refuse to come at all, or come in such force that I can barely contain them.

I fear they will soon not come at all.

To counter this, I’ve been trying to compile as much gold as I can. Ka’tho and I have heard that one of the merchant houses here in Altaruk is paying for adventurers. Something about recovering stolen goods.

4 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age
Ka’tho and I took the job I was mentioning. The head of the local House Wavir outpost, dwarf named Rhotan Vor, hired us to recover the goods from a Wavir caravan he suspects was attacked, as well as any survivors.

Our tracker, Wulfgar, led us to the place where the caravan was but it was crawling with silt runners. They killed Wulfgar before Ka’tho and I could defeat the creatures. I haven’t known Ka’tho long enough to know how he felt about it, but I decided it was no time to be sentimental and ransacked Wulfgar’s possessions for any goods we may need to survive the trek.

As we came to the wreckage of the wagon we noticed it crawling with small, black insect-like reptiles, we squashed the bugs and recovered some of the supplies. We noticed that more of the supplies had been dragged off into the distance.

We tracked the creatures to their lair where they held the stolen supplies, guarded by more silt runners and an Ssuran leading them. After defeating them, I met with the caravan-driver, Alia, and two human guards.

Alia is a tiefling, beautiful, and clearly different from any other woman I’ve ever met. Her clothing was torn, exposing her crimson skin. It was clear she had been abused prior to our arrival. She informed us that there were more coming so we gathered the goods and return to Altaruk.

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Out of Altaruk

Adric’s Arcane Journal (Session 1)
5 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

Rhotan Vor came to me today and offered me another job. I would have turned it down outright, but he seemed to want to keep the details a secret, so I suspected this task would be lower profile than the last.

My suspicions were confirmed as he told me that Ka’tho’s fame from our last mission had made him too high profile for this task, yet another reason for me to remain inconspicuous in my dealings; along with fame comes the eyes of the masses, and that kind of scrutiny I cannot afford, for many reasons.

Vor had assembled a team, comprised of two humans, a pit fighter and a dirty hermit; a tiefling, redder and less fair than Alia; and an elven dancer. I didn’t care much for any of them, the elf least of all, but I’ve spent my life working with those I despised, so this was still a step up.

Vor told us that we were looking for a psion of House Wavir who had gone missing with some other group, and that he had chosen unknowns because he didn’t want to give the appearance that the house was weak. The most important task however was to complete his mission. There is some kind of psionic disturbance in the desert that Vor said was “bad for business”, that he wants us to shut down. We all accepted his terms and began to leave Altaruk.

Before we departed however, some crazy hag came and began gibbering nonsense at the hermit, Grikk. I didn’t make it all out, but the thing that stood out to me was, “the screaming key”.

The desert was harsh and traveling there was difficult, particulary for the tiefling, who I discovered was named Ea Synnaridia. The pit fighter, who called himself “Tall Sam” helped Ea along, while the Elf, Lothlaure, scouted ahead to find the most hospitable path. I walked alone mostly, enduring the elements, but occasionally taking the brunt of a desert wind by taking point. Grikk was more durable than I would have guessed, and scambled around the desert and would occasionally rub us with herbs he had found growing on cacti or beneath the odd rock. It was off-putting, but it seemed to help.

During a lull in the storm, we were attacked by silt runners. They seemed eager to take my supplies, but the team was able to pull together and kill most of them, and send the others scrambling. I was knocked unconscious by a stray poison dart as I pursued, but I came to with Lothlaure kicking sand in my face.

It was during that fight that I learned that we had one more companion I was unaware of. During the fight a shimmering human spirit coalesced beside me, then jumped into my body to empower my attack.
I was so surprised by the act that I nearly dropped my blade, clearly missing my swing.

Afterwards we came upon the oasis we had been told about by Vor. We decided to rest for the night, then have Ea lead us to the beacon in the morning.
Our rest was cut short though as a human woman rode in on a crodlu and identified Sam as a former slave and demanded that we surrender him into her custody. Having spent my life as a slave, I was not going to allow this human to enslave anyone, let alone someone who is part of my group, so I proudly stood beside him, expecting the others to follow.

Grikk sauntered up, mumbling as he does. As clear an indication of his support as anything else he’s done. Ea was hesitant, but chose to stand with the party. Lothlaure however, dissented. She claimed that if Sam wanted her help, he would owe her. Sam’s disgust was clear, and Lothlaure initially claimed she wouldn’t help. In the end, she fought with us, but it was clear she did not stand with us.

