Dark Sun - Freedom

Log 5: Day 4
Guards and Tombs

Slept okay, given ghost issue. Woke up at sunrise; worked some more with Murza. Still struggling. Took another look—stony skin is DEFINITELY Primordial. Bothers me more than it should. Talked with Acerbas and the rest. We’ll look around some. Damn shame about Chaya and the human, but Pyramid’s off-limits—bound to CRAWL with Templars and slavers. Murza wouldn’t stand a chance.

She might not anyway. Kalak’s showing desperation. Half-giants drag muls, the poor, and foreigners off too, now. Acerbas sees clearly: if Kalak’s powerful and long-lived, either patience or time runs short. What threatens, entices him? Maybe both? Regardless. Hid in a wheel shop, Acerbas smooth-talked giant out of taking Murza. Way too close.

More patrols, all over—elf, merchant districts not safe. Dropped coin on a nice inn, lay low for now. No answers but confirming the crazy. Note dropped into Acerbas’ hands—someone wants to meet at the hideout. We NEED allies, had to check. Slipped past the guards, got there in one piece.

Seems crazy human wasn’t so crazy. Goes by “Quintus.” Offered job in Under-Tyr: loot a new-found tomb, bring back an idol by sunrise. Seems legit. Acerbas wasn’t sure, but sensed no malice. I asked for help hiding Murza, Quintus said he’d add it for free. That plus ancient, unbroken tomb? Got my vote. Mari shrugged. Murza agreed—no surprise. Acerbas hedged, relented—again, no surprise.

Finding the damn tomb took ages—no idea how long. Three half-giant guards in the way. Took some good hits, Murza dropped but held on. Not hard…yet. Hope the tomb’s this easy.

Mari's Story The next day

-We slept the rest of the night. No more ghosts so far. The next day we had a new problem. Guards and half-giants looking for people to take as slaves. Anyone who was

not big meat, but especially half-dwarves. The half-dwarf was worried about this. But the talking lizard managed to talk us past some guards. We hid out in a drinking

place where there were no guards. The others sat and drank. Not me, I am never touching that strong drink again. I kept watch. We waited until dark and things quieted

down. We were about to leave when the talking lizard noticed a paper in his pccket. Someone wanted to meet us in the building we slept in.
We went back, slipping past the guards in the dark and found someone sitting at a table in that building. It was the big meat slave that came with us. Before he

talked like he was crazy, now he talked fine. He said he was faking it. The big meat offreed us a job. He wanted us to find an idol hidden in an old tomb. There are

tombs from the old world in the jungle. But we never go near them. Surviving in the jungle is hard enough without asking for trouble. He also said he needed it before

sunrise or no deal. I wonder why that is? I was a bit unsure about this. But, I wasn’t going to look like a coward either.

-The not crazy big meat gave us a map. We had a little trouble but found our way underground. Then we had even more trouble. Note to self, halfings are not good at

navigating underground. We finally found a big old tomb, guarded by half-giants, of course. That was fine with me. I’ve wanted to fight half-giants ever since they

tried to lock us in that cage. We talked about sneaking up on them. Then the half-dwarf just walked up to them and stood there. I can’t complain, I’m not good at

sneaking either. I tried to charge them, but they saw me coming and dodged. But I got even. Two of them tried to hit me at once, but those slow, clumsy things didn’t

have a prayer.
A strange thing happened. The half-dwarf tried to make spikey rocks hit the half-giants. The ended up trying to hit us, too. Fortunately, they didn’t hit anything.

I’m not sure what’s happening with the half-dwarf, but if she’s going to keep doing things like that she really needs to practice. Later on she did batter. At least

this time she only hit the half-giants. The half-giants hit her pretty hard, but the big meat and I managed to fix her up. I got in two really good hits. First I

managed to knock one half-giant straight off his feet. Then I actually killed the last one. This places really needs to get new guards. Well, that wasn’t so hard. Now

we just need to go into a tomb of the old world, filled with all kinds of unknown danger. This day is really starting to look up.

