The Mark of Tyranny

The Adventure so far...

Prior to the Ziggurat

A flame-haired genasi, a shadowy shapechanger with the spirit of the fox, a Ziggurat built by a dead sorcerer-king, and an elemental cowing lizard named Waffles. How did the party reach this point? Well, let’s look back, all the way back to the inciting moments of this adventure, and see if we can’t piece together how it came to this.

The adventure of Leta and Lyssandra began, as things do, in a small village named Shazlim. The party was broke, dehydrated, out of supplies, and in Leta’s case, sunburnt from exposure in the desert. Desperate for supplies and money, the party took the only paying job in town, escorting a merchant named Rhotan Vor of House Wavir to find Vault of Darom Madar in the Canyon of Gothay. Rhotan was nervous for the majority of the trip, believing himself pursued by assassins seeking to stop his search for the vault.

On the way to a town named Silver Springs, where the party seeked to gain more knowledge of the Vault, the party encountered a group of bandits, led by a Dwarven Sunpriest. Upon slaying him, the magical wards on a nearby oasis began to weaken. The party then progressed to Silver Springs, claiming the bounty on the bandits and earning the rough location of the Vault from the mayor of Silver Springs.

The party then went to retire to the only inn in town, and discussed their plans with Rhotan. While there, they saw a suspicious looking man in black and gold clothing, who vanished after the party had gone to their rooms for a short bit. Lyssandra also managed to insult the bartender in primordial, prompting a near altercation that was defused by Rhotan.

The next day, the party went to leave Silver Springs, but noticed a giant waterspout coming from the direction of the oasis the bandits had been encountered at. Rather than hang around to discover what happened, the party chose to make their exit from the town. After a hard day of travelling, the party arrived in the correct arm of the massive Canyon of Gothay. Rhotan Vor and his caravan remained camped at the entrance, while Leta and Lyssandra searched the canyon.

Inside the canyon, the party encountered a deep lair of poisonous baazrag, an altar with the symbol of Nibenay, and finally, the Vault of Darom Madar. Inside, the party encountered a giant mechanical and magical door that required a keen understanding of trap disarming and magical runes to open safely. As the vault sprang open, the party was attacked by the wraiths of the remnants of House Madar. After dealing with the wraiths and looting the vault, the party met Tyron Tsalaxa, a member of House Tsalaxa who had been assigned to study and open the vault. Tyron asked the party to investigate a trapdoor uncovered during the fight in the vault, while he gathered pieces of arcane rubble that had dislodged in the fight.

The party descended into a cavern under the vault, and discovered untold numbers of psionically attuned crystals, worth a small fortune. They also found a shrine that attracted the arcane rubble from the vault, that when triggered, eviscerated Tyron as he carried some rubble away.

The party took Tyron’s corpse to the Altar of Nibenay they found earlier, and using a spell found in Tyron’s journal, sacrified his body on the altar, triggering the altar’s magic. A shade of Nibenay appeared to the party, and offered them a position as Templars in his service if they came to the city of Nibenay. Nibenay then magically branded them with his mark, a tattoo that glows light blue in the presence of defiling magic, and also gave them some limited defiling abilities. The party then went and told Rhotan Vor about the crystals below the cave, then began to escort the caravan to Tyr to sell the crystals.

On their way, the party encountered earthquake, silt sinks, murderous tribes of bipedal lizards, bandit elves with hearts of gold, and a fort with a poisoned well. The most important parts of the journey were finding a stone spire with the Id Fiend Lar, who the party convinced to accompany them in search of a better food source, and encountering Folketh Tsalaxa, the assassin who had been following Rhotan Vor for weeks, planning to rob him once he looted the vault, to bypass the vault door and defenses. The party managed to capture Folketh, and despite multiple escape attempts, kept him in custody, through a silk wyrm attack, multiple fires, and the rigors of travelling the Athasian wastes.

The party then arrived in the city of Tyr, completing their escort of Rhotan Vor. Rhotan paid the party, and bought them two riding crodlu for their trouble. Rhotan extended an open invitation to the party to visit him when he retires in Balic. The party then ransomed Folketh back to his family for a sum of gold and gems. Lyssandra went to investigate the city and arena, while Leta struck out to assassinate a malicious slave owner that the party had heard of.

Leta and Lyssandra competed in a cross city race put on by The Preservers, with Leta coming in first, and Lyssandra in second, with almost all of their opponents meeting with accidents over the course of the race. Their win earned them an audience withKing Titarion, self-proclaimed ruler of Tyr and leader of the Preservers. Titarion asked them to investigate The Bloody Hand, another faction in the city, who had an uncanny ability to kill any double agents that Titarion attempts to place in the Bloody Hand. Titarion’s one remaining agent, Xander was told to help them infiltrate the group.

However, before approaching Xander, the party went to join the arena, craving gold and fame. Taking the names of Sunsoul (Lyssandra) and The Demon (Leta), the party pulled off a series of impressive wins in the arena, gaining considerable respect with the other gladiators, as well as the arena-going public. The gladiators Bite, Slice, Cha-ka, Rowan, and Crusher took a particular interest in the party, being of the opinion that gladiators need to stick together. The leader of the arena, the Dragonborn Arena Master gained a considerable amount of respect for them as well.

