The Inheiritance of the Crimson Sun (Legacy of Fire AP in Dark Sun)

Game Master Sebecloki

Maps and Images:

Battlemaps:

The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: Overview

Shraagroom's Sporulation Chamber -- Battlemap: Round 6
The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: Shraagroom's Sporulation Chamber -- Battlemap: Round 4
The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: Shraagroom's Sporulation Chamber -- Battlemap: Round 3
The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: Shraagroom's Sporulation Chamber -- Battlemap
The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: Shraagroom's Sporulation Chamber -- Plain View

The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable: The Door to Doom -- Battlemap

pngs/pdfs of battlemaps

PNG of Map w/ Tokens
PNG of Map w/out Tokens
The Lair of Kchac'Thraa the Inimitable - The Door to Doom pdf

Current Encounter Maps:

Myceloid Cavern
Earth Drake Layer: Overview
Earth Drake Layer w/our Grid
Earth Drake Layer w/ Grid

Hex Grid

The Ruins of Kalidnay
The Ruins of Kalidnay I: The Ceramic Desert and Outskirts of New Kalid
The Ruins of Kalidnay II: Elder Kalidnay and the Diamond Mines of Khnum-Khamunkhephres
The Ruins of Kalidnay III: The Iridescent Desert and Magma Lake

Setting Maps

The Free City of Tyr
The Ruins of Yaramuke
The City State of Raam

The World of Athas

World Map I
World Map II
World Map III

The Valley of Dust and Fire
The Tyr Region
The Tyr Region and the Valley of Dust and Fire

Some additional ideas from the 'Arena' discussion forums of Athas.org that I will be using for this fan-created expansion of the Dark Sun world map include ideas from the following threads:

East side of the Sea of Silt

Beyond the Tablelands

And here are some ideas I will be incorporating in some fashion if Spelljamming ever comes up:

Dark Sun Sphere

The Tablelands and Beyond

The Tablelands I
The Tablelands II
The Tablelands and Beyond I
The Tablelands and Beyond II

Giuestenal

The Ruins of Giustenal
New Giuestenal

Chapter One: The Howl of the Carrion King

Tyr Region

The Ruins of Kalidnay Overview

The Riese: Levels 1-2
The Riese -- Side Perspective

The Scarab Hold: The Fortress of the High Templar Ahmun-Ahnpur -- Overview
The Scarab Hold: The Fortress of the High Templar Ahmun-Ahnpur -- The Spires of Apep: The Central Keep

Destiny's Chariot -- Overview
Destiny's Chariot -- Detail

Trading Post of Kelmarane I
Trading Post of Kelmarane II

Battle Market of Kelmarane -- Ground Level
Battle Market of Kelmarane -- Second Level

Temple of Elemental Earth of Kelmarane

Guard Post I
Guard Post II

Sulfuric Baths of Kelmarane -- Overview
Sulfuric Baths of Kelmarane -- Detail

Guild Hall of Kelmarane

Mills


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My posts will often include brief excerpts from the work known as the The Wanderer’s Journal, an in-setting book that describes the world of Athas. I hope these passages will help to orient those players who are not already familiar with the Dark Sun setting to the peculiarities of this amazing world, which I unreservedly consider the finest product line to come out of TSR.

Who, you may well ask, is this ‘Wanderer’?

"The Wanderer is a mysterious figure whom everyone knows about but few can claim to have met. Tales say he’s a human cleric of earth who never stays in one place, perhaps because of an insatiable curiosity, He has one highly distinctive feature: His left arm is reptilian, covered with scales and marked by talon-pointed fingers. How he came to possess such a limb has never been revealed, but tales told around campfires speak of his many skills, fighting prowess, and knowledge about the world.”

“There’s an old traveler’s blessing circulating around Athas: “All you need on your journey is a sharp bone sword, a full water skin, and the Wanderer to guide you.”"

The Free City of Tyr

Tyr is located on the Tablelands, near the Ringing Mountains. It was one of the few cities with an iron mine and was thus quite wealthy. Tyr was ruled by King Kalak for a thousand years in a reign of terror. He was iron-fisted and refused to listen to his council of city elders. Drawing near the end of his reign, Kalak began the construction of a massive ziggurat in the arena. None were sure what the structure was for until the entire population was called to the arena to watch the ziggurat games. As soon as the fight ended (which featured the champion mul gladiator Rikus and his fighting partner Neeva) a great obsidian structure shot through the ziggurat and began to drain the life out of the spectators. None could escape, for the gates had been closed and could not be opened from the inside. The reason became apparent: Kalak was accelerating his transformation into a Dragon by robbing all the citizens of their life energies. At the last moment, Rikus would strike Kalak with the Heartwood spear, and although this did not kill the evil king, a band of heroes would finally end Kalak's thousand-year reign of evil.

--The Wanderer's Journal

House Vordon

Vordon deals in the gold from Walis, grain from Kalidnay and iron of Tyr. They also deal with textiles, obsidian and gems. They have a major base in Tyr as well but their base of operations has been Kalidnay for nine generations.

Once one of the most feared and respected of Athas’ great houses, House Vordon has become something of a laughing stock. In recent years, as Tyr’s vast resources have been slowly diverted to constructing Kalak’s ziggurat, House Vordon’s fortunes have declined. Trade goods were sold to obtain cash for materials, slaves were requisitioned and set to work on the monument, and the entire city has suffered. Now, Vordon has become an object of deri¬sion and ridicule by other houses, who chortle at Kalak’s senility and Vordon’s troubles.

House Vordon specializes in the export of iron from Tyr. This rare and vital element is in demand throughout the Tyr region. As iron’s primary supplier, Vordon can virtually set its own price. It is the iron trade, in fact, that keeps Vordon solvent as Tyr’s economy teeters on the brink of collapse.

Other export items include slaves, artwork, and textiles, but the shortage of labor as Kalak diverts more and more resources into the construction of his ziggurat virtually eliminates these as trade goods. Financially strapped and on the verge of starvation, Tyr has been forced to import vast quantities of food, water, and kank nectar. Vordon helps to provide the city with these items, but a chronic cash shortage within Tyr keeps their profits low.

The Vordon emporium takes up a full corner of Iron Square, lying to the left of Caravan Way as it enters the square. The front of the building houses the retail functions, while the rear consists of offices and storage. Directly across the street from the emporium next to the Nobles' Quarter, House Vordon maintains its main office and a large, very secure warehouse. A small, fortified outpost used for storage of wagons and pack animals can be found five miles south of Tyr.

