The Burning Sands

Ambushed

In which our heroes are foolishly left for dead

The group fought off the angry spirits, Lamont’s healing giving them the edge to survive the vicious attacks of the ghosts. After the fight, they carefully destroyed the obelisk without getting close to it. As soon as the obelisk was broken, the oppressive atmosphere in the chamber vanished. After catching their breath, they moved to examine the smoky greyish wall they had noticed in an alcove at the back of the chamber. After some examination, they determined the substance to be a foil of tarnished silver. Realizing that this must be a door like the copper-foiled ones leading in to the crypt, they set about to try and open it. Despite Brick springing one of the traps woven into the door with magic, Thoradin and Traven managed to trigger the latch mecahnism after several hours’ work. The door slid into the floor with a loud grinding noise, to reveal a large chamber with scattered piles of treasure, and an imposing withered figure in tattered armor dragging a large sword. It seemed that Darom Madar’s hatred for his House Tsalaxa enemies had turned him into an oath wight, doomed to guard his vault from their descendants.

The wight charged into combat, lashing out with its massive sword and bloodying several PCs in turn before they could bring their full powers to bear against him. After a furious battle, the corpse of Darom Madar lay still and silent on the floor of his vault, finally at rest.

The party took an inventory of the magical gear scattered through the piles, and began collecting the metal coins, of which there were several thousand sticks worth. They hid the coins, collected the magic items, scraped the silver from the top of the now-sunken door to hide its true nature, then went to fetch Rhotan and the skiffs. The pilots loaded the piles of ceramic currency into the clay pots they’d brought for the purpose, and everyone headed back out into the canyon. Halfway from the vault to the lip of the canyon, a large group of men stepped up to the canyon edges on both sides, loaded crossbows pointed at the party.

A well-dressed, if dusty, man in the colors of Hours Tsalaxa stepped out into view at the top of the sloping canyon end, accompanied by an aaracokra. Rhotan immediately recognized the man and hissed out his name – Tyron Tsalaxa. Tyron thanked them eloquently for recovering the treasure for him, and said that their corpses would make an excellent feast for “these savages”, motioning to the aaracokra at his side. He gestured to his troops, and dozens of bolts streaked through the canyon. Rhotan, the pilots, and the PCs were all struck down.

The group awakened some time later, finding themselves in a crude tent. An aaracokra was there, apparently some kind of healer. The bird-man explained to them that the Tsalaxa had left the party to them apparently as some form of payment, assuming that they’d simply devour them. The tribe carried them back to their village atop a nearby mesa, and their shaman used his healing skills and elemental powers to heal their wounds and restore them to health. Rhotan was there as well, but only one of the skiff pilots had survived his wounds. The Tsalaxa men had even left the group their gear, being far more interested in the loaded skiffs.

The shaman later explained that their scouts had been keeping tabs on the Tsalaxa group since the ambush. About twenty-four men, half their total strength, went northeast on the road to Raam with the skiffs, and the others went south towards Silver Spring, accompanied by Tyron. After some discussion, the party decided to pursue the skiffs and try to recover the treasure. Rhotan told them that he would be taking the remaining skiff pilot and returning to his offices in Tyr, writing off the whole trip as a bad investment. However, he told them to look him up if they found themselves in the city, as he would probably be able to provide them with more work if they wanted it. He also asked that if they did manage to recover the skiffs, they return them to him – but said that whatever they recovered of the treasure would be theirs to keep, since as things stood it was lost to him anyway.

The party traded with the tribe for supplies, and arranged to have a scout lead them to the edges of the tribe’s territory (the aaracokra were happy to help, since the Tsalaxa had greatly insulted them). The group reached the road to Raam without incident, and the scouts turned back to return to their mesa as the PCs set off towards Raam.

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october

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