The Burnt World of Athas

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Interesting Urik facts

Urikites wear their hair in square cuts with elaborate ringlets. Their usual
clothing is a long shirt. At night, many urikites wear scarves, the length,
material, and decorations of which denote the wearer's station. Only templars
are allowed to wear cloaks, which are yellow, and only Hamanu may wear a
cloak with a fringe, which is bleached pure white.

Urik's laws are called Hamanu's Code and are based on the eye-for-an-eye

King Hamanu:
Hamanu goes by many titles, the most common of which are a) King of the World
and b) The Lion King. He has two standard appearances, namely as a) A tall,
vigorous man with close-cropped white hair, dark skin stretched tight over
ruthless features, and yellow eyes and b) A 1/2 man, 1/2 lion of powerful
build and mythic proportions.

Urik is a warrior culture, with a huge army. Its soldiers are probably the
best trained on Athas, but not the best armed. Almost all their weaponry is
made from obsidian ( in contrast to Tyr's army steel weaponry ). Urik often
fight wars and when Hamanu leads the army personally, he has never lost.

Urik's resident merchant house is House Stel. It deals primarily in
weapons, ceramic, obsidian and Tyrian iron. Stel maintains trade routes to
Raam, Draj and has exclusive dealing rights with Makla. Stel also trades
the plunder of Urik's armies. Usually, their caravans are huge, heavily
armed and slow-moving, consisting of about ten Mekillot wagons, 100 foot
soldiers and 30 to 40 crodlu outriders. The wagons are carrying slave
archers under mul or half-giant guards and ballistae or catapults. House
Stel has 20 to 30 of these caravans. Urik's economy depends on the
obsidian that it is mined from the Mountain of the Black Crown. Urik
depends on Tyr's iron for tools to be able to mine the obsidian. Urik has
recently fought a war with Tyr when Hamanu thought the iron trade was in
danger. Makla is a client village of Urik, located on the shore of the
Lake of Golden Dreams. It is a supply center and base camp for the
obsidian mining. It has 500 urik soldiers, 50 half-giants and 25 halfling
slave hunters. House Stel has 3 fortresses. Fort Courage is located near
the Smoking Crown. It has 150 employees and 200 slaves. Fort Iron is
located 30 miles west of Silver Spring. It has 75 employees and 100
slaves. Fort Sandol is located 50 miles north of Gulg. It has 20
employees and 50 slaves and serves as a trading station for nomads. House
Stel is a very militaristic organization and has over 3.000 well-trained
and equipped warriors under its command. Its enemies include House Tsalaxa
(Draj), House Inika ( Gulg ), and all elven trading tribes ( especially
the Swiftwing tribe ). Stel has managed to keep good relations with all
the Sorcerer-kings, especially Hamanu. It has a reasonably good
relationship with House Wavir ( Balic ). House Stel is led by Hargan Stel
III. Other important characters are Tara Stel and Terric Avan. ( More
info, Dune Traders )

Veiled Alliance:
The Veiled Alliance in Urik has split into two factions after the
disappearance of its charismatic leader, Morlak. One faction is led by
Leoricius the Untamable and the other one is led by Thania. The two factions
are on the foot of war with each other. ( More info, Veiled Alliance )

In addition to by far the largest and best trained army in the Tablelands,
Hamanu also employs 200 halfling warriors from Ogo, under agreement with
halfling chief Urga-Zoltapl, in exchange for obsidian.

Urik is approximately 3 times the size of Tyr. Its walls are high and yellow.
Hamanu's palace is called Destiny's Kingdom. Its inner sanctum is 1 square
mile and looks like a powerful fortress. The remaining area fills 28 square
miles and contains a huge drill field, barracks, a large armory filled to
the top with obsidian weapons, stables, and a small jungle city build
especially for the halflings.
DM's note: You can use the map of Nibenay for Urik. Let the Naggaramakam be
Destiny's Kingdom ( size X 2 ) and let the inner sanctum be Hamanu's fortress
( size is normal ). The area surrounding the city is devoid of geographical
features. At the northwest corner of the City are three hills. The northwest
corner of the city is the Three Sisters Observatory, Which has been build on
the center-most hill, Sunrise Hill.