--The Wanderer’s Journal

The Lost City State of Kalidnay

A great city known as Kalidnay once existed on the world Athas, ruled by the brutal sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma. He was noted for his strict laws, and even stricter enforcement. Even his own templars - men and women who served both as his enforcers and the city's religious leaders - were not immune to the law. Thus, Kalidnay had a reputation for being a harsh but fair city, unusual on Athas.

His most loyal templar was Thakok-An. A vicious woman, she retained her post by zealously enforcing all decrees and constantly extolling Kalid-Ma's virtues, appealing to his vanity. Singing the praises of her king was easy, since she desired him above all things.

The sorcerer-king of Kalidnay was unmatched in the arts of defiling magic (a type of spellcasting unique to Athas, where the caster draws life force from the surrounding area to power the spell). He was so strong, in fact, that the sorcerer-kings of the other cities feared him and plotted to kill him.

Thakok-An learned of their plot. Instead of telling Kalid-Ma about the plan, Thakok-An instead chose to save him herself and thereby earn his undying devotion. Maddened by the thought of losing him, she turned to the books of arcane lore stored in the king's palace, learning how to speed the process her king was already embarked upon - that of becoming a Dragon of Athas, the most powerful being on the planet. The price would be high, but she did not hesitate to pay it.

--The Wanderer’s Journal

Mood Music

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

--Athasian proverb

The slow southern progression of Destiny’s Chariot, the great caravan wagon of House Vordon of Tyr, has already consumed the greater part of a week, and the end of its journey, the long-abandoned trading post of Kelmarane, still lies far beyond the mirages of the heat-scorched horizon.

Fortunately for the beleaguered merchant house and its fellow travelers embarked upon this perilous mission, the confines of the Chariot offer some respite from the relentless rays of Athas’ crimson sun. Indeed, the immense vehicle is surmounted by a regal palace with all the requisite accommodations, including a reliable water source supplied by the clerics of elemental water attached to this risky venture.

If the prevailing wisdom is to be believed, the origins of this marvelous engine lie in the Tablelands’ distant past, in House Vordon’s original home in the lost city of Kalidnay, where Destiny’s Chariot served as the mobile summer palace of the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma.

Some twelve hundred years prior, in the 174th year of the King's Age, designated in the annals of the Tablelands as the “Year of the King's Contemplation,” the great city had been made into a ruin, its people mysteriously vanished from the face of Athas. The account of the sudden and unexplained cataclysm contained in the writings of the enigmatic Wanderer suggest that the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma had attempted a precipitous ascent to full dragon form comparable to the later machinations of Kalak of Tyr.

In the wake of the cataclysm, a returning caravan of the merchant house salvaged the Kalid-Ma’s marvelous retreat, and concealed it from their rivals in other city states of the Tablelands within a hidden cavern complex in the Ringing Mountains which surround the city state of Tyr.

The unfathomable weight of the Chariot is steadily conveyed across the seemingly endless desert between Tyr and Kelmarane by the strength of two immense iguanasaurs, lizard-like beasts of burden of even great power than the immense mekillots that were generally the locomotive means of the Tablelands’ great caravans.

In the wake of Kalak’s death and the subsequent disruption of Tyr’s economy, House Vordon has dispatched its agent Almah Ravaska to revive a long-abandoned trading post situated near the ruins of Kalidnay, in the Lost Oasis.

In some respects, given the origins of House Vordon, the expedition could be seen as a kind of home-coming.

The intense temperature of the midday sun causes the air in the courtyard of the Chariot to shimmer with constantly-shifting waves of incandescent heat.

Just as in many previous days, Almah has invited the expedition’s company to partake of a bard’s entertainment in the cool shadows of the palace’s audience hall. Doubtless, House Vordon’s chief representative in this venture, upon whose shoulder’s its success depends, hopes that this diversion will alleviate both the tedium of the journey, as well as restrain any undue contemplation of the considerable perils that may await at its end…

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28

Kuro stares at his reflection in his cup of water. His dusty dark skin heavily contrasting with his bleached white hair and steel grey pupils. He finds himself staring untill the reflection is disturbed by one of the steps of the Iguanasaurs.

His staring interrupted, Kuro downs the cup of the precious liquid, making sure to not waste a single drop. Water is to precious, it wouldn't do to be ungrateful to the cleric's that gave it to him. Closing his eye's, Kuro contemplates how he got to where he is right now.

He does this everyday at least once, find a quiet place and just think, about what he's doing and what can be done better. The sun beats down on his his form, sitting in the courtyard with both hands clasping a empty cup, staring off into space. Not that there is much to stare at in the first place, the desert looks the same as it always has.

"..." Maybe he should head to the audience hall today? He's yet to actually take a real look at the place. He's not used to such nice accommodation's. Hanging a hamok from any available place is more his speed. In hindsight, the first thing he should have done is get a lay of the land so to speak, of the area he's defending.

"...just another thing I need to get better at." Kuro thinks to himself, standing from his position on the floor. Taking a breath of the dusty desert air, Kuro begins his trek to the audience hall.

...He'll take the long way around, might as well see how the manual labor is doing and thank them for the hard work they do. If he doesn't who will?


Kelmarane... A home for my people? Gaanon stares at the horizon, enjoying his reverie for a moment more before heading back inside to the cooler shadows of the palace's audience hall. Admittedly, it is an odd ambition that few among his people understand, let alone share. The vision came to him in Tyr, and it quickly became his sole obsession. Once, he dreamt of freedom for himself. Now, he dreams of freedom for all Half-Giants, and more… Undoubtedly, this is why the Chain-Breaker called to him.

”Archer,” he calls out to Kuro, seeing him also escaping the midday heat. Gannon slows his pace to walk alongside his companion – one of the few here that he would call a friend. ”How much further, do you think?”

Standing head and shoulders above even his own kind, scarred by battle, and burnt by countless days under the scorching sun, Gaanon draws attention and most give him a wide berth…


Facing the vast sands of the desert, the white wooden armor of Shizuka glares with the sun's rays out. The sealed mask hides his features well, aside from the long strands of white hair at his nape, as he bounces arcs of electricity between his open palms.

I may as well fill the empty hours with the bard's voice. Turning to move towards the Chariot, the old arena dog notes some other members of the expedition. Striding up alongside them, Shizuka starts a light breeze running perpendicular to their path. Mask facing ahead, he speaks quietly, belittling the massive armor he wears, "You're a large one. I don't suppose you spent any time in Gulg by chance?" P


In the course of their activities, Kuro, Gaanon, and Shizuka are all in a position to observe Garavel, the merchant Almah's redoubtable major domo, crossing the main courtyard of the palace, almost certainly en-route to the afternoon's entertainment.

