Desert Venture

Arsonists for hire?
In the tumult of Tyr post-fall of Kalak, the Sorcerer King, the name of the game is Survival. King Tithian barely has control of his new-found court, let alone the city itself. Factions vie against factions, and the enforcement of law is a mere memory. In this chaos, a group of profiteers, refugees, and criminals bands together for mutual protection.

The Desert Punk Guild, a guild known by many different names, is a small collection of society’s bottom crust. Before the Fall of Kalak, the Guild would curry favor from noble houses and immunity from the Templars’ gaze by performing tasks that no-one else would or could do. The guild survived many attempts by Tehosian, Minister of Laws, to root out and destroy them. Thommison the Hunter has led his guild to safety every time.

House Wavir has been especially unlucky in the chaos of Tyr. They have been forced to use all of their guards to protect their investments in the Merchant District and outside of the city walls. As a result, their merchant trains have been under-guarded, and almost always suffer an attack. A contract, though not one that they would admit to, has been issued to the Desert Punks: investigate the disappearance of their goods, and return with evidence of who has been attacking them. Thomisson the Hunter assigns the contract to a group of four: Nowhere, Mahamoti, Tarkan, and Ardik And so our group heads into the wastes aboard a caravan of travelers to Altaruk, where the last trade caravan was last seen.

After an un-noteworthy trip, they meet with Rhotan Vor, their contact. He describes the direction the last caravan had been heading, and adds that House Wavir has had a bad run of luck lately. The characters question him, and he reveals that House Wavir has had ALL of their caravans attacked, but cannot think of another house’s caravan that has been attacked while traveling through the region.

While tracking the last movements of the caravan, they come upon an area that seems perfect for an ambush, the wagon’s tracks lead between two outcroppings of rocks, and debris can be seen there. After some initial investigation, Nowhere decides to set fire to a creosote bush, lighting their location for miles around as Tarkan investigates the debris scattered around.

Apparently, the area was not investigated thoroughly enough, as the ambush-friendly bottle-neck of boulders houses…an ambush! A group of four Silt-runners spring from the rocks, and attack our heroes. The silt-runners are vanquished quickly, and the group continues to track the wayward caravan.

Tracking the caravan over the next few dunes finally reveals their query: a smashed, and seemingly abandoned wagon has been run into a large boulder. The only activity to be seen is a group of Kruthik wander around the area, seeming at home in the rubble and refuse of the wagon.

Mahamoti and Nowhere decide to ambush these beasts, partly in retaliation of their own ambush, and quickly take out one of the smaller beasts. The largest beast puts up a bit of a fight, but the rest flee the scene in terror. After dispatching the largest Kruthik, and deating whether or not to set the wagon on fire, they loot the remains of the wagon, finding quite the assortment of currency, the party runs after the fleeing hatchlings as they disappear into a crevice-cave…and stumble into an apparent throne-room. The Kruthik stand guard now in the middle of the room, with a much larger beast (obviously their parent) at the side of a throne made of bone and wood lashed together, the remains of countless caravan wagons. Atop the throne sits a Ssurran holding a sceptre.

After a brief attempt at negotiations that fail miserably to the impetuousness of the party, Nowhere sets the throne on fire with his psionics. A fight breaks out that leaves the Ssurran Priest and his minions dead. A cursory search reveals the remaining goods, the 3 remaining drivers in chains, and a Letter of Marque written in Draconic from a certain House Ssylph, allowing the carrier to target any caravan from House Wavir. They also found a auto biography of a self-styled bandit lord, Crecops the Blisterer, and the remaining goods from the House Wavir caravans.

Once again, after debating whether or not to set the evidence on fire, the four round up what they can carry and head on to Altaruk. They only pause long enough to point a disbelieving Rhotan Vor in the direction of the remainder of the goods, before booking passage to Tyr with a passing merchant caravan. House Wavir would be pleased to hear of their findings. And Thomisson the Hunter would be happy to exploit them for it.

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