The travels of Althaea, Vorelixen, and Vintner were troubling. Vintner’s close association with the stars and their effects had damaged his mind greatly, as Allabar the Star of Madness was already a dangerous entity to the uninitiated. However, their trek through the sands was largely uneventful otherwise until they happened upon some soldiers of the Oba trying desperately to dig a siege engine out of the sand. The group set upon them with powerful magics and maddening visions, and were able to rout or slay the soldiers and destroy the engine. They continued on towards the city limits, which they found still guarded but not by sane guards.
The architecture in Urik was, by their king’s decree, extremely uniform and made out of the same semi-reflective yellow materials. This material captured the light of Allabar perfectly, rendering the entire city in to a maddening deathtrap. Entering the city past the guards was not difficult, but enduring the effects of this reflection and surviving the maniacal occupants proved to be a much greater challenge. In the chaos, they bumped in to Inquisitor Randall Sapesh, who had gone quite mad but was still in control of his mind enough to know an opportunity when he saw one. He joined up with their ranks, though his parrot was noticeably absent. When pressed he explained it was still there where it should be, though some investigation proved that quite false.
Making their way through the city proper, they found it to be an absolute disaster area, as the new denizens of Athas were also affected by the Star of Madness and the streets were wandered by insane devils, demons, elementals, and even formerly imprisoned djinnis. They checked out the palace of Hamanu, though it had been ransacked and abandoned long before the group had arrived. Eventually they happened upon a proselytizer shouting on a street corner, and they found it to be crazy old uncle Archeffon of the Library, apparently escaped from Hell and doomsaying. His mad rants about the city being run by “marble men” proved surprisingly accurate when the demonstration was set upon by massive marble golems. Dispatched with some heroics, they were able to probe Archeffon for information and determined he was really throwing darts in the dark and got lucky. However, there was enough in his ramblings to encourage them to check out the old Library.
Arriving there, they found it to be the home base of these marble warriors. Penetrating deep in to what could now be considered eladrin catacombs they found a powerful time mage known as Sarcos Jessara, who was slowly being turned to green marble. In his hands he held a familiar marble orb, the Sargessa itself. At this moment it dawned on the group that this mage was released from Balic’s Ivory Prison and should not even be in this time line, for in the future the marble illness claiming his body converts him fully and he becomes the artifact he has in his hands. When the fight breaks out, Sarcos uses his time magic to travel back in time several seconds multiple times to assist himself in killing them. It proves to be too much for him anyway though, and with the Sargessa itself trapped in a bucket of sticky arcane sludge and Sarcos cut down, the threat was ended. In so doing, they also prevented him from completing a ritual to rip the plane apart at this location, as his last ditch effort to destroy the entire plane and eliminate the possibility of winding up an artifact enslaved to “idiot wielders.”