His jet black mustache glistens with a piercing light in the intense illumination of the crimson sun, the wiry bristles thoroughly lubricated by some gelatinous substance that not only protects them from the elements, but also heightens their natural luster.

Such affectations of dress are the signs of a man who has not known the intense privations common to most lives passed under the unwavering glare of Athas' blood-red sun.

Garavel's long, silver tunic and cowl undulate slightly as a slight breeze, borne from the heights of the Ringing Mountains to the west, suddenly passes through the caravan.

He raises his hand unhurriedly in acknowledgement, while at the same time seeming to scan the horizon.

Given the history of House Vordon, which was founded in the lost city state of Kalidnay, it is likely that Garavel is curious to behold for himself the storied ruins of the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma's lost city, whose population vanished mysteriously more than a millennium in the past.


''This world is cursed, no wonder the Gods have abandoned it, with this damned heat one might mistake it for Hell.''

Memnon speaks quietly to himself as he gazes out into the endless sandy horizon. The sun's glare beats down on his form endlessly and he decides he has had enough sun for the moment.

Best get inside and get some water. He thinks as he begins to head for the shade inside the audience hall.

Memnon lowers his hood once he is out of the sun, revealing pale blue eyes, short black hair and tanned skin. He is tall and wiry.

Memnon, who is employed as a guard for House Vordon, looks around the occupants of the audience hall, having seen them several times over the course of the the trip but he had not said much to any of them yet.


"That one wouldn't last long in the sand," Gannon chuckles under his breath with a good-natured smile as he watches Garavel go by. Then, he turns to the masked fellow. "Never been to Gulg. I am Gaanon, the Breaker of Chains," he answers with a deep voice and a Half-Giant's typical charm.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28
Gaanon wrote:
”Archer,” he calls out to Kuro, seeing him also escaping the midday heat. Gannon slows his pace to walk alongside his companion – one of the few here that he would call a friend. ”How much further, do you think?”

Kuro pauses as the large half-giant slows his speed to walk beside him, a small smile growing on his face.

"Ah, Gannon, I believe we are still a few days out from our destination." He says easily as they continue to walk together. "Though I could be wrong, deserts usually look the same no matter where you are."

The young boy, barely a man, rolls his shoulders. The heat can quickly seep into one's bones if they aren't careful. He opens his mouth to ask his friend how he has been faring, but closes it when the Masked Man appears.

He asks his friend something, so Kuro keeps quiet, not willing to enter a conversation without a invitation.

So Kuro allows his gaze to fall onto the man in the resplendent robes that is looking over the view. He seems like a nice person, one doesn't usually wave to people below their station after all. Though Kuro doesn't understand the need for such clothing, one can probably find many things that money would have had better use for.

...though Kuro is the last person that should be repremending someone's use of money. He himself has just used every bit to his name a day before arriving at this job...feeding the poor is very money intensive.


Without moving his head laterally, Shizuka nods his head. "The sun is a harsh master, with the brightest of whips. Many with wealth would not last long without it's power." Dryly, he adds, "Brightness does not have much meaning to me." A crackling fist knocks on the curved face plate, the sharp scent of ozone coming from the hand.

"Ah, that does not sound much like an arena name. Taking a moment of silence, he gives a muffled sigh. "My apologies. I am Shizuka, or you may know of me from my arena name, The Blind Bastard."


Just as Garavel has disappeared beneath the shadows of the audience hall's entryway, a pair of massive pillars whose shafts are painted in an arresting crimson hue, another familiar figure comes into view before the assembled company of travelers.

It is Dashki Gnollbane, an expert scout and tracker contracted by Almah on behalf of House Vordon to serve as a much-needed aid in combating the powerful tribe of hyena-headed monsters that are said to now control the formerly prosperous trading post of Kelmarane. His olive complexion and dark hair mark him as a native of the coastal city stale of Balic, the city state of the scheming sorcerer-king Andropinis which sits in the center of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue.

He smiles as he catches sight of Kuro, for the two have formed a ready bond over the course of the last week, their early lives both having been torn asunder by a Gnoll attack.

Daskhi calls out to Kuro, "Aye brother ranger, do you intend to hear the Lady Almah's bard? It is said that he will perform a rare song which he has thus far been holding in reserve, waiting until the company is at its most restless, hoping that it will calm us. I, for one, am uncertain any tale can set aside the dangers that lie ahead."


Standing off to the side where he had been listening to the conversation, Memnon sucks in a sharp breath. He walks over to address the masked man.

''The Blind Bastard? The blind arena swordsman?!? Even I have heard of one such as you. It is an honor to meet you.''

He starts to offer his hand for a handshake but lowers his hand, mid gesture, realizing how foolish that would look. He continues slightly awkwardly.

''Oh but pardon my manners, I have not introduced myself. I am Memnon Bash'ra, I serve as a guard for house Vordon.''

He looks around and looks slightly embarrassed, clearly he feels slightly self-conscious at his social faux pas.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28
Daskhi wrote:
Daskhi calls out to Kuro, "Aye brother ranger, do you intend to hear the Lady Almah's bard? It is said that he will perform a rare song which he has thus far been holding in reserve, waiting until the company is at its most restless, hoping that it will calm us. I, for one, am uncertain any tale can set aside the dangers that lie ahead."

"There is much that can be learned from stories of life and heroes" Kuro says to the man, stepping away from his half-giant friend and his acquaintances for the moment. "whether the bard has any of those tales to tell, that remains to be seen..."

The boy runs a hand through his white hair "though I am not the best person to talk to about art, if it helps the restless soul I would say more power to them."
After a second, Kuro fingers his bow string for a moment, a distraction from the sweltering sun.

"Hmm...I should at least go once shouldn't I? I wouldn't want to make it seem like I am a hermit"

His mind drifts to the days he has been spending here, most of it has been helping the "help" out with their duties. he just can't stop himself from offering his aid to those who seem to need it.
'Maybe I should see if the kitchen is in need of extra hands again?'


Male LN Human gestalt unchained monk/psion (kineticist) 6 | overmind 3 | Vigor 113/137 | Wound 36/36 | DR 3/-*, AC 30 t 23 ff 23 | CMB+21 CMD 36 | F+11 R+12 W+11 | Init +12 | Perc +13, SM +13 | Speed 50ft | Stunning Fist: 6/6 | Ki: 1/7 | Power Points: 11/73 | Psionic Focus: 2/2 | Mythic Power: 9/9 | Emissary: 1/1 | Eternal Hope: 1/1 | Hero points: 1 | Denied: 1/1 | Extended Attack: 8/8 | Empowered Attack: 7/7 | Active conditions: Biofeedback, Ethereal (1m)

Rokan sits in the sun reflecting on recent events. He was well trained by his former master and teacher, Herik, in the ways of self-denial. He just never imagined that this would include the loss of that very teacher. Now, after a failed attempt at tracking Herik's murderers, he found himself on this rolling palace, only because it seemed a way to head to a remote place and potentially disappear to the vastness of the desert. He needed to find himself away from the noise of Tyr...

