The Mark of Tyranny

Parralel to the Party - Events in the city, during the riot

As the party descends into the Ziggurat's second level...

The sun rose high above The Ziggurat of Tyr as King Titarion looked out of his sitting room’s window.

Today was going to be a hot one, but what day isn’t in Athas? The fires in the city were already spreading uncontrollably, and he dare not send more than a few patrols out to quell the riots, far too dangerous. The Preserver district was safe, along with his loyal subjects. The rest, anarchists, defilers, mercenaries, looters, and villains…

The city could fend for itself for a time, and then their savior, King Titarion, the God-Slayer, would deliver them from evil. Yes, that sounded good, he would need a herald to announce him as such. God-slayer!

“…and the citizens already in the district are starting to demand we take back the residential areas, so they may recover their belongings. Naturally, this is out of the question, but may I suggest… My liege?”

Ah yes, Titarion was almost able to tune out his reedy-voiced aide. Ilim was an aging Mul, picked only because having an ex-slave at his side convinced the slaves they had a chance at advancement and power…

A rapping at the door interrupted Titarion’s reverie, followed by a young elven preserver poking his head through the threshold.

“My lord, we have reports of fighting atop the Ziggurat. It sounds like the Arena rabble may be making a move. We aren’t sure who they are fighting, but the half-wit giant is definetely there.”

…Hell.


The dwarf was crouching behind an overturned wagon, and was managing to be, at the very least, a nuisance with his crossbow. The glint of gold hinted at the origins of this particular weapon. Where an ex-slave like him had found such a magnificent weapon was not important of course, but Rowan tended to wonder about the trivial. The dwarf’s beard was braided in three parts. Was that significant? Perhaps it indicated who his owner was, or his ancestral tribe or…

Rowan let the arrow he had been holding fly, knocking another before the arrow had made it halfway to the dwarf at the base of the ziggurat. Beside him, Cha-ka held his breath in anticipation.

Hmm, where did I get that arrow? It has red fletching. Was that from the Quivering Bow, or the Straight Shot?

The dwarf popped his head up quick enough that the arrow caught him in the throat instead of in the eye. Cha’ka let loose a whistle that almost made Rowan jump.

“A target the size of a Z’tal’s eye, from in the sky! This one knows the hunt!” Cha-ka’s chattering descended into a series of chattering clicks that Rowan had come to recognize as laughter. Scanning for other targets, Rowan set his eye on a half-giant in a loincloth charging the Ziggurat’s stairs….


“Repent! This is the god’s judgement, for turning against them! Reaffirm your allegience to your one true god!” A street preacher yelled out over the crowd before him, in what was one of the markets. This same scene was playing out in over a dozen different places all over the city.

This city is little better than a swamp. Filth always rises up, no matter how you attempt to stop it. Still…

With a motion, Adran motioned her riders forward. Levelling their weapons, the elven cavalry charged…


With an annoyed sigh, Davion released the scrying ritual. Adran was beginning to get on his nerves.

That woman has the subtlety of a giant in an apothecary. Forget finding out which of the civillians are actually listening, or who is going to turn on the preacher and take him down, or who is just there because they have nowhere else to go! No, kill them all! Purge the corrupt! But mind you don’t step on that flower while you cut down the children.

Davion began to weave the makings of another ritual. His agents in the city were being cut down one by one, and he was damned if he was going to lose the last useful one…


“…almost unguarded in his mansion. With a small team of infiltrators, we can reach him before he suspects a thing, and make him our offer. If he refuses, well…”

The wiry half-giant in front of her grinned, his broken teeth shining in the mid-morning sun. Although Losk had to look almost straight up to even see his face. Losk adjusted her blades, and looked out over the city from her perch on the walls.

“Get in position tonight, but don’t be seen. The last thing this city needs is more chaos.”

As Losk spoke, her eye caught the reflection of something gleaming at the top of the Ziggurat, before being obscured by a pillar of smoke. Without turning to her half-giant lieutenant, she gestured out over the city.

“Get a second squad to watch the Ziggurat. Tyrion is exactly the sort of fool who would choose now, of all times, to unseal it.”

As the half-giant turned away, Losk turned to watch him go, a worried expression on her face.


Bloodied and exhausted, {{:gamlan|Gamlan]] crested the final hill. Below him sprawled the city of Tyr, though it was far from what he expected. Dozens of pillars of smoke rose up from the city, and even at this distance he could hear the clash of steel. The Golden Tower rose up above the smoke, standing free of the chaos.

“Father, what’s happening?” Cyne came up behind Gamlan, the bandage across his temples beginning to droop.

“I’m not sure. But this is our last hope, so down we go!”

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