Log 4: End of day 3
More bloody elves, idiot merchants, and sun-damned ghosts

No rest for the wicked.

Road to Tyr started quiet. Dwarf left—toward Kledd. Ran into a merchant “chatting” with more sun-damned elves. Fought to save him, wasn’t real hard. Elves ganged up on me when I casted, called me Defiler. Stupid elves. Gotta watch myself elsewhere though, especially Tyr. Thought merchant got gutted, but he lived. Turned out even dumber than he looked, tried to pass us off as slaves. Idiot! Got us captured, left without a word.

We broke out, half-giant guards be damned. In the mad rush we four somehow managed to escape. Chaya and the human didn’t follow. Wish we could help, but it was do-or-die. Made our way to the shadow-market. Guess they call it “elven” market here. Makes sense, lots of elves. Had to glare one down hawking glassware, no big deal. Sold the gold coins, I got to play ‘nice guy’ for once. Was…nice. Had to explain money to Mari. Guess barter’s the only trade for her people. She didn’t like it, but she can roll with the punches.

Pawn shop owner sent us to his sister, tailor. Haven’t had new clothes in years. Feels nice. Won’t stick out so much now. Grabbed food, water. Asked around, found an old winery, set up camp there. Basement’s almost cool, even in daylight. Has a bloody table, but we’ve kipped in worse. Mari kept the weapon-bundle too, quick thinking from her. Every chip counts in this bet.

Murza, the mul, took me aside. Guess she saw me writing this thing. Asked if I knew words, the “markings that stay.” I’ll teach her to read, write. Why not? Might have…rocks and crystal spiders on her, but for a lifelong slave, she’s earnest, even noble. Maybe I can share my mad dream. First lesson…not so good, but it’s a start. She’s never learned, I’ve never taught. We’ll work it out.

Tried to look into her…rock-skin. Came up dry, for now. She hides it well, but she’s bothered a bit. Strength for today, but what cost? Mari was silent as always; Acerbas, the psiker, distant. He knows how to work people, and keep people going. Tomorrow, we’ll talk. For now, sleep’s our tonic.

SUN-DAMNED GHOSTS. Again. One ghost, anyway. Real this time. Woman, hole in chest. Hence bloody table. Kicked her ass before it drifted away. Acerbas’ senses overloaded—whole building’s haunted. Wondered why it was empty, ugh. Tossed out bloody table, just in case, and went back to bed. We’ll hash it at sunrise.

Mari's story.
An account of events from Mari's point of view.

This is the adventure so far from Mari’s point of view. Please note that big meat is the halfling term for humans. Athasian halflings pretty much refer to any non-halfings as meat. Except the ones they see as unfit to eat.

- It ws a good hunt last night. Too good, the hunters brought back extra meat. The elders said to take it to the trading place and trade with the big meat. We didn’t need anything from big meat, but the rule is never let anything go to waist. Finally I got to do something. I’ve been a guard two years now. I always get stuck guarding the village, but now I got to guard the traders.

- We were on the road to the trading place. It’s was a long way, but I wasn’t bored. Lot’s of things attacked us, bugs, lizards. It was fun getting a decent fight for a change. No thieves tried to steal from us, though. They know better. It was a good trade. We got rid of all the meat, got some good stuff. There were a bunch of thick blankets, perfect for cold nights. Maybe I’ll try to get one, afer we got home. The other guards wanted to get going, but the traders said it’s too late. The desert is no place to travel at night. We stayed the night at some big meat place. The other guards told me about a strong drink the big meat have. I decided to try some of it.

- Stupid, there’s no other word for it. I was stupid. I went with the other guards to try some drink. There were lots of big meat around. I guess some of them drank too much. They started insulting us. I thought they were crazy. The other guards said to ignore it. Let the big meat talk all they want. I tried, but I guess I drank too much too. I lost it, told one of the big meat to shut up. Then he started insulting me.