On this venture he has mostly kept to himself, sometimes wandering near the labor or kitchen help. Somehow today he finds himself near an active conversation about the expedition nearing its destination, and some coming entertainment to help the passengers distract themselves. Such a strange need, he thinks to himself.

Kuro 'Archer' wrote:
"There is much that can be learned from stories of life and heroes" Kuro says to the man, stepping away from his half-giant friend and his acquaintances for the moment. "whether the bard has any of those tales to tell, that remains to be seen..."

Rokan mutters to himself, not thinking any of these others can hear him. "I can see the appeal in that, but most stories of heroes simply recount those who outlasted others by sheer luck. Life in this world is so often a simple numbers game.".

Still, his curiosity gets the better of him. He waits to see if and when the others head to the audience hall.


Female Thri-Kreen Warpriest/Monk; AC 24/22/18; Fort +8, Ref +10e, Will +9; Init +6; Perception +10 Vigor 36/36; Wounds 32/32; Spell points 13/13; Fervor 5/5; Blessings 4/4; Mythic 5/5; Stamina 6/6; Stun 3/3

As usual, Tkk-tkk has taken part of the day to hunt. While she understands the appeal of stories, the hunt is in her blood. While she could not feed the whole crew, adding fresh meat helps everyone to survive. Her long, loping bounds allow her to spread out from the steady caravan and return before it has moved too far.

As she returns, she carries a brace of well-fed lizards with claw marks in the back of their heads. Returning toward the kitchen, she nods to those she passes.

survival: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19


Eager to go inside, thirsty and hungry as always, and, truth be told, ill-equipped to understand his companions' deliberations, Gaanon makes his way to hear Lady Almah's bard...


"Worry not about decorum. Wasn't ever something I cared much for anyway." Holding out a hand, Shizuka smothers the lightning running along his arm. "Memnon Bash'ra, it's nice to meet you. I'm surprised you're a fan. Most dislike my habit of fighting."

Cocking his head at the distant words of someone, Shizuka turns towards Rokan. "Indeed it is a numbers game, but one that can be stacked towards one side or another. Foolishness kills just as well as luck."

Blind man hears all!


Memnon shakes his head in disbelief when he hears the blind man's words.

''I am surprised to hear you say that people dislike that you fight. It is only natural to fight. Its how the strong maintain their position and how the weak cease to be weak. Simply put it is the way of the world.''

He pats the hilt of his sword as he speaks.


DECEASED

Malkaer listened to the others, but deigned not to join in on the conversation. At the moment, he just wanted to get a sense of who his comrades were, and how much he could trust them.

House Vordon wasn't the most up and coming of trade houses, so he assumed that everyone here was desperate for work. Or, like him, was desperately curious. The idea of seeing a forbidden city? It spoke to the wanderer in his soul.


Female Thri-Kreen Warpriest/Monk; AC 24/22/18; Fort +8, Ref +10e, Will +9; Init +6; Perception +10 Vigor 36/36; Wounds 32/32; Spell points 13/13; Fervor 5/5; Blessings 4/4; Mythic 5/5; Stamina 6/6; Stun 3/3

Tkk-tkk comes up near the others as she begins to prepare the lizards. She adds her note to the philosophical discussion. "If one can choose to fight, then one must decide if the risk is worth the reward." Having said that, she examines the skins of the lizards. One would make a good pouch, another a sling. The rest would make patches. The bones might make good needles.


Female Human Mystic (Aurora Soul//Daevic 3 Champion 1

Araska sits expectantly in the palace's audience hall on one of the many benches. Coming from one of the many wandering tribes outside of the city, Araska has never had much chance to enjoy the work of true bards. Her tribe elder's fireside tales sure, but to see a trained bard work his craft was a true delight. Not arrayed for combat, Araska is wearing her simple tunic and threadbare robes tied tightly around her body, with a small bowl of water in front of her.

Araska waves to Gaanon as he enters the audience hall, giving a short grin as she sees the look on the large half-giant's face, "More talk from the others huh? Join me, the shows about to start!"


Bards

Meeting a bard can be an uneasy encounter, since one never knows how the bard has chosen to devote his multiple talents. Some bards master the art of making poisons, and survive by selling these poisons and their antidotes for those who have coin to pay. Some bards master the art of entertainment, using their performances to amuse nobles and templars and gain wealth. Some become assassins, mixing their knowledge of poison and stealth to become hired hands.

Bards’ unique position in the Athasian society means they often overhear conversations between high‐ranking templars or nobles, or they may have treated an injured person that prefers to remain anonymous. Respectable folk despise them; the powerful fear them; but in the Athasian cities, everyone eventually comes to need their services.

In the cities, bards often become tools of the nobility. They’re commonly hired by one noble house and sent to another as a gift. The bards are sent not only to entertain, but usually to perform some other subtle task as well (such as robbery, espionage, or even assassination). Nobles consider it rude to turn down the gift of a bard or bard company.

However, when presented with a troop of bards from one’s worst enemy, it’s sometimes better to be rude and turn them away, for the consequences of their visit could be downright deadly. To get around this, the noble who hired them sometimes disguises their approach by having another noble send them. A very complicated collage of intrigue and deceit is often woven wherever bards are involved.

--The Wanderer's Journal

Daskhi approaches Kuro in the sight of the other attendees, as they seem to increasingly settle upon joining the midday festivities.

However, the Lady Almah of House Vordon has yet to arrive, without whose presence the bard will likewise not make an appearance, and so there remains at least a brief moment before the entertainment commences.

The close association between the bard and his patron highlights the distinctive role of these song-tellers in the desert sands of Athas, where they are not only expert musicians, but also masters of alchemy and the arts of poison and assassination. There is little question that the lithe elf who is as almost a shadow of the merchant-princess is principally her taste-tester, body-guard, hired-killer, and fixer, among other notorious occupations.

But the elven bard is not the only ominous member of Lady Almah's company, as the flaxen-haired ranger intends to make clear to his fellow brother in arms,

"Look there, Kuro," he begins, slightly lowering his voice as he gestures pointedly with both his supple fingers and brilliant, aquamarine pupils, "do you not see the strange character of Garavel"

The subtle motion of the breeze moving through the hall lifts the undulating folds of Garavel's sliver cowl slightly, revealing an obsidian plate (or is it the partially revealed surface of an orb?) somehow implanted in the crown of his bald head.


