Chaos Out of Order

Session Four

Chapter One: Dead Minds Think Alike

As Chiki’tiklatl, GaliLena, and Raele wound down from the dusk attack, a runner from the Hospital Tent came with a request that they do something about Content Not Found: Alie-Aka_. Apparently their prisoner was sobbing uncontrollably, much to the annoyance of the wounded. As they were preparing to depart for the Hospital Tent, another runner came from another direction with the same request. On the way to the tent, yet another runner came to the three. This time the messenger was from _Content Not Found: Gorgoreth requesting an audience with the three and their prisoner in his command tent.

Upon reaching the Hospital Tent, they found Alie-Aka wracked with tears over the apparent failure of the dusk attack to rescue him from captivity. As they ungagged and untied him, they informed him of the summons. Once he discovered that he had been summoned to the command tent, he cheered up.

During their meeting in Gorgoreth’s tent, he informed them at the rate of casualties the outpost was taking they would be wiped out either during the dawn attack or, optimistically, during the next dusk attack. With so few able bodies remaining, Alie-Aka, Chiki’tiklatl, GaliLena, and Raele were to each monitor one side of the berm by themselves for the second watch. While Alie-Aka was thrilled, the others were shocked that things had gotten so desperate. Gorgoreth insisted that it was necessary, but that Chiki’tiklatl was to eat more parts of Alie-Aka if he tried to do anything contrary to the outpost’s survival.

Gorgoreth then berated them for telling Content Not Found: Laalarash_ about their excursion outside the berm. He explained to them that they had a new mission, a mission so secret that after this meeting even he and Laalarash would deny knowing anything about it. Sometime during their watch after the 1st watch was asleep and before the 3rd watch was up, Alie-Aka was to lead the other three to his tribeorder/npc-tracker/Swiftwing. There, they were to do whatever they had to do to insure that the outpost would survive.

Chiki’tiklatl then went to outfit Alie-Aka while Gorgoreth held back the other two. He explained to Raele that he needed to go to Content Not Found: Amanya_ in private and tell her that they were on a secret mission that required access to her non-fruit potions. As Raele left to comply, Gorgoreth informed GaliLena that he had used his own personal resources to secure a mercenary group known as the Black Talons. They were on their way from Urik because the force requested from House KlethiraKlethira by Laalarash was too small for the current seige in his estimation. The mercenaries are an all female Maenadi band who shoot first and sort the dead bodies later, so he trained GaliLena in the hand motions and Maenadi code phrase she would need if the group was to survive a contact situation.

Once she had learned her code signs, Raele had secured some potions and a tattoo from Amanya, and Chiki’tiklatl has outfitted Alie-Aka, the four paired off several different times. One person babysat the prisoner while the other two met to prepare for the mission. Raele handed out the gear from Amanya while GaliLena attempted to teach them the contact code signs for the Black Talons.

While on watch things went smoothly, and one hour into the watch the four headed northwest toward the Swiftwing camp. Along the way they met various elves on their way to prepare for the dawn attack. Alie-Aka was successful in getting those they ran into to follow him back to the subchief‘s observation camp. There the four had an audience at dawn, where he passed around the pipe of knowledge and understanding. While the subchief, Alie-Aka, and Raele succumbed to the intoxicating effects of Content Not Found: redleaf, Chiki’tiklatl and GaliLena bluffed their way through the ordeal. Eventually they received permission to continue on to the main Swiftwing camp, so the two took Raele with them and left Alie-Aka to his reward.

To find their way the three secured the services of another elf in the observation camp. With GaliLena sleeping on Chiki’tiklatl’s back, the group ran a half day, past Zaltan’s Wadi, to the main camp. There, their guide garnered an audience with the chieftan and council of elders. Raele chose to infiltrate from the rear, masquerading as a dishwasher for the council tent. After the council was told about the Swiftwing elf zombies that were in the haboob, one of the council left the tent. Raele tailed him to a water barrel, where he seemed to concentrate and mumble with his arm partially submerged before returning to the tent. Instead of returning directly to the dishes, Raele chose to try to decipher some large tomes in a side tent attached to the council tent.

Meanwhile, the council appointed Chiki’tiklatl and GaliLena, plus their elven guide, to stop whoever was creating and controlling the zombies. The chief then confided in them that the redleaf was newly introduced to the tribe by their mysterious employer. The redleaf does not actually give knowledge and understanding as claimed, but causes users to have a sense of indestructability, renders them more suggestable, and causes such an intense addiction that they care less and less for anything else in their lives other than doing whatever they must to smoke more. The chieftan explained that the redleaf is supplied in exchange for the Swiftwing, Silverseeker, and Nightcloak tribes eliminating everyone at the Klethira outpost and securing it for the new resident of the Red Tower. The council authorized the crew to take whatever provisions were needed from the tribe, but emphasized that the secret of redleaf must not get out. It was also implied that the employment was not completely voluntary on the part of the tribe, but occurred subsequent to losing a party sent to explore the newly reinhabited Red Tower.

Once out of the council tent, the group reunited and began preparing for the run to the Red Tower. Members of the tribe knew where the Red Tower was, knew that no elf had returned from exploring it since it was reinhabited, and knew that those who had not returned were lauded as heroes by the tribal council. Meanwhile, Raele secured himself a stash of redleaf to take with him—purportedly for Amanya to study and for resale on the blackmarket of Tyr.


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Comments

Oh, I’m happy to see a Dark Sun campaign on here. Tell me, are the Athas.org resources pretty good? I’ve not used them, myself.

Also, good job on the formatting and writing! Looks to be a decent campaign in development here!

Session Four
 

Thank you. It all started out when Paizo published their Dark Sun materials in 2004, which got me jazzed about starting a new DS campaign. My last one had been in high school and hadn’t gotten very far (like most of our high school campaigns, regardless of GM). Then [[campaign PCs | Chiki’tiklatl]]’s player gave me a printed copy of the Athas.org 3.0 rules. From there I developed this campaign, but choosing to use the newer 3.5 rules.

Athas.org and the Dark Sun forum on Wizards.com are the best 3.0 and 3.5 resources for Dark Sun. You’ll still need access to one of the campaign boxed sets (either the original or expanded and revised edition), as they’ve only updated game mechanics or released new supplements and new adventures. I’m very pleased with almost everything from The Burnt World of Athas, which is why you’ll note that the majority of their work is cited in the campaign character creation rules.

There are two things I strongly disagree with in their DS3 rules. First is the choice to not make player character generation the same. Abilities should be higher than average (the old campaign used 4d4+4 instead of the 3d6 of standard campaigns) and characters should have a psionic class or wild talent. Athas.org chose to not have higher than average abilities, nor require all player characters have psionics. I think that robs from the original campaign’s feel, one of the few things Paizo covered in their version of races. I wasn’t really happy with either, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough with the system to create the races from scratch. That’s why I took the lesser of two evils. I probably could now, but I’m not going to change the campaign races now.

Second is the choice to not have enough mechanical penalties for defiling, considering the many mechanical benefits. The t’liz-thing of Paizo was way out there, so I just combined the two to meet the campaign needs.

Other than that the DS3.5 stuff is very useful, and many of the people on the boards have added many other cool things which players and GMs can cherry pick. That’s where I stole one of the cleric [[Classes of Athas | classes]] I use for this campaign (the one with elemental-specific spell lists).

Session Four
Figment

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