- That was all I could take. I jumped up on the table and punched him right in the face. He never saw it coming. It was a stupid idea, I see that now. The other big meat came at me, suddenly every one was fighting. I lost track of the other guards. I was too busy fighting. Soon some other big meat came, they had big weapons and armor. Everybody else cleared off. I should have too, stupid, stupidm stupid. I was mad, tried to fight them. I never had a chance, they knocked me out before I could even knock down one of them.

- I woke up, I didn’t know where I was. My head still hurt, maybe from the fighting, maybe from all the drink. It didn’t matter anymore. My Weapons and armor were gone. It felt like I was moving. My arms were tied to a long rope by a leather strap. I looked around, saw others there too, also tied. Mostly big meat. I heard voices. One of them said something about slaves. Crap, this was not good. I had to get out of there, wherever there was. I pulled on the straps. Fortunately they weren’t strong, unfortunately the rope they were tied to had a bell on it. Stupid bell. A guard came in. Good thing I was small. I ducked into the shadows, waiting to get the leather strap around his throat.

- Before I could another slave pulled loose, a half-dwarf I think. The guard went after her, but paid for it. Good, one less thing for me to do. Other guards came in, but not for long. Suddenly the whole place shook. It felt like whatever we were on stopped. I heard fighting outside. Fighting, I had never loved a familiar sound so much. The guards ran off, said something about attackers. The half-dwarf and a talking lizard started freeing the other prisoners. Let them, if there’s a fight, I needed a weapon.

- I looked in another room and found a bunch of weapons, yes! No room to carry them all, too bad. I found a dagger that looked sharp. But then I found something even better, a big pick-axe. Not like the ones we have of wood and bone. No, this was solid rock, heavy, too. I thought it was all one piece, it felt like it. There was no time to admire it then. The half-dwarf and talking lizard got the other slaves free. They grabbed weapons, too.

- I looked in the next room. Found some odd clay disks. I saw big meat carrying them in the trading place. I didn’t care, no use for them then. Tried to keep looking but a bunch of elf meat came and told us to get out. Said they were burning the place. We all got out. It was a big fire, it burned a long time. The elf meat said they were going. Just going to leave us there. Said they only cared about other elf meat.

- The talking lizard asked one of the elf meat where we could go. He said there was a water hole somewhere around there. Then he pointed and said some big meat city was that way. Then he just left. Stupid elf meat. Well he’s going to need a water hole too, since I took his water when he wasn’t looking. The talking lizard tried to organize the other slaves, but didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Most of them wandered off, good riddance.

- Three stayed though, a female elf meat girl. I guess the other elf meat didn’t like her. I don’t blame them, she talks too much. There was also an old dwarf and a big meat. The big meat talked funny. He said strange things. I think there’s something wrong with his head. The others decided to go looking for water. Might as well stick with them. If nothing else, I’ll at least have food if I get hungry.

- Some water hole! It turned out to be just a stupid spike plant with fake water to lure meat into it. The talking lizard burned it with fire. He made it with magic. At least I think so, never saw magic before. We found the fake water. Said he wanted to keep some. Don’t know why. We made it back to what was left of the wagon thing. More guard showed up. Good, I needed some stress relief. I’ll say this for the half-dwarf and the talking lizard, at least they can fight. I got some good armor, a bit big, but this is no time to be picky.

- We looked through what was left of the wagon thing. We found some cloth to make a bag and wood to make torches. No food or water though. The half-dwarf found a metal box. Ih had some kind of paper thing in it. The talking lizard said it was a map. He said it showed a water hole to the southwest. I hope this one turns out to be real.

- We found a big bug hill. The half-dwarf wanted to go in, said there might be food and water inside. I was so hungry I didn’t care. We fould some bugs and they tried to fight. We killed them quick, though. We got some meat out of them, but no water. We rubbed bug juices on us to disugise our scent. It’s an old hunter’s trick. We found a big room, no bugs though.

