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Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium
Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 3
Upon entering Nibenay, may of the party members separated. Hookeri went off looking for a good place to hunt, Ilana sought information on the captured Jura Dai elves, Coraanu headed out to find information on “The Mountain,” and the rest accompanied Dimebag to headquarters of House Inikia in Nibenay where the adventurers would hopefully be able to stay for free.
Ilana eventually found herself at the Temple of the House, the bureaucratic agency that controls most of the day to day administration of the city. It is here that all of the slaves of the city are registered. Ilana was informed that her request for the names of the slaves would take “at least” three months; however, she soon after learned that a bribe of 1 gold could reduce the request to 1 month, and a bribe of 5 gold would reduce it to one week. Ilana, not having a ton of cash on hand, paid the 1 gold bribe.
While following leads in the city-state, Coraanu learned the following information about the Mountain. 1) A minotaur had recently been seen in the area of the Crescent Forest noted by Coraanu; 2) A new warden had arrived a month and a half ago to protect the forest but he was severely injured and has spent that time healing; and 3) Templar agents from Urik had recently come to Nibenay and were asking about the Mountain’s location.
Fearing that the Mountain may be in trouble, Coraanu headed straight for the House Inikia barracks where he found Alexa, Dimebag, and Pane-Pan. He asked the three if they would accompany him to find the Mountain, noting to Alexa that by doing so they would likely also find the location of Nok’s tomb. The three agreed and all four headed out of the city and into the Crescent Forest.
While searching for clues that would allow them to hone in on the Mountain’s location, Alexa tripped over the mummified body of a Halfling. Finding nothing of value on the body, the adventurers chose not to disturb its rest and pressed on into the forest.
Soon after the Halfling encounter, the adventurers heard the sound of battle off in the distance. Nearby, they could see a terrible demon, a Bearded Devil, fighting a minotaur. Likely, the devil had been summoned by an Urikite Templar to track down and kill the Mountain. The party attempted to sneak up on the devil, but just as they were nearing the edge of the tree line, Alexa stepped on a twig. This turned out to be fortuitous to the Mountain, as the distraction prevented the demon from striking the final blow on the minotaur.
The party rushed in, and after a hard-fought battle, they were able to strike down the horrid demon. After the fight the Mountain thanked the party and healed their injuries. Coraanu then pulled him aside and explained that the spirits of the land had sent him to learn nature magic from the once mighty warden. At first the Mountain was reluctant, his spirit still hanging heavy from his former adventuring party’s defeat at the hands of Urikite Templars; however, if the spirits desired to see Coraanu trained, then he would do it. The Mountain explained that they would need to compete a ceremony in which the land spirits would “devour his arcane spark.” In exchange, Coraanu would be able to call upon the spirits of the land to cast magic similar to that used by preservers and defilers.
Coraanu agreed to partake in the ceremony, and the Mountain told him that the ceremony required the use of an alter currently stored in the tomb of the great Halfling warrior Nok. Unfortunately, the Mountain also had to inform Coraanu that one week prior a powerful undead Mul known as Thurbatur took over Nok’s tomb. The Mountain had been unable to exercise Thurbatur from the tomb due to his still healing injuries. To make matters worse, the Mountain believed that Thurbatur was attempting to devour Nok’s soul to become even more powerful. Realizing the severity of the threat at hand, the four agreed to head to Nok’s tomb and take care of Thurbatur.
Upon reaching the cave that housed Nok’s tomb, they found the entrance guarded by the raised zombies of two half-giants. Using the element of surprise, they rushed in and quickly dispatched one of the zombies; however, the second half-giant zombie would not fall so easily. During the battle Coraanu snuck into the cave to get a better shot at the zombie, at which point he heard evil chanting and an unearthly scream! It appeared Thurbatur had begun devouring Nok’s soul.
Upon finishing off the second zombie, Pane-Pan, who had taken several blows from the zombies, asked to take a short rest. Coraanu warned that any such rest could spell doom for Nok’s soul. Not wanting to seek Nok’s soul devoured, Alexa urged them on.
Coraanu, using his impressive stealth, snuck in and saw that Thurbatur, a rotting carcass of a Mul, was indeed casting some form of spell on the ghost of Nok. Hiding behind a stalactite, Coraanu used his sneak attack on the undead horror, and battle commenced. During the ensuing battle both Coraanu and Pane-Pan fell victim to Thurbatur’s necrotic touch; however, through sheer luck they both managed to avoid falling victim to Thurbatur’s Rotting Curse [DM Note: Mummy Rot, however this is Dark Sun where there technically aren’t mummies, just undead that have the powers of mummies]
In the end, it was Alexa who struck the killing (re-killing?) blow against the undead fiend, freeing Nok’s soul. The ghost of Nok thank Alexa and the others (although he was speaking Halfling so the others really couldn’t understand) and told Alexa that he was expecting her thanks to the spirits of the land. Nok told Alexa to open his sarcophagus and to take from his body the “Gauntlets of Nok.” Upon putting on the gauntlets Alexa felt a great strength well up within her. Additionally, she learned from Nok that if she forms an army, the greater the size of the army the more powerful the gauntlets become.
Nok further informed Alexa that if she truly wanted to surpass him as the greatest Halfling barbarian of all time, she should have to acquire both “Nok’s Psionic Circlet” and “Nok’s Obsidian Battle Axes.” He also informed Alexa that the battle axes would be useless to her until she trained under the ghost of Battlemaster Zeheron. She was told that Zeheron currently haunts the ruins of the city-state of Kalidnay.
From there, as promised, the Mountain conducted the spirit magic ceremony. Great pain racked Coraanu’s body as the arcane spark was devoured from within. At the completion of the ceremony, Coraanu found that he now knew and number of spells and could call upon the spirits of the land to cast them. Filled with newfound purpose and vigor, Coraanu gathered the others and they made their way back through the Crescent Forest to Nibenay.