The Mountain of the Black Crown is a huge volcano, almost completely
covered with obsidian, which is extremely hard black glass, the residue
from its active years. It has been resting for as long as anyone can
remember. It is the largest mountain of the Smoking Crown mountains. To
the west of the Smoking Crown mountains lies the Lake of Golden Dreams. It
is an huge swamp where thick yellowish steam constantly rises from boiling
waters. Where the water isn't too deep you can see that the bottom of the
lake is laced with hundreds of tunnels and passageways. According to
rumor, these tunnels lead to an incredible city that lies at the heart of
the Smoking Crown. Dragon's Bowl is a deep depression in the Tablelands
to the southeast of Urik. Reputedly,it is the birthplace of the Dragon.
It's walls are 1.000 feet steep, treacherous slopes. Inside Dragon's Bowl
lies Lake Pit. A lake with crystal clear water covering an area of 28
square miles. A rumored "Sunken City" is supposed to lie in the submerged
caves beneath the lake. A powerful mul druid named Enola is supposed to
have the entire Dragon's Bowl as his guarded lands.


1. Auke IJsselstein playing Talora
Male Elf 8th Level Defiler ( Necromancer ) NE
New Character. After barely escaping with his life from two villages,
where his gruesome experiments and defiling had been discovered,
Talora has managed to become an apprentice under Krisnar, the
Archmage Necromancer of Hamanu, by assassinating, discouraging, or
otherwise incapacitating all other contenders for this position.
Special Features:
Talora is completely bald, and even though he is quite young, already
looks like an old man who has just recovered from a nasty skin
disease. For this reason and for intimidating purposes, he wears a
white mask, which slightly resembles a human skull. He carries a grey
whip and is in possession of 2 obsidian spheres. He wears grey robes.
He respects his master and most of all, he respects Hamanu, who is one
of the few creatures on Athas who has gained immortality.

2. Martijn v/d Meer playing Pyaro
Male Human 9th Level Cleric of Fire NG
Played one earlier campaign, Merchant House of Amketsch. In this
campaign he made a number of enemies. The gith around Balic blame him
for the destruction of one of their camps. House Shom blames him for
the destruction of their Balic department and the innkeeper of the
Sandtiger's Tail in Balic blames him for the destruction of his inn.
He also made some friends, namely Marius of Amketsch, the leader of
House Amketsch, and Mazarek of the Veiled Alliance in Balic. After a
couple of failed assassination attempts, Pyaro hitched a ride on an
Amketsch caravan to Urik to go on a pilgrimage to the Temple of Fire
in that city. This temple has the Eternal Flame, a fire that hasn't
stopped burning for ages and is supposed to be the purest fire on
Athas. He liked the temple so well, that he has become an Initiate,
then an Acolyte, and is now next in line for Council of Fire
membership, the highest function in the temple.
Special Features:
Pyaro has Bracers of Defense AC 8, a Ring of Protection +1, a steel
short sword +1 ( must be heated for use, takes 1 round ), boots of
speed, a wand of Magic Detection, and a ring of Chameleon Power. He
also has a Firetrapped Purse that he made himself, and a magnifying
glass. His Holy Symbol is a shard of obsidian with a flame of sulphur

3. Benno Meijer playing Aquarius
Male Half-Elf 7th Level Fighter LN
Played one earlier campaign, Black Flames. In this campaign he made
one enemy, Terric Avan, whose son David was under his care when he
was killed by a Fael. He was teaching Tarek's son swordfighting.
Tarek is master commander of the troops of House Stel. Aquarius has
returned to Urik, where Tarek made it clear to him that he would not
forget who was responsible for his son at the time of his death.
Aquarius then joined the Urik Army as a mercenary, where he has been
promoted two timed now.
Special Features:
Aquarius wears 3 silver earrings and 3 copper rings. Has emblem of
Army of Urik on breastplate. On his left upper arm is a tattoo of his
current rank, lieutenant. In possession of a metal longsword, a metal
dagger, a metal dagger +1, a medium shield with a Lion's Head, and a
dragon tooth.