- I noticed something odd. My hearing’s been getting better lately, a lot better. I can hear pretty far now. I tried hearing down the tunnels. I didn’t hear anything down the first tunnel I tried but the second tunnel had someone groaning. Turned out to be a big meat. How he got there I’ll never know.

- He was surrounded by grubs, but the half-dwarf kicked them away. The half-dwarf and talking lizard started arguing about how to help the big meat. Since the bugs would be all over him. Finally the talking lizard went and got more bug juice. We tried that first tunnel I listened to. We found big white balls. Earlier bugs had balls like that with water in them. I used my pick to crack one open and drank from it, to be sure. Water never tasted so good. We took the balls and decided to go. A bug tried to take balls form us, like we were bugs, but we killed it quick.

- Gah, just when I think this desert can’t get any worse the wind starts blowing up sand all over. I couldn’t see a thing. We tried to find shelter and finally found some old building made of stone. I saw some buidlings like that in the trading place but not out here. We went inside to get out of the wind. We found some odd pictures inside. They looked like the old times. There were plants and water everywhere. There were some words too. They looked kinda like elf meat language. I know a little elf meat language to help with trading but I’ve never seen these words before.

- There were these two big chairs made of rocks. There were two skeletons next to them, nothing but bones. The half-dwarf went to look at the thrones and got this weird look on her face. I think his eyes were glowing. A minute later she went flying across the room and smacked against the wall. I think she had a dream or something. She talked about elf meat and something called a gar-den and a big dragon. The half-dwarf and big meat went to look around. They said they found a cistern, but it was bone dry, of course.

- Then, things started getting really weird. They ran back into the room, being chased by spirits. The spirits were mad and told us to leave. There was of course, one problem, the wind outside was still blowing sand around. Then we heard a great roar and the entrance to the building crumbled. The spirits were angry and told us to leave again. The big meat tried to tell them we couldn’t get out. That just made the spirits madder Never try to reason with spirits. We tried fighting them, but every time we hit one it just dissappeared.

- Then the dragon came inside, THE dragon. The big meat thought something weird was happening and tried to smash one of the skeletons. Another spirit showed up and tried to strangle him, stupid big meat. We got rid of the spirits and stood to fight the dragon, what could we do. Then I realized that the dragon didn’t seem nearly as strong as it should have been. We killed the thing and it wasn’t the dragon at all. It was just some stupid lizard that made us see things. The lizard was no good for meat and the wind was still blowing sand outside so we decided to stay there the night. The big meat sat talking with the femaile elf and the other two, while we went to sleep. But just as I got comfortable more bugs climbed out of the wall and tried to kill us! I…hate…this…desert.

- Nothing else happened that night. The next morning we found a bone sword in another room. The big meat took it. We also found these odd shiny disks. I didn’t know what they were but they looked nice, so I took one. We each took one and there was one left. The other said they’d save that one for later. Save it for what? Then we had another problem, we didn’t know where we were. The half-dwarf and I tried to climb onto the building to look around. And that’ll teach me to try to stand on loose stone. I managed to roll when I hit the ground, so I didn’t get hurt. But I didn’t see a thing. We finally decided to just keep going southwest and hope we find a water hole.

- I scouted ahead a little ways, but the trouble came from behind. A big flying worm. While the female elf and the others ran for cover, the Half-Dwarf and I stood our ground. The talking lizard and big meat with the sword came to help. I tried to throw my dagger at it, but the thing just broke. The worm-thing landed and tried to kill us. It was a hard fight. It spat sticky stuff at me and made it hard to move. The worm-thing actually knocked me out at one point. The others were able to kill it and the big meat healed me somehow, but that was not fun.

- This desert just kept mocking us! We finally found a water hole and what happened? The water was bad. It looked oily and smelled nasty. Nobody wanted to drink any. I took some in my water skin anyway. I didn’t want to drink it if I could help it, but I might not have had a choice. Finally, we got somewhere. A dwarf village around a water hole. Not that it did any good. The village was crawling with elf meat. They’re stupid leader wanted to poison the water hole! He said he’d been poisoning water holes around the area so that no slave traders could use them. The idiot didn’t care that no one else could use them either. And that’s why the water in that one water hole smelled bad, it was poisoned.