The fight ended quickly, I used my eldritch powers to pull the woman from her mount, and Lothlaure assailed her viciously. She called elven archers to aid her, but Ea made short work of them, using one as a projectile to cut through each of them, and then to send him spiraling through the crodlu, killing them both.

We searched through the remains, I found an amethyst on the human, which I held onto. The rest of the group found each of the elves had a purse with an equal number of coins in their possession, likely their payment for their services; all of them that is, except the one that Lothlaure checked.

I immediately recognized that she had palmed some of the coins and called her out. She tried to give them back but the number was still off. Maybe she wasn’t lying about that, but all the same, I suggested that the rest of the coin we found would be split between the rest of us, causing further divide.

The others sleep as I write this, I wonder if they sleep as uneasily as I do, knowing trust will not come easy with this party.

6 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age
Travel came with much greater difficulty today. Ea again taking it the hardest as she followed some sort of psionic signal. I attempted to help her, but only ended up growing weaker myself in the process. Sam began shouting and urging us to move on, which gave us a bit of momentum. Lothlaure had greater difficulty navigating the wastes, and couldn’t find a safe passage for us. Even Grikk seemed to be having a harder time enduring the elements.

Eventually we came upon a great hollow that appeared to be blown out of the sand, and at it’s center was a massive pyramid. As we neared the pyramid we spotted a tattooed man clawing madly at the great stone door, his skin being shredded against the rough surface, leaving streaks of crimson across it’s face.

Nearby, in a pit of bones, greedily chewing on them, was a large black lizard. Sam and I looked at each other with knowing glances; this was an Id Fiend. Known for it’s highly-priced organs and even better known for its terrible powers of mind control, this was a beast to be feared.

Ea and Sam pressed toward it, and Sam fired a shot from his crossbow, but the creature stopped them dead in their tracks, I charged at the beast slicing into it in a rage. Lothlaure crept around to the back of it attacking it in a mad fury.

The fiend repaid her in kind, attacking her fiercely. The rest of us did all we could, unleashing a torrent of attacks on the creature, but it was too late. The Fiend closed its massive jaws around the elf, her blood dancing on the sand as he ripped her in half.

It only savored its kill for a moment. Sam took the opportunity to imbed his weapon into the id fiend’s guts, and tear the beast apart.

If Lothlaure’s death was mourned at all, it was not apparent. Perhaps that could be a lesson to us all. If you only look out for yourself, you ensure that you’re the only one who looks out for you at all.

Grikk dove into the guts of the beast to recover Lothlaure’s supplies, much as I had with the scout Wulfgar’s two days prior.
We also searched the bone pit and rifled through the tattered supplies of what we can only assume, was the House Wavir party that accompanied the psion we were sent to find.

The elf’s death must have triggered something in the man at the door, as he seemed to come to his senses just after her passing. He identified himself as Naraxis Flamewill, Vor’s pet psion, and told us that the door was sealed psionically and magically, and the only way through would be with a mixture of the two powers.

Up to this point, I had been able to keep the source of my powers a secret. These people were just begin to trust me. I didn’t want to end up dead in the desert. So I crafted a lie. Pulling the bone dagger from my satchel, I infused it with Eldritch energy. I stated that it was sold to me by an elven witch in a market. Though they seemed confused at my mention of “preservation magic”, they seemed to understand when I explained this was a tool to combat magic, not empower it.

Just then, Ka’Tho arrived on a crodlu. I explained my ruse to him, and he offered to take the wounded psion back to Altaruk, which left us standing alone at the door of the pyramid.

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The Rebirth of Lothlaure

Adric’s Arcane Journal (Session 2)
6 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

My ruse about the dagger indeed worked, but the Ea failed to explain the complexity of the mechanism. Worse still, she failed to anticipate the effect it would have on the area, or more specifically the dead in the area, who began to rise of their own accord.
Among them was Lothlaure, our companion we had seen ripped in two mere moments ago, was now conscious, and dragging herself along the desert floor, leaving a streak of crimson across the sand as she clawed her way towards her lower half.