4. Mark IJsselstein playing Sarek
Male Human 9th Level Templar of Urik LE
New Character. Sarek has been a templar all his life. He started as
a patrolman with the Removers of Waste, and after some years ( and
an unfortunate accident which happened to his superior ) he became
the Head Templar of that office. He managed to get himself promoted
out of that department and became the Sewer Monitor, head of the
Sewer department, responsible for the proper working of the sewers.
This is still not a very prestigious office, but Sarek has recently
managed to make his name known on the higher levels by destroying a
Veiled Alliance cell. He had managed to have an underling infiltrate
a VA cell and get them to meet him in the sewers. Sarek had in the
meantime hired a powerful psionicist. He let this psionicist dominate
a Cistern Fiend in one of the city wells and used this creature to
ambush the VA cell in the sewers ( Cistern Fiends are undetectable
when they lie still in the water ). The ambush was completely
succesful and Sarek even managed to capture two of the four
preservers, the other two perished in the battle.
Special Features:
Sarek wears yellow templar robes and a yellow templar cloak. He also
has a ceramic templar medallion.

Setting - Day 1 07:00

1. Talora had been up all night, as usual, studying material given to him
by his master, Krisnar. He was currently trying to memorize his newest
spell in his chamber on the second floor of Destiny's Kingdom, Hamanu's
Palace. He had almost got it, when suddenly he was disturbed by the sound
of an enormous explosion, causing him to loose his concentration and
suffer 6 HP damage. Furious, he walked over to the window where he could
already see a big fire spreading over the District of the Dynastic
Merchant Houses. "Probably another bloody Veiled Alliance attack", he
concludes disinterestedly and walks back to his spellbook to prepare for
another attempt at memorizing the difficult spell.

2. Pyaro was on his way to the Temple of Fire to prepare for the morning
devotions ceremony, which was his responsibility as an upcoming acolyte. As
he turned the last corner he notices something odd. The templars assigned to
guarding the Temple of Fire at night are gone, and one of the doors to the
temple is open a crack. He hurries toward the temple and then slows his
pace. He peeks around the corner of the door, seeing a lot more smoke then
usual inside. He opens the door some more and the smoke slowly starts to
clear out of the Hall of Fire. The temple has been desecrated ! Stepping
inside with murder on his mind, he finds his first body. In addition to the
templar guard detail outside, every night one of the three members of the
Council of Fire and two of the acolytes guard the Eternal Flame. The body is
one of the acolytes, burned so badly that his ribcage is visible. "A good way
to go", Pyaro reflects, and pulling his sword moves slowly down the Ashen
Pathway toward the Altar of Fire, determined not to go the same way as the
unfortunate acolyte just yet. Then he encounters the second acolyte, intact,
except for his head, which has been ripped of his shoulders. Suddenly the
smoke clears enough for him to see the altar. The Eternal Flame is out !

The Scepter of Power has been stolen ! Faznon, the half-elf Priest who was
in charge, lies against the damaged altar, with a circular area of
destruction around him. It seems that he has defended the altar until
exhaustion, when some THING broke through his protective spells and ripped
his heart out. Pyaro looks at the remains of his friend, swearing
vengeance, when an enormous explosion makes him jump. That might be the
thief, he thinks, and activitating his Boots of Speed he runs out of the
temple and toward the smoke rising above the city.