- The others tried to talk the elf meat leader out of it, but he wouldn’t listen and there were too many to fight. The dwarf mentioned a druid that could clean the water but no one knew where he was. Finally, we just gave up and decided to leave. The dwarf showed us the way to Tyr and we promised to come back and look for the druid. Tyr, even in the halfling jungle we have heard of the great big meat village. I’ve never been there, never even seen pictures of it. I’m not sure I want to go there. I haven’t had much luck with big meat villages. But we don’t have a choice. If we don’t get food and water soon we’re dead. All I can do is keep my guard up and stay close to the others, for now anyway.

- We got closer to Tyr. A large tower of many colors rose above us. I had never seen anything like it. I kept my ears open and heard trouble ahead. Some elf meat were trying to rob a big meat trader. I tried sneaking up on them, it didn’t work. The elf meat leader dismissed me as though I was nothing. He soon learned. It wasn’t long before I used my pick to take his leg off. We killed three of the elf meat and the other two ran off. The Merchant was thankful and said he could help us get in, but his pack beast was dead. The half-dwarf pulled the cart instead. That was her problem.

- We got to the wall outside the city. There were dozens wating to get in. We finally came up and the stupid big meat merchant said we were his slaves. Why didn’t we just kill him and take his stuff? The guards said all slaves were being take to work on the tower. Some half-giants took our weapons and tried to put us in cages. That was NOT going to happen again. The half-dwarf broke free of the ropes they put on her. This distracted the half-giants and I was able to grab the leg of one and pull it to the ground.

- Another half-giant hit me with it’s club but I kept my feet. The others grabbed the weapons and ran. I would have stayed to fight but their were too many. I followed the others while the half-dwarf tried to distract the third half-giant. I tried to sneak into the crowd. I really need to stop trying to sneak. One of the half-giants reaached down to grab me. I still had that leather strap my hands were bound with. I honestly don’t know why I kept that, but I’m not complaining. I jumped up and got the strap around his throat. He won’t be trying that again.

- I ran off, with the half-dwarf along-side me. We rand down a narrow hole between buildings. I heard someone say alley? We found the big meat and the talking lizard in a space between buildings. There were others there, but they left us alone. I guess not all big meat are so dumb. Oh, the half-dwarf has a pet spider, made of shiny rocks. It seemed to come out of her body. This day just keeps geting stranger.

- The talking lizard mentioned a trading place run by elf meat. He explained that people use flat stones they call money. Apparently they think these flat stones are worth as much as water. Big people are crazy. Anyway, we found the trading place. An elf meat bothered us trying to get us to trade for glass things. The half-dwarf and big meat glared him off though. We found another elf meat who took the shiny disks we found. I was kind of said to give it up, but we got lots of flat stones for it. The talking lizard assured me we could use them to trade for things.

- We went to a female elf meat and traded flat stones for new clothes. They look strange, but everyone is wearing them, so we won’t look any stranger thany anyone else. I used some of the stones to by a pack to carry things and some food and water, finally! We took some food and water from the dead elf meat but that didn’t last long. Also I got some new armor from the elf leader I killed. It looked like a bug’s shell and it felt like there was poison in it.

- We found an old building that no one went into. It had old dusty tables. One had blood on it. We went down some stairs to a cool room, well cooler anyway. We sound found out why no one came there. A spirit attacked us! It looked like a woman with a whole in her chest. I think I know where that blood on the table came from. We gave her a few more wholes and she finally ran away. The big meat rolled the bloody table outside. He thinks the spirit won’t come back if we do that. But I don’t care, right now I just want to sleep.

Murza Have Words
Words! Murza have words!

A Brax Us has been teach Murza some word. They are nice word, word very short but Murza learn. Will learn. Has learn. Ask A Bax Rus what is rocks in skin. A Brax Oos does not. Know. This is not, bad. Will learn more soon.