Ea and I continued working on the locks, using my eldritch knowledge to navigate the maze-like intricacies of the arcane lock. Ea seemed to struggle a bit more than I did, so after I finished navigating my lock, I rejoined the battle, and to my surprise, so had Lothlaure, the two halves of her now magically rejoined as one. Even more surprising was the fact that unlike her undead brethren, she fought not against us, but with us.
After Ea finished with her lock the dead stopped rising, and we were left with only one undead creature. Our former ally, Lothlaure.

It may have been prudent to kill her, but I was intrigued. Necromancy is not a thing I’ve ever studied but I knew enough to be able to tell that this was a special case. She seemed to have no recollection of being dead, and claimed to be our ally. I don’t know that that was ever true, but until this matter is settled, I’ll gladly have her blade at my side, though now more than ever I fear I may instead find it in my back.

We made our way into the temple and found what clearly was once a grand entryway. It was still beautiful in a way, though it appeared to have fallen into disuse long ago. Or so I thought, until I noticed the man sitting on the throne at the center of the room.
He asked for our help. He wanted to be freed from the pyramid, and offered us some kind of lame reward that none of us believed. The others were quite certain that we shouldn’t help him, but I personally was impartial, that is until he mentioned the name Kalak. After that my task was clear.

He summoned insects to aid him in his task, but the group fought well as a unit, and we crushed him. As we landed what we thought would be the killing blow, his body scattered into hundreds of small insects that scattered to the winds. Who knows if we’ll see this servant of my enemy again.

Beyond the throne was a great obsidian obelisk, draconic words carved into its side; “Shoggoza krixus taluthi Ral”. I read them and suddenly we were transported elsewhere.
After that we found ourselves on the face of the moon, Ral, a similar obelisk standing amid dead and lifeless soil that seemed to encircle the black spire, a glowing orb floating above its peak. Ea threw something, a stone perhaps, at the orb and the dead earth seemed to grow. A guardian of water appeared before us, and sensing we were from Athas, summoned guardians of stone to destroy us.

As usual, Sam and I fought side-by-side, but this time I found aid from a new source, Lothlaure. I’m uncertain if death changed her, heck, I’m not even certain she still IS Lothlaure, but whatever happened she fought, more than ever, as a part of our team.
Grikk called, once again on the shimmering human, but this time when he did, the water guardian spoke to him. I couldn’t understand what was being said over the noise of the battle, but the water elemental seemed to jump inside Grikk, empowering him.

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To the Moon and Back

Adric’s Arcane Jounal (Session 3)
6 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

After the battle’s end, the water guardian returned and beseeched us to stop the corruption from spreading further. I had been trying to keep a low profile, but as usual, the group seemed aimless. I strode forward to ask the elemental how we could help. The elemental believed that the orb that floated above the obelisk was the source, but after Ea’s stone, everyone was afraid to touch it. With Sam’s aid, I climbed to the top of the obelisk, and grabbed it from its perch.

Sure that it was harmless now, Ea began examining it to see if she could use it as a psionic focus. I spoke the words as before, “Shoggoza krixus talruthi Athas”, and we were transported back to Athas.
But whatever we had done on the moon had had the effect we desired. The psionic beacon had been destroyed, unfortunately the unexpected side effect was that the pyramid was following its example. The five of us ran for the exits, using whatever skills we could to find safe passage out. Sam found us a side passage but it lead us to a dead end. But I spotted light shining through. I threw my weight against the wall, but I couldn’t get it to budge. In the heat of the moment, as the debris fell all around us, I knew what I had to do. I had to defile. Digging deep, I pulled strength from my allies and burst through the wall. We slid down the pyramid’s walls with seconds to spare.

We rested not far from the pyramid. That night we were all silent. Between Lothlaure’s rebirth, our trip to the moon, and me being outed as a spellcaster, we had been through enough shock for one day. The time for reckoning will come later.

7 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

We all remained silent on the tip back to Altaruk, as we had the night before. My head was swimming with all the information we had gathered the previous day. Kalak was somehow tied to the obelisks in the pyramid and on the moon. And the elemental claimed that there were others. Did Kalak have a hand in those too? Did his death cause the obelisk in the pyramid to malfunction, and if it did are the other obelisks in danger?
And who was the man in the pyramid? Had I been less rash I could have questioned him, and maybe found out the answers to some of these questions that have been vexing me. What was it he said? “Kalak promised me…”? Promised him what? Would he be surprised to know Kalak is dead? Or did he know instinctively the same way I did?