3. The drill field on the grounds of Destiny's Kingdom was more crowded as
usual. Many army units were practicing maneuvers, simulating a city
attack. Great driks were marching against stone walls, pulverizing them
easily, and groups of cavalry were trying to outflank the infantry
marching alongside the unstoppable monsters. Aquarius had been training 20
mercenaries for the past hour, trying to determine if any one of them had
any special talent for swordplay, when he was rudely interrupted in a
demonstration of a particularly difficult kata by an enormous explosion,
almost causing him to loose his balance. All eyes on the drill field turn
towards the smoke rising above the walls surrounding the Palace grounds.
Disorder starts to break out. Some men and women leave their units,
worried about kin or property, and run toward the gates. The maneuvers are
going to hell. Fights break out when a cavalry unit, distracted by the
sound of the explosion accidentally fails to miss a mercenary infantry unit
they were mock-charging at. Suddenly a half-giant shouts :"Tyr must be
mounting a sneak attack !", and before anybody can stop them a full
company of half-giants marches toward the gate. When a templar company,
trying to restore order, double-marches after the half-giants in a futile
attempt to stop them, most of the other mercenaries follow. Aquarius'
soldiers want to follow, but he manages to hold them back and continues
his drills. Meanwhile, the soldiers and citizens start to riot on the
streets of Urik.

4. Sarek had just finished his shift and was relaxing in the local templar
hangout, next to the District of the Dynastic Merchant Houses. He was,
still smelling slightly of sewer waste, recounting his succesful
operation against the VA to a fellow templar, who was delighting Sarek by
being quite obviously jealous of him. Suddenly he hears shouting in the
market square outside and he puts his glass of ale down on the table and
listens carefully. "There he is, get him !", he hears, followed by an
enormous explosion, which rocks the bar's foundations. Right after that, a
burning and screaming half-giant crashes through the plaster wall of the
bar, pulverizing his table and squashing his fellow templar. "That drink
cost me 5 ceramics, dammit", Sarek thinks as he jumps out of reach of the
pain-crazed half-giant and makes a break for the street. The square is in
chaos. People are running everywhere, and the wounded scream in pain. He
tries to make his way through the crowd, but by the time he has reached
the scene of the destruction, only the dead remain. He sees another
half-giant, missing his entire right shoulder and arm. There are a lot of
medium-sized burned corpses, probably freemen and slaves. After a short
search he finds an expensive-looking cornerpiece of a black robe with
intricate gold-thread patterns woven in, which he puts into his pocket.
After some more searching he finds the body of the templar whose shouting
probably started this minor war. He has a smoking wound in the middle of
his chest and is apparently already dead. "That's just great", he thinks,
"What else could go wrong ?". Shouts of "Fire" and "Out of my way" make
him turn around, quickly enough to see a strange sight. What looks like an
incredibly fast and furious fire cleric comes storming into the square
with a mad look in his eyes.

Market Square - Day 1 07:15 ( DM's note : Sage Square on map of Nibenay )

"Stop", Sarek futily commands, as Pyaro storms past him and comes to a
halt some metres further. "Who are you and what are you doing here", Sarek
shouts, while quickly grasping his medallion.
"You...must...have..stolen...the... Scepter", Pyaro gasps at him, while he
catches his breath. In the distance templar patrols can be heard securing
the area. Sarek still isn't sure if he's dealing with a madman or the
causer of this destruction. While they argue on, suddenly the assumed-dead
templar coughs up some blood. Both men turn toward the still-smoking
templar. Pyaro recognizes the templar as a member of the guard detail that
was missing. Quickly he graps a smoldering bit of wood, presses it in the
chestwound and calls on Fire to heal the templar. The templar regains
consciousness and manages to relate his story.

Templar's story

Apparently, the templar was the leader of the guard detail normally
assigned to the Temple of Fire during the graveyard shift. Last evening he
had recieved a message telling him that he was relieved from guard duty
this night. The message was unsigned, but was accompanied with a
code-message known only to the High-templars and the leaders of each
templar patrol. Being a templar, he still kept an unobtrusive eye on the
temple all night, together with his guard detail, just in case another
templar tried to doublecross him. At around 5:30, a figure clad in black
robes with gold patterns on it walked toward the temple and sneaked
inside. As it remained quiet and the end of his normal watch was near, he
left to get some sleep before his next watch, but when he and his guard
detail were about a block away, flashes of light from the direction of the
temple caused him to return. When he returned, the door was still slightly
open, but the light display and occasional primal roar from inside the
temple did not convince him to go in. When it was silent for some time, he
suddenly heard someone running away and weighing his options he decided to
chase the sound of the footsteps. When he and his detail reached the
square, he saw the black-robed figure among the early shopping crowd and he
called out to his detail. The figure turned around and for a few brief
seconds his eyes lit up under his hood. Then he pointed something and the
square turned into an inferno. Wounded severely, the templar saw the
black-robed figure run toward the south.