Shrugging, Shizuka lets a short arc strike between his palms. "I think the way the lightning aids me leaves them angry, as well as the fact I can't see. There's nothing people hate more than being bested by a cripple."

At the approach of Tkk-Tkk, the blind nods. "Indeed. There is but one life to hold."


Male LN Human gestalt unchained monk/psion (kineticist) 6 | overmind 3 | Vigor 113/137 | Wound 36/36 | DR 3/-*, AC 30 t 23 ff 23 | CMB+21 CMD 36 | F+11 R+12 W+11 | Init +12 | Perc +13, SM +13 | Speed 50ft | Stunning Fist: 6/6 | Ki: 1/7 | Power Points: 11/73 | Psionic Focus: 2/2 | Mythic Power: 9/9 | Emissary: 1/1 | Eternal Hope: 1/1 | Hero points: 1 | Denied: 1/1 | Extended Attack: 8/8 | Empowered Attack: 7/7 | Active conditions: Biofeedback, Ethereal (1m)
Shizuka the Blind wrote:

Cocking his head at the distant words of someone, Shizuka turns towards Rokan. "Indeed it is a numbers game, but one that can be stacked towards one side or another. Foolishness kills just as well as luck."

Blind man hears all!

Rokan suddenly starts with a bit of shock that he was heard. He quickly gathers himself and realizes how obvious that should have been to him. He wasn't really being careful. In any case, he's not really keeping to himself anymore.

"I suppose so, friend, but I suspect most don't really stack as much as they wish to think." He sighs, resigning himself to the idea that he might be about to make a friend, for better or worse.

"In any case I've spent countless days on this journey in introspective contemplation. I suppose I can take a few moments to hear these stories."


Male Half-Janni, Jinnborn.

Ja'far sat atop of the Destiny's Chariot, he prayed in the direction of the Crimson sun, basking in it's burning embrace. He was at peace as he gazed upon horizon, the blood of elementals flowed through his veins, taking solace that he was apart of this bleak land, it was his home after all.

Once he was finished praying and meditating, he flew down from his perch to make his way towards the main courtyard. Once inside he began to take in his surroundings. There he stood the brick red skinned man, dressed in a black black dolman with a midnight blue kaftan over it. Most striking was his bronze Char-aina, whos polished mirrored plates reflect the harsh sunlight in all directions. Did he wear dark clothing out and armor made of metal out of arrogance or did the sun have no real effect on this man?

He gave the slightest of bows before the occupants of the courtyard." I am Ja'far Nazim Al-Kuzbari Mahavira, forgive me for being late, it's not in my nature but I had to pray and it's a personal matter."

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28
Daskhi wrote:

"Look there, Kuro," he begins, slightly lowering his voice as he gestures pointedly with both his supple fingers and brilliant, aquamarine pupils, "do you not see the strange character of Garavel"

The subtle motion of the breeze moving through the hall lifts the undulating folds of Garavel's sliver cowl slightly, revealing an obsidian plate (or is it the partially revealed surface of an orb?) somehow implanted in the crown of his bald head.

Kuro's eye's are drawn back to the Mystic at his Brother in arm's behest. Once again, his eye's roam the man, searching for this "strange character". The light glares off of Garavel's head, directly into Kuro's eye.

"Ah..." he winces, moving his gaze to not stare directly at the obsidian sticking out of the man's head. "...Strange is a relative term but...I see you're point"

"Now that is a story I would like to hear about..."


Araska the Desert Walker wrote:
Araska waves to Gaanon as he enters the audience hall, giving a short grin as she sees the look on the large half-giant's face, "More talk from the others huh? Join me, the shows about to start!"

Gaanon is more than happy to sit with Araska – one of the few who treats him like more than what he appears to be. The people behind the Half-Giant are tempted to protest, but think better of it.

"Perhaps I should stand at the back," Gaanon suggests, noticing those behind him either leaving their seats or peering around him to see the stage.


Orbs of Kalid-Ma

Five virtually indestructible obsidian spheres used by the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma in his metamorphosis into a dragon. Each orb is two inches to two feet in diameter. Upon becoming a dragon Kalid-Ma transferred his intellect, psionic and magical powers into the orbs. Should the orbs be reunited and swallowed by a powerful defiler, Kalid-Ma would be restored to life even more powerful than before.

--The Wanderer's Journal

Dashki, nods knowingly as he registers signs of recognition on Kuro's face.

"I've heard it whispered among the servants, who I take it you are also closer to than the nobles of House Vordon and their minions, that several of the merchants' representatives also possess this... modification? It's rumored to be a gift from a powerful group of mind lords with which House Vordon, or at least some of its leaders, are in league, and to allow them to perfectly control ministers like Garavel. Others say it is borne of the same dark science that might have aided the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma's ascent to equal power with Borys the Dragon. Who can say? In any event, that one will always choose his employers over any other."


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The Cleansing Wars

Approximately 3500 years ago, the sorcerer Rajaat and his Champions initiated what is know called the Cleansing Wars–a genocidal war on the humanoid races of Athas. Rajaat believed that in order to bring Athas back to the glory of the Blue Age, they must first destroy all the humanoids that had evolved since that time, so that the world could be returned to its original inhabitants: the halflings.

Great patches of forest withered and died as the Champions waged their terrible war and drew the life force to power their defiling spells. Some of the Champions succeeded in their wicked desire to eliminate whole races, for lizard men, pixies, and gnomes have vanished from Athas. Others came exceedingly close, like the Dwarf Butcher and the Tari Killer. The land itself suffered along with the nonhumans, for the Champions indiscriminately used defiling magic to increase their power. Whoever tried to oppose them, no matter what race they belonged to-even the human nations—fell before their dark powers.

The Champions had almost achieved victory when they realized Rajaat was mad. He had lied to the Champions, telling them that the world would be given to them and the other humans, but they learned that it was not the humans who would inherit the new-born Athas—it was the halflings.

The 13th Champion, Borys of Ebe, the Butcher of Dwarves, personally led the revolt against Rajaat; most of the other Champions sided with Borys in their betrayal of Rajaat. With the help of an artifact called the Dark Lens, Borys and the Champions imprisoned Rajaat beyond the shadow dimension of the Black, in a place of nothingness called the Hollow; they hurled his halfling guards into the Black. Both were secured with spells of holding and binding that remained in place until Tithian of Tyr disturbed them recently.

The Cleansing Wars came to an end, and the Age of the Sorcerer-Kings began.

--The Wanderer's Journal

Still awaiting the arrival of Lady Almah and her bard, the gathered travelers have an opportunity to study further the ornamentation of the audience hall, a large, pillared room in which they have gathered on previous days.