Today. Make friend. With wagon, but then. He leave us alone. Bee tray Murza. Then! We fight some bad slave-ers. Try to. Put us in the cage. No good. We fight hard.

Get away. Make run to the place with elves. Buy things, Murza had to watch. For steal elves. Now are go to sleep. Fight scary pale thing from wall. Now can sleep. Many Legs is sleeping, Time for Murza sleep too.

Murza have friends now. Very. Strange to have friends.

Learn more. Soon! Good-bye!


Log 3: Goddamn Silkworm, Idiot Elves
The second day

Isn’t this just a fine fucking mess.

Woke up around dawn. Scrabbled together what little we could. Hungry, thirsty, but gotta move on. Mul and halfling—Murza and Mari—tried to get bearings, fell off the collapsing building. With the map and sun, I said we go southwest. Others followed.

Giant lizard-worm attacked when we found some pillars. THIS time, I stayed up and kicked ass. The others took a beating though. We need water, food, shelter, SOON.

…of FUCKING course. Selfish idiot elf’s been poisoning oases and wells near Kled. Thinks he can drive the slavers out, protect the “real people” here, ‘cause of course dwarves and dray aren’t people. Fucker. We bickered for a good half hour, got nowhere. Well’s sealed. No water, no food, no rest, no shelter.

As we left, Kled’s leader mentioned a missing Druid. With no water to be had, we hit the road to Tyr. If we don’t die of thirst, maybe we’ll be back, clean up that goddamn elf’s bullshit. What I’d give to clean the wise-ass grin off his face with a blade.

And today’s maybe half done. I need a drink.

Log Entry 2: Bugs, Ghosts, Fake Dragons, and More Bugs
End of the first day

The mul’s pretty clever. Used the wezzers’ own scent to let us poke around the hive. Rescued a human inside, a slave that went his own way. Some psiker, probably thought he’d be better off alone. Stole some wezzer water-globes too. Enough to last a day.

Damn sandstorm blew in two hours later, stung like hell. Took shelter in some ruins. Couldn’t read the tables, but wall carvings look sorta like elves, with ridiculous trees and animals all over. Some ghosts attacked, and the “Dragon” showed up. Really an id fiend. Bastard tore me a new one, and my lightning spell tore the halfling a new one, too. Still, killed it, got some useful parts. The newbie psiker nabbed a nice bone sword. Also found five coins, shiny metal—maybe gold, if you can believe it. Each took one, we’ll split the last in town.

Sword made psiker able to read the script. Sounds like this whole place used to be a border with another plane. Primordials might know more, not inclined to ask. We made some small talk after. Mul thinks I’m crazy, can’t blame her. Still, she listens to random earth spirits. Not much better, I say. Elf slave was talkative, but the others were quiet. The human ain’t all there, the dwarf probably can’t talk, no tongue, no voice, whatever.

Bedded down for the night, just for more damn bugs to show up. I wasn’t much use, but we killed ‘em anyway. Finally got some good sleep; ruins reminded me of home. We’ll set out in an hour.

I’m actually thinking about praying. If we don’t find real water by tomorrow, we might need ’em.

Log Entry 1: Fire, Lies and Ants
The first day

Snagged captain’s logbook from wreck. Bit singed, but some of it survived. The ‘water’ from the fake oasis works as ink, for now.

Elves ganked the slave-hauler and left us to die in the sands. One took pity and tossed us a part-full skin of water. Most ignored us. The mul pointed us toward what she thought was water. Really, a fake oasis, with blood-sucking plants. I torched it, we collected a bit of its oil-like ‘water,’ and went back to the hauler.

Guards jumped us at the hauler, but we took ’em out. I let one go; not worth killing. Found a map. Points to an oasis and a city. Better chances there than Urik. So we go.

Found a wezzer hive. Damn things nearly killed me shaking down the ceiling but we got some meat. With that, we’ll eat tonight. But the day’s not over yet.


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