Market Square

The templar passes out again and Pyaro shakes him, wanting to hear more,
to no avail. Pyaro wants to run toward the south, hoping to catch the
thief, but is arrested by Sarek ( and a few Half-Giants ). The square has
been completely surrounded by templars and Sarek spots Fazek, a
High-Templar, coming his way. Sarek reports what he knows. The
High-Templar is clearly very anxious about the theft of the Scepter of
Power. He orders Sarek to organize a search for the mysterious robed
figure and tells him that he is to report back to the Palace in 1 hour. He
takes the arrested Pyaro into custody. Pyaro is furiously carried to the
Palace, restrained by two half-giants, behind the High-Templar's sedan.
Halfway there, one of the templars who is tired of Pyaro's endless curses
and raves about finding some scepter or other casts a Silence-spell on him
and lets the half-giants bind his arms behind his back with chains. Pyaro
slowly starts to realize his situation and calms down a bit. Sarek makes
sure that the templar is taken to the palace for treatment and organizes a
search. The search is progressing with some difficulty, because of the
riots in the city, that are however slowly coming under control. After 45
minutes, he makes sure the search will continue and then goes back to
Destiny's Kingdom. As he walks through the gate he spots a lone group of
mercenaries being trained on the drill field. The lieutenant seems quite
worthy of the metal sword he carries. Suddenly a voice speaks in his head.
Sarek almost falls on his knees right there and then, for it is Hamanu's
voice. The message is simple : "Take the lieutenant with you". Hamanu was
not pleased about his troops causing riots in his city and he has noticed
that one officer has managed to keep a clear head in the disorder. Sarek
walks over to Aquarius and tells him that he has been summoned by the King
of the World. Aquarius realizes the time to move is now and instructs
sergeant Prozac to continue the training. Sarek and Aquarius virtually run
to the palace.

Meeting Hamanu - Day 1 09:30

Talora studies at night and sleeps during the day and is not pleased when
he is awakened by a knock on the door. When he hears that he has been
summoned by King Hamanu, however, Talora gets into his clothes with
lighting quickness. Meanwhile, Sarek and Aquarius have joined the
still-chained Pyaro in the Waiting Chamber. When Sarek sees the silenced
cursing cleric he can't stifle his laughter. Just then, Talora walks in.
Talora rarely smiles, but seeing the fuming cleric trying his best to
produce sound he also bursts out laughing. When the two have settled down
a bit, Fazek walks in, acting very nervous. He regains his composure when
he has entered the waiting room. He turns toward Pyaro and commands him
to calm down. Instantly, his chains fall off and the Silence-spell is
dispelled. Fazek tells them they will have the privilege of meeting the
King of the World. The party, properly cowered, is shown into the Throne
Room. All the characters instantly fall on their faces and stay silent.
Hamanu is clearly very displeased with the situation. After Hamanu has
calmed down a bit, he addresses the terrified party members one by one.
"Sarek of Urik, rise. I have heard of your recent exploits. I have
interrogated the prisoners you brought in personally. The theft of the
Scepter of Power represents a grave danger to Urik. I trust you to find
the one responsible and bring him to me, alive if possible. Tell me what
you've learned so far." Sarek spills his guts to the Sorcerer-King. Next
Hamanu turns to Pyaro and rages at him :" Where were YOU ( -10 HP Pyaro
due to subconscious mind attack ) when this happened !" Hamanu sees that
his anger is having physical effects on Pyaro and restrains himself. In a
more controlled voice he continues. "Pyaro of the Temple of Fire, rise.
what do you know about the theft of the Scepter ?". Pyaro notices 2 ash
spots on the floor ( the prisoners ) and quickly tells his tale. Hamanu
explains to him that he holds the Temple of Fire responsible for the
danger Urik has been placed in, because, he claims, the Scepter was stolen
due to incompetence on the part of the priests. He tells Pyaro that in
order to redeem the Temple of Fire in his eyes, Pyaro is hereby ordered to
assist templar Sarek in the search for the Scepter. Next he turns to
Aquarius. "Aquarius of Yaramuke, rise. I have great trust in your
capabilities. I have appointed you to assist templar Sarek in his search."
Aquarius swears on his life that he will not fail Hamanu. Lastly, Hamanu
turns to Talora. "Talora of the Grey, rise. Your studies have shown great
progress recently. You have also been appointed to assist templar Sarek in
this matter." Then Hamanu turns to the group as a whole and tells the
Legend of the Scepter of Power:

...Before the Athas turned into a desert, Urik was a city of plenty. When
nature changed, conditions in the city became harder. Then the Mountain of
the Black Crown erupted, the sky turned to night and it rained ash and
fire for days. Many fires broke out and many lives were lost. Then, one of
the first, some say The First, Cleric of Fire went to the mountain and
negotiated a pact with the elemental Lords of Fire. The elemental Lords
gave the Cleric's staff amazing powers of Fire and told him that if he
would build a Temple of Fire in Urik and with this Scepter would light an
Eternal Flame there, then the mountain would return to rest in exchange
for worship. The temple was build and the scepter has kept the flame
burning for thousands of years, and for the same number of years the
Mountain of the Black Crown has slept...

"Until now. The Eternal Flame has been extinguished. The pact is no longer
valid. Urik's economy depends on the obsidian mining of the mountain. If
the mountain becomes active again, I can protect Urik, but its economy
would crumble. Find the Scepter, and relight the Eternal Flame, so your
King commands. You will have the highest authority in this matter. If
there is anything you need, ask for it now." The party does not have any
requests. Hamanu then announces that he will personally prepare a
powerful artifact to help the party retrieve the Scepter of Power. He also
explains that the Scepter will only obey a Cleric of Fire completely, and
the Cleric must be a powerful one, or he will be overcome by the power of
the Scepter. Only very powerful other beings can touch the Scepter of
Power without dying instantly, and they can never completely control it.
The Scepter will never stop fighting for control with the individual.

The Temple of Fire - Day 1 12:00 ( DM's note : one of the Noble Houses next to the Temple of Earth on the map of Nibenay )

The party deliberates and decides to go to the Temple of Fire. Sarek asks
Aquarius to round up a sizable escort ( with the riots and all ).
Aquarius marches to the barracks and awakens half-giant sergeant
Goenigoegoe. Aquarius tells her to round up twenty half-giants on the
double. Goenigoegoe is quick and efficient and the troops are ready for
inspection in no time. When Aquarius detects that two of the half-giants
have forgotten their swords he gives them twenty push-ups as punishment,
tells them to get their swords and then marches the entire company
triple-march to Sarek, Pyaro and Talora. The group proceeds to the temple
with the two punished soldiers taking point. When they arrive there the
entire area around the temple has been sealed off. With Hamanu's
authority, they manage to get through. When they get inside the temple,
Talora notices that his master, Krisnar, is also present ( he had been
away on a mission for Hamanu for a week now ) and is talking to Fazek, the
High-Templar. Krisnar is wearing black robes with the same gold-threaded
patterns as on the fragment Sarek found in the marketplace ( Sarek hasn't
told the rest of the party about that yet ). Krisnar's robes do not appear
damaged, however. Talora goes to his master and asks to speak him in
private. He forgets to call him master and gets zapped for 2 HP damage
because of impudence. His master agrees and tells him he'll meet him
tonight. Sarek talks to Fazek, who appears even more concerned as he was
in the morning. Fazek has found a corner of a piece of parchment, the only
things that can be read are "Deepest Regards," and it has the official
House Stel seal on it. The party returns to Destiny's Kingdom to think
things through and see if Hamanu has prepared the artifact.