The shafts of the hall are painted a bright blood red, as are those of the portico outside and others throughout the palace. A grey capital and base terminates each shaft. Another curious detail -- the pillars are all broader at the summit than the base.

The walls are engraved with elaborate reliefs of a bygone age -- purportedly that of Kalidnay during the height of its glory. Some even suggest that some are depictions of the mythical Green Age of Athas, before the sun was darkened by the Cleansing Wars.

None of the party has yet had the opportunity to study the reliefs in detail. The current pause is a chance to take a closer look if anyone is interested. Who knows what secrets the palace might hold?


Rokan the Ascetic wrote:

"I suppose so, friend, but I suspect most don't really stack as much as they wish to think." He sighs, resigning himself to the idea that he might be about to make a friend, for better or worse.

"In any case I've spent countless days on this journey in introspective contemplation. I suppose I can take a few moments to hear these stories."

Smiling viciously underneath his helm, Shizuka opens his hands. "Indeed, but some stack towers of advantages, and even a tiny child with barely a card can topple a stack if they fight hard enough, and have a fraction of luck." Quieter, the pit fighter adds, "My ears are sharper than most. Don't feel too bad about it. Let us go see if this bard can sing as well as they can play the game of webbed intrigue."

Entering the hall, Shizuka pulls the wooden helm off, tucking the armor in the crook of his arm and revealing his face. With skin like worn leather, long, stringy, white hair and empty gray eyes that never moved, one may take him for a poor old beggar. Only the scars that decorated his face, faint markings of a past life, and his armored appearance warned of his dangerous nature. "Not quite the image of the rampaging beast of lightning eh?"


DECEASED

Ignoring his companions, Malkaer looked at the decorations of the palace. Specifically that of the green age. He had never seen anything like it before. It was fascinating, far more so than anything he had seen in years.


Female Human Mystic (Aurora Soul//Daevic 3 Champion 1

Araska gives a dismissive wave in the general direction of the people scattering from behind the half-giant, "They are already moving, and a half-giant deserves to see and hear a bard's tale up close as much as anyone."

Araska sips from her water bowl and enjoys the refreshing liquid as Ja'far makes his entrance. Feeling in a friendly mood, Araska waves him over as well, "Rejoice Ja'far, you are in fact just in time."


Malkaer, do you have Perception or a Knowledge skill (or both) you'd like to use to investigate the wall decorations? You might be able to discern something more...

As Malkaer moves to edges of the pillared chamber to investigate the decorations, it soon becomes more or less apparent that they form some kind of narrative tableau that wraps around the entire circumference of audience hall.

Various, brightly-colored carvings are regularly surmounted with some kind of highly stylized writing, and contained in fancifully decorated cartouches.

The dim light of the noon sun leaking into the chamber casts a web of constantly shifting, variegated shadows on the carvings, making them almost seem to come alive before Malkaer's very eyes.


DECEASED

Sadly no knowledge skills, besides geography. So...

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
Knowledge Geography to see if he can tell what the place would be now: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16


Just expanded my post to Malkaer a bit before you posted. What do you mean by "what the palace would be now"?


Memnon laughs at Shizuka's comment about his appearance.

''Your frail look can only be an advantage. A wise warrior knows not to judge an opponent simply by his appearance. Doubtless you have left the corpses of many fools in your wake.'' Memnon trails off as he notices Ja'far.

''Excuse me for a moment.'' He says to Shizuka as he excuses himself.

Walking up to the newest arrival, he greets the man loudly.

''Ja'far! You son of a whore!'' He exclaims as he grabs the man by the forearm.

''I did not realize you were employed by house Vordon. How have you been?''


DECEASED

Such as, is this a portrait of Tyr in the green age? That type of information.

Turning to his companions, Malkaer finally broke his silence. "I am but a simple guide and scout. Are any of you educated enough to tell anything about the decorations here? They are fascinating."

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28
Dashki wrote:

Dashki, nods knowingly as he registers signs of recognition on Kuro's face.

"I've heard it whispered among the servants, who I take it you are also closer to than the nobles of House Vordon and their servants, that several of the merchants' representatives also possess this... modification? It's rumored to be a gift from a powerful group of mind lords with which House Vordon, or at least some of its leaders, are in league, and to allow them to perfectly control ministers like Garavel. Others say it is borne of the same dark science that might have aided the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma's ascent to equal power with Borys the Dragon. Who can say? In any event, that one will always choose his employers over any other."

Kuro's face falls deeper and deeper into a frown the more he learns from Dashki. It sounds like slavery disguised as a gift, something he despises.

"That...doesn't sound like something someone would agree to have implanted..." Kuro thinks numbly, his heart grieving over the loss of life. For if every choice you can make is made for you and you can't resist, are you even alive?

"let's...move on from such topics" he says to Dashki, before he thinks for a moment "...actually, I was going to walk around the servants quarters to offer my greetings again, walk with me? Or I'll just see you during the 'festivities'?


Male Half-Janni, Jinnborn.

Ja'far was about to partake in Araska invitation when he was stopped in his tracks by the exuberant cry of his name. Could it be? I figured he'd be dead.

He grabs Memnom's forearm in kind,"Well well, if it isn't the son of the jackal himself. The last person that cried my name like that was your mother, giving her the hospitality she deserved." As Memnom continues to graps Ja'far's arm, he can feel the residual coming off of his arm and dark clothing."What's the matter? Thinking I have a jambiya up my sleeve ready to be sheathed in your back? He smiles and cocks his head.

"Oh the same old, wandering the vast wastes in search of something or another. Oh I did nurse a Roc back to good health and help her hatchlings, tempermental birds."


Making a chuff of assent, Shizuka feels his companion head off to meet the new denizen of the shaded enclosure. A mountain of corpses, with a stench of lightning and death. And I'd do it again and again.

As the scout asks about the decoration the blind man shrugs. "I'd offer aid, but I lack both sight and knowledge. Surely someone here knows their meaning."

Taking a moment to take a deep breath, Shizuka begins to take in the impulse of everyone present, engraving each note of electricity into his mind. Exhaling, he lets the electricity flow down his body, taking it's natural course as he approaches the new arrival. "Seems House Vordon has gathered quite the mix of individuals." Pausing at the presence of metal, the warrior cocks his head, his lips pursed tight. "I forgot how the ores of the earth sing to my senses. May I ask where you got such a treasure?"


Malkaer Illuvinar wrote:

Sadly no knowledge skills, besides geography. So...

[dice=Perception]1d20+10
[dice=Knowledge Geography to see if he can tell what the place would be now]1d20+10

Upon more considered examination, Malkaer begins to discern some sense to the overwhelming morass of details contained in the friezes.

