Key of Destiny: Chapter 4
Now that the PCs have the Shard of Light, they must reunite with the Mikku and make the trek across the Burning Lands to the port city of Ak-Khurman. The nomads are chilling out in a scenic citrus grove right by an oasis, and are more than happy to meet the party and ask them what happened. Asmara in particular will be interested in their information. The tribe as a whole cannot accompany the PCs, but they can lend the assistance of two skilled scouts, Kalid and Qatan (two 4th level Rangers). “Besides, it would be well for us to hear news from our friends in Ak-Khurman.”
-The region between the oasis and Ak-Khurman is a giant salt flat known as the Burning Lands. In times past it used to be a salt lake which supported some life, but after the Red Dragon Overlord Malystryx wrought changes to the region of Balifor, the lake dried up and now crossing it is incredibly dangerous. There is no plant or animal life in this area, and it reaches 120 degrees farenheit during the day and near freezing temperatures at night. They cared little for the areas history of a divine fiery pillar, or dwarven fire people roaming about.
The group had little trouble traversing the dangerous area. They travel at night, sleep in the shade in the day. Now they have clerics in the party, water is not an issue. However, there was a couple bumps in the road. It took the party 4 days to cross and in that time they fought off two monstrous scorpions and saved an elven family from a fire elemental. (including healing their injured child)
-The port town of Ak-Khurman’s a small cosmopolitan city ruled by the Khan of the Mikku tribe. For a time it served as a port of call for sailors, pirates, and merchants, but in recent years it’s faced major changes. Resistance against Dark Knight domination made the place a haven for the Legion of Steel, and surges of elven and kender refugees from Silvanesti and the Desolation respectively resulted in some more hardship. However both groups managed to adjust well enough where in other places they’d face extreme discrimination.
The party spoke with some legion of Steel members that seemed to be reasonable authority figure. They learned a little about the Khan and current social issues that were presenting challenges in the town. On the first night they stayed with the family of the elven family they rescued in the Salt Flats. They were offered money as a form of payment, but notably declined. (Although, the group later decided to go into a business venture selling the elves fruits/vegetable, wine, and limbus bread. The idea they would take it with them to Port Balifor and everyone would make a profit)
The next day the group searched through the city learning that gaining passage to Port Balifor would be no easy task as there were lines of people attempting to “interview” for the ability to pay for passage out of Ak Khurman.
They also visited a few local establishments. The city’s lighthouse is home to the Red Robe Wizard Zoe Left-Hand. She operates a magic shop and can thus buy and sell related equipment to the PCs, and help administer a Test for mages seeking to join the Wizards of High Sorcery. This was the case for a young aspiring white robe mage named Nathan Strange. The party Knight Tyric took a liking to the young man, and went out to speak to him after hearing Zoe had all but refused his request to administer the Test. (She later revealed to Skywarden that she felt he was not ready and it would only lad to his failure, and potential death) Skywarden noticed there was something awe inspiring about this human, but could not place exactly what it was at the time.
The party browsed the magic shop and traded a couple items for magic weapons (spear) and armor (breast plate) all with engraved Lunitari symbols. They also agreed to take on the young mage and train him to be a proper adventure. If it worked out, then he would be ready to take his test. However, part of the bargain Tyric struck with Zoe was that he must also ensure his aid during the test if he was asked to do so, even at his own peril. He agreed. She also gave them a man named Rand to find at the local Inn who could potentially assist them in finding passage. While Tyric and Jak headed to the Inn, Skywarden went to the docks and discovered more information on the ships. One being the Levin bolt and another the Swift Arrow. He met with a strange half elf after several hours passed and was given a letter of signed by the Knight Commander of the legion of Steel if he agreed to pick up “packages” for the half elf Joe Dirt. This was after initially meeting with Lucas Rand at the Gonorrhea Inn and Smoke House. He was disappointed that Lucas could only help with passage on the Levin bolt and this caused him to seek other means to gain access to the Swift Arrow (the eleven ship).
Meanwhile at the gonorrhea Inn and Smoke house the party Met up with Luca Rand who said he would help get passage on the Levin Bolt, Skywarden departed, but the Goblins (one allowed in, Alpha, and one out, Beat) ate, drank, and met up with the establishment proprietier Nasty Nellie. She took Jak into the back “for coffee”, but soon Jak was calling Tyric over to help out…the two experience a level of depravity they had never experienced as the woman was exceptionally hedonistic and vile. Also, Nathan Strange spent most of the time silent as the grave on stage surrounded by women after divulging it was his 18th birthday to Tyric.
Eventually, the party me up again as a messenger delivered a note to Tyric hat Skywarden saw Mumbar and his horse on the deck of Levinbolt while he was waiting in line to speak to the Captain of the Swift Arrow.
Meanwhile, outside Jak found that Beta (who was tied to a post in front of the Inn) had drawn a large paying crowd by engaging in “inner species erotica” with the help of a man named Kelly who was attempting to set up a gnomish fog machine in the ally.
Tyric caught up with Skywarden, but not before almost being trampled over on the way to the docks by a freak run away bison heard that had escaped their captors!! He managed to save several citizens in the street with his magic and formidable constitution (he was run over), and one of the people who saved was the daughter of a noble merchant who helped him expedite getting Mumbar of the Levinbolt as gratitude for saving his daughter.
Mumbar attempted to get out of his fate by revealing the whereabouts of Skywardens friend. However, even though he eventually divulged the information (he was kidnapped by a sorcerer in the Salt Flats) he was still hung as a horse thief.
The party finally came together shortly after on the Swift Arrow and set sail the next day under choppy water and bad winds. A few hours into the trip they heard noise above deck. They ship had been boarded by Sea-Trolls!