Hamanu's Palace - Day 1 14:00

When the party reaches the Palace, Talora goes to the Vault where he has
been told the artifact would be. When he arrives there the Vaultkeeper
tells him that Hamanu is still preparing the artifact and this will take
some time. Sarek, meanwhile, orders two hapless templars to search all the
Necromancers' quarters for implicating evidence. The first of the two
templars is vaporized as he touches the doorknob of the door of the first
room ( not Krisnar's ) and the other templar dies inside the second room (
also not Krisnar's ), because the doorknob had been poisoned. No visible
evidence of the attempted searches remains in the hallway. Then Sarek
tries to find the templar who was wounded in the market square. After some
bureaucracy Sarek manages to find him. He is scared to death, because he
thinks he has failed Hamanu. The templar says that the note was in his
breastpocket and so was burned in the inferno. Sarek, after only slightly
reassuring the templar, returns to Aquarius where Talora soon joins him.
Ater some discussion the party decides to return to the Temple of Fire for
a more thorough investigation.

Temple of Fire - Day 1 16:00

After an uneventful journey ( order has been restored in the city ), the
Temple of Fire is reached. The temple is cleared out ( Fazek and Krisnar
have already left ) and the party starts its investigation. Talora uses
Plane Lore and Spellcraft to study the damage and the bodies and manages
to determine that a powerful Elemental has killed the Priest and has
caused all the structural damage, and that a magic-user has tried to
remove all the evidence of its presence. The magic-user is also
responsible for the death of the burned acolyte and the beheaded acolyte.
The magic-user has left 4 inch-deep grooves in one of the granite benches
when he beheaded the acolyte. Aquarius remarks that this could have been
done with a wrist razor. The smoke comes from the battle and the ash-marks
could have been caused by anybody present at the time ( including the
priest and acolytes ). In the palace it has been decided that Pyaro will
attempt to communicate with the spirit of the deceased Priest. He calls on
his element and casts "Speak with Dead" on the Priest. The Priest's eyes
spring open. Pyaro asks four questions: 1. What killed you ? -
...Huge...Water... 2. Was there a magic-user ? - ...Yes... 3. What
attacked the acolytes ? - ...Death... 4. Was there a priest ? ...No... The
Priest's eyes close again. Pyaro goes outside, looking for the Council of
Fire. He finds the remaining two members talking to a half-giant guard who
won't let them pass. Pyaro lets them pass the cordon and tells them all.
The remaining members, Argnar ( mul Priest ) and K'zer ( dwarf High-Priest
), are shaken up and give official approval to Pyaro to find the Scepter
and to return it at all costs. Argnar and K'zer start inspecting the
damage. The party sticks their heads together and makes some plans. Sarek
tells Talora about the possibility that his master, Krisnar, might be the
guilty party. Talora angrily denies that possibility, but concedes to
asking his master about the robes when he meest him tonight. Sarek
announces that he will investigate House Stel. Aquarius decides to
investigate the Temple of Water. Water and Fire clerics are not on very
friendly terms in the best of times and the investigation seems to imply
that a powerful Water Elemental killed the Priest. Pyaro decides to stay
at the temple to cremate the death and help re-sanctify the temple. Talora
decides to check out Urik's underworld in the evening to see if anything
unusual has happened lately. Pyaro spends many hours cleaning and
resanctifying the Temple of Fire. When night falls, the clergy goes
outside and the High-Priest, K'zer, makes a moving speech about how the
Priest and the two Acolytes have fallen defending their Element, the
mighty Fire. Afterwards, their remains are cremated. Pyaro spends a great
deal of the night resanctifying and then goes to sleep. The party has
decided to meet at the Palace at 7:30 next morning.

