- A. R. Frayre
EYES OF RAGE & FURY
Moments after the battle with the Knights of Kalid-Ma, the party is assaulted by a great and mighty wind that blasts through the region. In the sky above, two immense disembodied crimson eyes appear, looking down on the party with rage. A horrifying, booming voice then echoes across the salt flats;
“Foul-scum of the Child-God! Pawns of Jarak-Synn! Your futile quest is meaningless! Arrogant fools! You shall fail and perish in these lands, nonetheless! Taste the power of Kalid-Ma!”
With that, the winds blast down even harder through the land, knocking several of the heroes back, even managing to make the hulking braxat Terric nearly topple! Vison and hearing becomes impossible for the party at this point, until suddenly, all goes black…
The party awakens. They now find themselves to have been supernaturally transported to another place…this is no longer the salt flats.
All that remains of the party after this bizarre storm is Hassimir, Terric, Chuul, Kassak, and Jub-Jubs...
They get up off the arid earth and realize they are now in the middle of an endless-looking dry scrub plain! Worse yet, rummaging through their equipment, they find that their waterskins are now filled with fine, powdery-salt…
It takes a while for the party to catch their bearings, but they summarize that they must still be n the right track northbound, as is apparent from the Ringing Mountains to the west. They must find water and shelter fast, for the savannahs of Athas are unforgiving and cruel…
With no water and scant bits of food, the party wearily slogs on through the sweltering savannah. At mid-day, the group then suddenly spot a hulking form standing upon a hill. The imposing slate-colored humanoid is a mountain of bone, muscle, and strength, dressed in layers of rotting animal furs and wearing a fearsome bone feathered headdress. The man appears to be a Lask, a tribal race of violent savages that dwell in the deepest parts of the Athasian wilds. This one seems to be some sort of priest or witch-doctor. At the side of the lask priest, two monstrous So-ut snarl. These creatures are a deadly breed of mighty desert abominations that these lask savages worship as living-deities, it is said. The beasts stand 10 feet in height and weigh roughly 3,000 pounds. So-ut walk on four powerful tree trunk-like legs, a huge maw filled with several rows of dagger-like teeth, a pair of razor-sharp fore-paws, and thick, purplish-blue chitin-covered hide as hard as wrought dwarven iron.
The lask, with its booming voice addresses the party. It seems to be the same familiar voice that terrorized the heroes a day back as the massive windstorm hit the salt flat region. The savage speaks;
“Turn back, Outlanders! Know you that these be the Guarded Lands of Tah-Qwah-Che’! You are not wanted here! Turn back says I, or face the terrors of Mighty Kalid-Ma! Turn Back! For Tah-Qwah-Che’ shall not offer his warning again, Outlanders…”
After saying his peace, the lask and his chitinous sentinels turn and disappear into the hills beyond. The party is left dumfounded, but nevertheless, continues north, ignoring the feral holy-man’s dire warning…
THE RAZOR’S EDGE
You travel deeper into the scrub plains. After walking through the bush for several hours, you see what looks like a small child running towards you. The half-naked little fellow sports a tangled mass of red hair and wears a strange wooden headdress. The creature is a Halfling! He appears desperate, and has bloody claw marks on his body. No sooner than he enters the party’s vicinity, that the entire group are attacked by a hungry pack of Razorwings! These beasts resemble the flying giant reptiles of old, though only about the size of a tall man. The creature’s sport razor-sharp ridges on the edge of their powerful wings, which they use to slice and kill their prey while hunting their quarry.
During the battle with these winged-beasts, the fire-haired halfling showed his true colors, as he joined in the fray, hurling terrifying bolts of magical lightning and deadly blasts of fire into the ranks of these reptiles, sending what was left of these monstrous flock fleeing.
After the furious battle, the halfling does his best to introduce himself. In the worst broken-version of the common tongue, this weird little-guy identifies himself as Basha Olden-Pine. He appears to be some sort of tribal-mystic, as is apparent by his use of potent elemental magic during the combat with the flying reptiles moments ago.
THE WATERING HOLE
It has been nearly two days since you and the party have tasted a gulp of water, and things ae getting desperate. Though not as deadly as the salt flats you recently tread, the savannah has not yielded a drop of water or morsel of food thus far, despite your party’s best efforts to scrounge. After walking through the bush for several hours, you see what looks like a watering hole in the distance. Recklessly, Hassimir and Terric run towards the pond, splashing about and drinking their fill which much celebration and glee!
The rest of the party investigates, but suddenly see a horrifying site; emerging from the bush, a ravenous pack of young male Dire Lions! These monstrous beasts are remnants of a bygone era, but still stalk these dry lands as they did untold eons ago, savagely-devouring anything in their path. Leading this pride, a particularly-huge Alpha Male!
With a furious roaring-leap, the Alpha-Male pounces from a nearby ledge onto Hassimir, who manages to thwart the attack with an expert feint and blade parry. Coming face-to-face with the giant horror, Hassimir soon notices that this beast varies from its’ brethren; It appears to sport silvery-white scales covering its underbelly, and sprouts a pair of vestigial wings! What manner of magical abomination stands before him?
The prehistoric cats surround the party, pawing and snapping with their great claws and over-sized fangs! It is here, at the most desperate of times, that the little halfling shaman amazes his new-found allies, yet again; With a primal call, Basha summons forth The Power of Ju-Ju, and instantly transforms his small body to an engine of destruction! Standing before the battlefield, Basha has now become a large, hulking Tiki-Tiki (Wood Golem)! The Tiki-Tiki (Basha) lets out a blood-curdling roar and commences to smash into the ranks of the Dire Lions using his massive, club-like fists, even breathing blasts of hellish-flame from his now fearsome wooden maw! The rest of the party joins in the fray, and eventually cut down these terrible felines, slaying most of the pride, and sending the rest fleeing back into the savannah.