The raised dais on one side of the room contains the chair of the Lady Almah when she is in attendance. Behind it is a large mural of what looks like a ten-headed dragon.... or a dragon with ten forms perhaps.

The strange draconic entity sits atop a vast dome of some sort, perhaps a temple. From the domed structure, rays of darkness extend to form a shadowy halo around the dragon and its perch.

Below, there are masses of people in a great city to either side of the building. These are bowing down towards the domed building and the dragon, with many of them completely prostrate before the main image behind the hall's throne. The ones closer to the dragon are completely black, while the ones further away seem to be in the midst of their immolation, or some other dire process that leeches their colors.

The skyline of the immense city is broken in several instances by massive black arches of cyclopean appearance.

Further away, on the sides of the room and wrapping around the chamber towards the main entrance, the scene assumes a more tranquil aspect, and appears to depict a lush world completely unlike any known to the present-day inhabitants of the Tablelands. This would seem to be the storied Green Age, or at least a semblance of its mythic beauty and abundance. It is impossible to say for certain, as Malkaer has only ever known a harsh, dry world, and no detail of the depictions offers any further hint as to the nature, location, or age of the paradise it depicts.

The slight reverie induced by the contemplation of these images is harshly interrupted by a piercing, amused, and dismissive voice from behind Malkaer,

mood music

"Fascinating, aren't they brother runner? Have you found yet what you are looking for?"


Male LN Human gestalt unchained monk/psion (kineticist) 6 | overmind 3 | Vigor 113/137 | Wound 36/36 | DR 3/-*, AC 30 t 23 ff 23 | CMB+21 CMD 36 | F+11 R+12 W+11 | Init +12 | Perc +13, SM +13 | Speed 50ft | Stunning Fist: 6/6 | Ki: 1/7 | Power Points: 11/73 | Psionic Focus: 2/2 | Mythic Power: 9/9 | Emissary: 1/1 | Eternal Hope: 1/1 | Hero points: 1 | Denied: 1/1 | Extended Attack: 8/8 | Empowered Attack: 7/7 | Active conditions: Biofeedback, Ethereal (1m)

On entering the audience hall, Rokan notices the scene fully wrapping the room. He begins to circle the room, taking in details slowly. Anything to put off giving attention to the ongoing social functions in the room. He does, however, eavesdrop on any commentary from others observing the reliefs, and focuses on looking for historical cues in the scenes.

knowledge (history): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23


Rokan the Ascetic wrote:

On entering the audience hall, Rokan notices the scene fully wrapping the room. He begins to circle the room, taking in details slowly. Anything to put off giving attention to the ongoing social functions in the room. He does, however, eavesdrop on any commentary from others observing the reliefs, and focuses on looking for historical cues in the scenes.

[dice=knowledge (history)]1d20+10

From his examination, Rokan can discern that the scene depicts the ancient history of Kalidnay, particularly its fall some twelve hundred years prior to the present. The ten-headed dragon is presumably an artistic representation of the dragon metamorphosis taught by Rajaat to his various champions.

One detail that strikes him is that Kalid-Ma is definitely depicted as female in this image, though the surviving narratives vary on this point.

The lush area surrounding the city is presumably an artificial paradise created by the sorcerer-queen at the height of her powers, but not an actual depiction of the Green Age, which came to a close thousands of years prior during the Cleansing Wars.

The scene seems to depict the disaster that led up to the destruction of ancient Kalidnay, which, as is described in the Wanderer's Journal and other sources, somehow involved an attempt by the sorcerer-queen to shorten the path to a complete dragon metamorphosis. In particular, the black rays that create the halo around the sorcerer-queen would seem to be linked with whatever dark arts Kalid-Ma and her chief templar employed in order to increase the sorcerer-queen's powers.

The comparison to the late sorcerer-king Kalak of Tyr seems obvious.

Furthermore, ancient Kalidnay appears to have been centered around a lake through which a shadow spreads in the image.

Finally, a number of dark orbs can be seen floating around the sorcerer-queen and through the city, though this detail only stands out upon close inspection.

The walls are covered in writing in a strange language Rokan cannot read.

Rokan notices an elf with peculiar looking chitin armor standing behind Malkaer, who appears to likewise be studying the image. The strange elf now speaks to his brother fey,

"Fascinating, aren't they brother runner? Have you found yet what you are looking for?"


Female Thri-Kreen Warpriest/Monk; AC 24/22/18; Fort +8, Ref +10e, Will +9; Init +6; Perception +10 Vigor 36/36; Wounds 32/32; Spell points 13/13; Fervor 5/5; Blessings 4/4; Mythic 5/5; Stamina 6/6; Stun 3/3

Putting away her lizards, Tkk-tkk will examine the work, though her interest is more in the linework. She does not have the context for the history, but some of the techniques might be used to decorate larger bones.

This also helps with the other issue. While she had gotten used to Malkaer, she did not know the other elf. There was no need to exacerbate any old grudges when they were all here together.

And it would be rude to begin salivating here.


Male LN Human gestalt unchained monk/psion (kineticist) 6 | overmind 3 | Vigor 113/137 | Wound 36/36 | DR 3/-*, AC 30 t 23 ff 23 | CMB+21 CMD 36 | F+11 R+12 W+11 | Init +12 | Perc +13, SM +13 | Speed 50ft | Stunning Fist: 6/6 | Ki: 1/7 | Power Points: 11/73 | Psionic Focus: 2/2 | Mythic Power: 9/9 | Emissary: 1/1 | Eternal Hope: 1/1 | Hero points: 1 | Denied: 1/1 | Extended Attack: 8/8 | Empowered Attack: 7/7 | Active conditions: Biofeedback, Ethereal (1m)

Rokan takes in the historical detail of the reliefs, letting his mind wander to some of the depicted events, wondering what it might have been like to live in such times.

Rajaat... to have the epic hubris to presume such a profound decision for all of creation. To carry it out so violently. There is much to learn from such an example.

He overhears a nearby elf and a fey discussing the same depictions.

"Interesting! It's a lot to take in when you start to inspect the details. What, specifically, would one look for in these reliefs? Are there ages-old questions to be asked and answered here?"


Memnon snorts at Ja'far's comments.

''You leave my mother out of this you cur. Besides all that you wound me with your accusations. I know you would never hide a jambiya up your sleeve, you and I both know you favor the kukri.''

