Red Sand & Black Sun

Mission 3- The Salt Quarry

The session began in the Mal estate where the characters awoke and were greeted by a well prepared Therai. He had packs made up for each of the members with rations and other supplies just in case. He explained that the group would have to cross the Estuary of the Forked Tongue to get to the Salt Quarry that the sink hole had formed at. The group was quick to leave the estate by caravan. They were attended by only the driver all the way to the docks on the northern tip of Balic. When they arrived, both TaNiik and Therai went to talk with the dock-master who knew of their arrival and had the gear they would need to cross the silt. TaNiik checked over the gear with the air of a seasoned silt sailor. Meanwhile, Abraxis scoped out the local rumors and heard some tall tails from the dock hands concerning fast moving undead. Even more outrageous rumors were heard as he listened onward. A dock hand spun a tale about a green meteor plummeting to the earth and forming the “sink hole”. Disgruntled with the lack of helpful information, Abraxis rejoined with the group as they approached their small silt skimmer vessel.

The boat was called the “Sidewalker” and was just large enough for the four members to fit on comfortably. The group sailed for a time across the dust-choked silt sea. Roughly half way across the group was attacked by some lesser silt elementals which were difficult to fight in the cramped quarters on the boat, but the characters were victorious none the less. When they neared the opposite shore the group saw a small port village on the other side, which they avoided. Therai told the party that they were attempting to keep a low profile unless neccessary. The fewer people knew they were here the better the mission would go. So they turned along the coast line until they saw a small house on the shore.

The house had a wall to block the dust from building up in front of the doorway. At the dock outside the group met their contacts. A elf named Exzerch Highrunner and a crew of two other low-lives. The elf boasted a wooden tooth and a cruel smile. Therai had informed the party back at the mansion that Exzerch had done some other jobs for Brendos in the past and that the patrician he seemed to hold something over the elf’s head to keep him in line. The meeting with Exzerch was short, but he still managed to make most of the party hate him. The elf told the party that the rumors Abraxis had heard before about a green meteor were not false, and that the dead had risen around the crater right after it had crashed. The elf suspected that it might be sky-iron, a rare and extremely valuable metal. After the exchange, Exzerch rode off on a Kank to do some scouting and to “remove” any competition for the sink hole and any prizes within. The group wondered if the elf would aid them in their attempts to enter, but Exzerch seemed to have no plans to help beyond the very minimum required. The party went over some maps inside the house; rough drawings of the quarry with a few added scribbles of the undead that were mostly unhelpful and badly drawn. When Exzerch returned and said that all had been taken care of, the group attempted to move towards the kanks to get to the quarry faster, but Exzerch told they that the kanks belonged to him and his men, and that the characters would have to walk. The walk was short, and when they closed on the quarry, an official with a little dirt and dust on his clothing approached and asked to see their official house badge. Therai showed the man the necklace with the Mal signet upon it and they were allowed to go to the hole. The official also told them that some men from house Tsalaxa had set up some surveying equipment and were looking down on the crater from a high hill overlooking the area. The characters approached the men who did not look like fighters, but quill pushers. They saw they were little threat, but the surveyors attempted a bluff to say that several fighting men were on their way at that very moment. The bluff did not succeed. The characters decided to leave the men alone anyway.

When the characters approached the hole several salt zombies emerged and tried to run up the steep slope to attack the players. They were easily defeated. The party squeezed into the tight tunnels and easily figured out which of the many tunnels to take in order to find the fallen green object. Within the caverns the light was dim, but the characters used torches and as they traveled down the correct tunnel they saw their way was blocked by a small pit in the ground. TaNiik teleported across and saw a green glowing stone that was embedded into the wall. Abraxis then attempted to leap across the small chasm and hit a crystal spider web laying over the pit, nearly invisible. The web was sharp like glass and stopped the drey’s momentum and he almost fell. Fortunately he was able to catch onto the side of the pit and save himself. At that moment when Abraxis climbed out of the pit two large crystal spiders attacked from behind the party. The creatures were fierce and it was a difficult battle. While the fighting was going on TaNiik felt elemental energy within the green stone and saw minute writing scrawl upon its surface. When one creature was brought low the other fled back into the cave network. The stone stopped what it was doing and appeared like a very plain green stone. The rock was unstuck from the wall and the characters saw that several other stone-shaped eggs had also been “planted” in the wall. They destroyed them all. The party was about to leave when they realized that their could be something else of value within the caves, and they didn’t want to miss anything lest information that they had not gotten the item of real value reach Brendos’s ears and he punish them harshly. So the party turned around and went to find the remaining spider, which they did and quickly finished. The remainder of the small cave netword revealed three men, spun into cocoons with crystal spider silk. Only one of the men lived, and the party took him with them. They also found a few gold pieces and a Trikal, a three bladed spear. Then the party made to leave the cave.

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