House Stel - Day 1 18:30 ( Located next to Mekillot Gate on map of Nibenay)

Sarek suspects that House Stel is being paid to smuggle the Scepter out of
the city. He goes to House Stel and asks about caravans leaving the City.
As a matter of fact, it seems that House Stel is going to try to break the
speed record for a caravan traveling from Urik to Nibenay. This caravan
will leave in 3 days. Sarek asks if he could let the caravan transport
some cargo for him. This isn't a problem, provided he specifies size and
shape. He further asks if House Stel trades in robes. After some record
searching it seems that a cargo of black robes with intricate golden
patterns have been placed on the Elven Market 2 weeks ago. Sarek also
discovers that all the important House members are in the city, but this
happens regularly and could be coincidence. Sarek returns to the palace.

Temple of Water - Day 1 19:30 ( see map of Nibenay )

Aquarius has first traveled back to Destiny's Kingdom. He has arranged
some blue robes and he removes all items from his person which might
implicate him as a soldier for Hamanu. Then he travels to the Temple of
Water. When he has arrived there, he sees that the usual city guard at the
temple has been tripled. He also notices that the temple has just closed.
He manages to intimidate the guard detail into letting him pass. When he
comes near the entrance to the temple, two Priests who guard the temple
walk over to him. Aquarius tells them a hartbreaking story about having
traveled all the way from Nibenay to Urik to see the Holy Water. The
Priests are convinced and impressed by such devotion and let him pray
alone in the Inner Sanctum of the temple. The Inner Sanctum has a square
pool, with Holy Water in it. Above the pool is a delicate mechanical
contraption with a lot of lenses, which makes it appear as if millions of
stars are reflecting of the pool. Aquarius fills a flask with Holy Water
and searches the Inner Sanctum. He doesn't find anything unusual. When he
is leaving the two priests who have joined him again comment on the
similarity of his name and that of their High-Priest, Aquanon. They say
that it is unfortunate he has left on a pilgrimage to Lake Pit 3 days ago,
or Aquarius could have met him. Aquarius thanks the priests and returns to
the Palace.

The Twilight Inn - Day 1 19:00 ( Somewhere in Hill District on map of Nibenay)

Talora has gone to the Twilight inn, an underground bar in the Bard's
quarter filled with the scum of Urik. It is more crowded as usual. People
leave in twos for one of the dark side niches. sometimes none come back,
sometimes one, and in rare instances both come back. Talora takes a place
at the bar, and after a while an old "friend" of his, Nark, an upstart
human Necromancer who poses as a thief, comes over and chats with him.
>From him Talora learns that something evil is stalking the streets of
Urik. One of the most famous burglars, Nightmaster Lizon, has been found
half-eaten five steps from his front door. All "night business" has come to
a stop. After some more chitchat, Talora leaves for the Palace.

The Palace - Day 1 21:00

Aquarius meets Sarek at the Palace. Together they decide to go to the
Waste Disposal Department and see if Krisnar or one of the other
Necromancers has disposed of his robes. After some bribes and bureaucracy,
they manage to find Krisnar's discarded robes. They are identical to the
fragment Sarek has found, but apart from some wear and tear, Krisnar's
robes appear intact. After some more discussion about Krisnar they decide
to call it a day.

The Palace - Day 1 23:30

Talora has returned to the Palace. He casts Hallucinatory Terrain on his
room. At the stroke of midnight, his master teleports into Talora's room
and look around in mild surprise as he finds himself in a endless maze of
obsidian hallways. " have learned much, Talora", Krisnar
comments with a tiny smile at the corner of his mouth as he snaps his
fingers and dispels the illusion. Talora is pleased with the praise. His
master regurlary "tests" him by boobytrapping something in his room.
Talora greets him reverently and asks about his masters suspicions.
Krisnar also suspects that a Greater Water Elemental has killed the
Priest, but he wonders how, as the summoning of a Greater Water Elemental
requires the presence of a large amount of water. He does not know who has
stolen the Sceptre of Power. Talora uneasily asks his master about his old
robes ( Krisnar is now dressed in very dark blue robes with red arcane
runes woven in them ). Krisnar tells him that he has disposed of his robes
this afternoon, because they had become too worn. After some further
speculation, his master leaves. Talora casts Darkness 15' radius, and
sleeps sweet dreams of immortality and infinite power in the absolute

Nels Anderson