The party decided to go break into the Tsalaxa mansion in Tyr, due to their animosity towards the Trading House trying to kill them repeatedly. While breaking into the mansion, the party ran into Content Not Found: jossi-tsalaxa, a female member of the house. They also accidentally caused several members of the house to mutate into hideous ooze creatures, and had to grab Jossi and escape the house. Jossi then asked the party to go back to the mansion and rescue Folketh, and stop the oozes. The party returned, hustled Folketh to an exit to the sewers, and slew the oozes that resided in the house, preventing an outbreak. Folketh grudgingly paid the party, not knowing they caused the oozes in the first place, but grew ever more resentful of them, blossoming from hatred for the kidnapping and murder of his brother, to full grown loathing.

The party continued to gain prestige in the arena, and several times attempts were made on their lives, though the source was unclear, until a group of psionic duplicates of civillians ambushed the party. One of the duplicates was controlled by Haneth Tsalaxa, head of House Tsalaxa. He offered the party a job to pay off their debt to him, for causing him so much grief. When the party turned down the offer, his psionic puppets attacked.

The party went for a nice relaxing lunch at a fancy restaurant, and after knocking the waiter unconcious and fleeing, the party saw Folketh’s crodlu across the square at an alchemists. The party rushed over, as Folketh left the shop, and promptly fled when he saw the party. After a chase full of civillian casualties, due to the alchemical reagents Folketh had picked up, Lyssandra managed to tackle him to the ground. Rather than face his father after getting captured, Folketh committed suicide with a psionic bomb potion, attempting to take out the party with him. After his death, Lyssandra captured his soul in a magical helmet she had gained from the Dragonborn Arena Master.

Folketh’s pockets contained a note detailing a meeting place that night, and a plan to destroy Tyr from within, by instigating riots and burning the Arena district to the ground. The party impersonated Folketh, with Leta taking the place of Folketh, convincing a group of mercenaries and hexers that she was the young Tsalaxa assassin. Leta endeavored to delay the mercenaries by leading them on circuitous routes, while Lyssandra went to gather forces in the Arena district to repel the attack. With the help of the gladiators and Dragonborn Arena Master, as well as a violent and deranged old lady, the party managed to thwart the Tsalaxa plan, embarrassing Haneth yet again.

The party was approached by an elaidrin shrouded in red silk, who, having seen the party fight Haneth’s puppets, decided they would be able to help him. He asked them to delve into the underbelly of the city, and find out why one of the largest fountains in the city had run dry. The party made their way to Under-Tyr, and discovered a large sprawling ruined city that the current city had built over. Through miscellaneous encounters, the party made their way to a tower in the center of Under-Tyr, stretching up to the ceiling. On the way to the spire, Lyssandra befriended a Z’tal that she named Waffles.

Through miscellaneous encounters and strange interactions, the party made their way to the top of the spire, with Lyssandra supernovaing as her sun powers got away from her, and Leta finding an encoded note, indicating the location of the prison of an ancient primordial. At the top of the tower, the party encountered a captive silt elemental, that absorbed the water from the fountain, and converted it to magical energy. Through some clever tactics and taunting the party managed to capture the egotistical silt elemental inside 3 glass vials, which Waffles chriped at menacingly.

The party went to leave Under-Tyr, but saw several dozens civillians with torches and simple weapons roaming through the ruins. Deciding to avoid them, the party came across a Demogargoyle, which they promptly lassooed and captured to sell to the arena. While Lyssandra attempted to drag the Demogargoyle through the ruins, Leta ran interference, turning into a fox and distracting and leading away the roaming parties, almost getting captured, but always slipping the captors at the last second.

When the party reached the surface again, the area was curiously quiet. After appropriating a cart to transport the now stone gargoyle, they began towing it back to the Arena district, when a heavily armed mob spotted them. As it turns out, Haneth Tsalaxa had put a ridiculously large bounty on the heads of Leta and Lyssandra, such that the city had descended into all out anarchy as the thousands of starving ex-slaves, citizens, and merchants started snatching any women with red hair off the streets. Riots broke out, and the different factions of Tyr had to pull back to their respective districts to prevent anarchy from breaking out there as well. The mob chased the party all the way to the arena district, where a line of gladiators repelled the mob as the party pulled the gargoyle to safety.

After selling the gargoyle to the Dragonborn Arena Master, the party set out to restore order in the city, quashing mobs, defeating those who seeked to exploit the chaos, and otherwise attempting to fix the city. Eventually, the Dragonborn Arena Master came to the conclusion that without rallying the different factions of the city, Tyr would tear itself apart, there were too many things going on for their small amount of fighters to fix and keep the Arena district safe. The Dragonborn Arena Master rallied a few of the gladiators to head towards the Preserver district first, to attempt to persuade them to band together.

On the way to the Preserver district, the party noticed that The Ziggurat of Tyr was unsealed. Agreeing that the Ziggurat was important, the Dragonborn Arena Master agreed to stand outside with his gladiators and guard it while the party searched the ziggurat to see what was going on.

The party descended into the Ziggurat, where they saw hundreds of sandstone panels on mechanized tracks, moving in some sort of pattern. The party set off in one of the four directions out of the main room. Fighting several giant bugs, encountering numerous bound elementals, and disarming deadly traps, the party now stands at the edge of a man-made pit leading down deeper into the pit.

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