Lost in my thoughts I nearly didn’t notice when we stumbled onto a camp of slavers. They had captured Ka’tho and the psion, Naraxis. The group set to work fighting them when suddenly, the ground beneath our feet began to shake.
A gigantic cloud ray was sleeping beneath us. And had begun to fly. The wagon that held Ka’Tho and Naraxis’s cages began to teter and nearly toppled off of the cloud ray. I teleported myself into the cage with them and teleported them back out. Though the weakened Naraxis was still no help, Ka’Tho leapt to his feet and helped us kill those who had imprisoned him. While he wasn’t fighting at his best, it was good to fight alongside him again.

Mid-fight, I noticed that Lothlaure wasn’t fighting with us any longer. No sooner had I begun to express concern, then she rose in the sky on the back of a cloud ray pup to rejoin the fight.

Afterwards, I tethered a rope to the ray, and we descended off the ray’s back. Grikk, insane as ever, lept off of the back of the ray, to catch hold of another pup, and directed it to the ground. Ea nearly didn’t make it down, but in the end we all made it safely to ground.
As we continued on, we saw a strange shape in the desert. Investigating it nearly proved to be my undoing, as a voracious silt worm nearly made a meal of me. Fortunately Rhotan chose my allies well, and the group rescued me and we made our way back to the town to claim our reward.

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Homecoming

Adric’s Arcane Jounal (Session 4)
7 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

We returned to Altaruk, bloodied but not defeated. Upon our nearing town some brute with a metal sword on his hip came at us, barking orders. He asked us if Rhotan had sent us to “the Vault”, and demanded we hand over everything we had found. I was careful with my words, not giving the brute the answers he sought, and stood ready to fight.
Fortunately Rhotan came by just in time. He was able to shoo the beast of a man, who Rhotan identified as Haneth Tsalaxa, a major player in the city. We told Rhotan that we had destroyed the becon, telling him it was the work of a defiler, though I was careful not to mention the moon. Last thing I needed was Rhotan questioning my sanity, or worse, believing my fantastical tale.

Rhotan rewarded each of us in turn, to Lothlaure, he told her the location of her tribe, in the back of a slaver’s caravan, headed for the site of Kalak’s pyramid. He offered Ea free passage on Wavir’s caravans to help settle her blood debt, and told Sam he was having his caravan drivers spead word of Sam’s battle prowess, even giving him a charcoal drawing of Sam snapping an Id Fiend in half. To Grikk he gave a pair of fine clothing, sandals, and a bath, which I feel like was as much my reward as it was Grikk’s. To me he offered training with his guard. He seemed to be hinting at something with his offer of training, but I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps Vor is aware of my secret ability to cast arcane magic, and the fact that that power is waning. Or perhaps it was something else entirely. Only time will tell.
I asked Rhotan if he had heard of any similar disturbances, to the becon we had stopped, but he said he hadn’t.

We rested up in one of Vor’s fine tents, and I proposed to the group that we should band together to seek out the rest of the portals to the surface of Ral spoken of by the strange elemental creature. Lothlaure asked for assistance in freeing her people from the slavers. While I am not eagar to get back to Tyr, I cannot, in good conscience, allow people to suffer in slavery as I have, and as my mother before me had. We decided to head to Tyr together.

8 Haze, in the Year of Priest’s Defiance, in the 190th King’s Age

Everyone seemed to be on board with the plan, after all, it’s hard enough to make it in this world alone, but when we awoke Grikk had gone. A guard of Rhotan’s came in the room and said that he had urgent need of us. A dying dwarf, one of the house’s caravan drivers lay sprawled out before us.

The dwarf said that his caravans had been ambushed, describing his attackers as “green devils.” Rhotan hardly needed to ask for assistance. Lothlaure suggested we could pose as a caravan to be attacked, but both Ka’tho and I agreed that it would be best if we were to move immediately. Strike quickly in the hope of finding survivors.

We set out almost immediately. A part of me was sad to leave Altaruk in such haste. I had hoped to see Alia at least one more time. But if there are others in the same dire situation as she was, I’m sure she would hate me if I didn’t do everything I could to save them. We rode north to the place where the driver claimed the attack had taken place, Sam picked up the trail of the attackers and we followed them to a cave…

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