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Spell-less Ranger/4 - Soul Knife(War Soul)/4 - Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +4 (+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects.) - WP 32/32 VP 28/28

Finally, after saying goodbye to Dashki and taking the long way around through the servants quarters, he arrives. giving his hello's, thanks, and advice to the servants, he slowly slinks into the blood red hall. Kuro manages to curb the gasp that would have left his mouth as he see's this place for the first time. the wall's blood red paint seems...like an interesting choice....

He's the last to enter the area and such is behind everyone. his eye's roam the pictures, but honestly, he can't keep his attention on them for very long. Art was never something he enjoyed, and the Sorcerer Kings are definitely something he doesn't enjoy. so he use's this time instead to inspect his companions, this is the first time they have all been gathered in the same place after all.

First to catch his eye is Gaanon, His friend. He remembers meeting the Half-Giant some time ago, during his short stay with one of the many slave tribes that roam the desert. Their feelings on how the tribes operate coincided with one another and a friendship was born. he wouldn't see the man again for a while, but he would appear every now and again when Kuro would cook in the street's for Tyr's homeless. It's honestly great to see him again, they'll need to catch up.

Slowly, he moves to one of the back walls, leaning against it.

From Gaanon, his eye's fall to the man's much smaller companion, a woman, seemingly even younger then him. that's surprising, but not much of an issue he suppose's. regardless, if she is a friend of Gaanon she can't be a bad person. suddenly, he realizes he's staring intently at a random woman he's never met before. so Kuro quickly averts his gaze with a light pink hue on his cheek's, thankful for his red cowl.

Next up is the man that is loudly talking to his companion as if they haven't seen each other in a very long time. Seem's they know each other at least. the woman at Gaanon's side called him Ja'far...he seem's familiar...

...Ah, Kuro saw him meditating on top of the castle this morning, clearly a mystical man.

The man beside Ja'far looks deceivingly plain in comparison, but undoubtedly there is more to him that will become apparent in time.
'Memnon is his name then..."

Talking from near the tapestry gains his attention, 2 elves and a human stare at the paintings together. they all seem pretty enamored with it. Kuro however, can't find much interest in it, so he looks on and away.

Again, Kuro's eye's roam the crowd. he spot's a man in a set of white wooden armor, sticking out like a sore thumb. the way he stands, this man is 100% a experienced fighter, Kuro can smell the ozone wafting off of his body.

...He is dangerous, Kuro decides. but in what way? that will have to wait until they can converse alone. true thoughts on a person can only be gained when it's just you and them.

But Kuro throws those thoughts away when he see's the Human sized praying mantis trying her best to ignore the elves observing the painting.
"..."

'...What...'


Rokan the Ascetic wrote:

Rokan takes in the historical detail of the reliefs, letting his mind wander to some of the depicted events, wondering what it might have been like to live in such times.

Rajaat... to have the epic hubris to presume such a profound decision for all of creation. To carry it out so violently. There is much to learn from such an example.

He overhears a nearby elf and a fey discussing the same depictions.

"Interesting! It's a lot to take in when you start to inspect the details. What, specifically, would one look for in these reliefs? Are there ages-old questions to be asked and answered here?"

A tall, pale-skinned elf turns to regard Rokan, moving his focus from the images and Malkaer.

His bright red hair, slicked back in a tight top knot, his violet-tinted slips, and piercing yellow eyes all effect a slightly frightening image.

The chitin breastplate he wears is dark purple in hue, and thoroughly mottled with small spines.

His sibilant, feral tone continues, this time directed at Rokan,

"Well, many things. A. Great. Many. Things. It depends on the viewer I suppose... friend."

The elf's lips part slightly in an unsettling, rictus, exposing his sharpened teeth.

"But wheresoever are my manners? I am Slavathras, bard to the Lady Almah of House Vordon, and have not yet had the pleasure of this company's acquaintance on the trip, for I have only thus far entertained my patron in private."

He bares his palms and spreads his arms in an open expression that is usually one of peace, but curiously in this instance seems threatening, or like a dare,

"And who might you be, and what are your thoughts on these fine works which surround us?"

Slavasthras gestures grandly,

"Pray, tell me what you discern in them."


Tkk-Tkk wrote:

Putting away her lizards, Tkk-tkk will examine the work, though her interest is more in the linework. She does not have the context for the history, but some of the techniques might be used to decorate larger bones.

This also helps with the other issue. While she had gotten used to Malkaer, she did not know the other elf. There was no need to exacerbate any old grudges when they were all here together.

And it would be rude to begin salivating here.

Tkk-Tkk makes the thoroughly unsettling discovery that the elf standing behind Malkaer is wearing chitin armor that seems to be constructed from the carapace of some breed of kreen.

It is of course possible that this odd costume was made of a molted shell or a corpse... but the other explanation that its previous wearer was hunted for this purpose cannot also be put completely to the side.


Male LN Human gestalt unchained monk/psion (kineticist) 6 | overmind 3 | Vigor 113/137 | Wound 36/36 | DR 3/-*, AC 30 t 23 ff 23 | CMB+21 CMD 36 | F+11 R+12 W+11 | Init +12 | Perc +13, SM +13 | Speed 50ft | Stunning Fist: 6/6 | Ki: 1/7 | Power Points: 11/73 | Psionic Focus: 2/2 | Mythic Power: 9/9 | Emissary: 1/1 | Eternal Hope: 1/1 | Hero points: 1 | Denied: 1/1 | Extended Attack: 8/8 | Empowered Attack: 7/7 | Active conditions: Biofeedback, Ethereal (1m)
Sebecloki wrote:

"But wheresoever are my manners? I am Slavathras, bard to the Lady Almah of House Vordon, and have not yet had the pleasure of this company's acquaintance on the trip, for I have only thus far entertained my patron in private."

He bares his palms and spreads his arms in an open expression that is usually one of peace, but curiously in this instance seems threatening, or like a dare,

"And who might you be, and what are your thoughts on these fine works which surround us?"

Slavasthras gestures grandly,

"Pray, tell me what you discern in them."

Rokan stares blankly at Slavathras' display, not immediately sure of his intentions.

Sense motive, hostile, just testing me, or other?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

"Good to meet you Slavathras. I am simply Rokan, not of any house."

Regardless, he begins to convey his interpretation modestly, fully aware that it projects some information about himself to the predatory elf. He turns back to the reliefs to re-scan them as he answers.

"I see much depiction of extremes and reaches for power. Hubris, disregard, rashness, presumption, devastation. It is then passed down as a tradition from Rajaat to the sorcerer kings. In short, a total lack of equilibrium and rational response to their situations."

He then forces himself to turn back to the elf, despite being somewhat unsettled by his appearance and demeanor.

"I understand you're enlightening us with song and story on this day. Will your tales involve heroes who know balance or those who insist upon themselves in pursuit of power and glory?"

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