Silt Striders of Balic

Captain Husk

In the aftermath of the attack in Balic, the party is able to see city praetors cracking down on disturbers of the peace. They are quite rudely accused of being involved by High Praetor Maddock, who is a higher up in the Balican law enforcement division. After a brief verbal sparring match between he and Vorelixen, she’s ordered to stand down so his own people can look in to it. With not much else to do, she heads back to her home to discuss recent events with Althaea and Rikard, and Samm spends the night having his wounds tended to.
In the morning, Praetor Moon arrives at Vorelixen’s estate. After a moment to catch his breath, he informs her that because it was a disturbance in the parade it’s actually under his own jurisdiction and not that of Maddock. Because of this, he wants to dispatch Vorelixen and her companions to investigate the attacks. Doing a little research, they uncover that the key the summoner had is a key to an inn in Namarra, a town a few days travel north over the Forked Tongue Estuary. Further, they have come to find that the pins being worn by the summoner and by the defiler in the ruins from earlier are from a Raamite religious sect that’s become defunct. The sect was known for summoning elementals and believing that by wiping Athas clean of civilization with rampant defiling, the elementals would have a path paved to build a new, better world.
The group decides to set out and charter a silt sailing vessel to Namarra on Balic’s coin, and are attacked by a pair of androgynous peoples dressed in oddly colorful clothes. They introduce themselves, while fighting, as Elgo and Borato. With Elgo nearly killed from being pinned between Vorelixen and Samm, and Borato scorched from being dragged in to a fire by Rikard’s grasping vines, they flee the scene. Shortly thereafter, the group meets Captain Husk, a former adventuring companion of Samm’s who Samm does not immediately remember.
The group and Eiber take Husk’s vessel, the Tragic Hero, to Namarra. Along the way they evade a silt kraken, but their ragged ship is attacked by pirates of the Calloused Thumb. After a brief skirmish involving some roguish daring-do from Captain Husk and a fatal glaiving from Samm while swinging from a rope barely over the silt level, the Tragic Hero manages to break away from the Calloused Thumb and ‘safely’ arrive in Namarra.
Upon arriving, the group does a little investigating. They determine Namarra seems to be some sort of staging point for the cult activity in Balic, and that a Thri-Kreen private investigator seems to be here asking all the same questions. They set up an appointment with this Thri-Kreen, named Kik’Oda. They also find leads on an elven trademaster named Del, whom Vorelixen ‘pumps’ for information, a former gladiator named Stebbel who lives fat and happy on the flesh of slaves he purchases quite lawfully, and Vastok, a tiefling information broker who has a record of unlawful magic use. In the rented room of the summoner, they find two letters addressed to someone named Ared that reference the attacks in Balic. They also get another lead, which is that someone by the name of M is apparently involved in the planning of the attack.
The evening closes knowing that tomorrow night, a meeting with Kik’Oda will occur in the town’s western district.

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The Unlikely Ruins

An expedition led by Vorelixen is dispatched to a grove west of Balic to recover bundles of “Pride of Balic”, the state flower necessary for the Festival of the Cooling Sun parade. Along the way, they encounter a mysterious ruin that by all accounts should not be there. Coming upon it to investigate, Vorelixen can hear a mage of some sort incanting a ritual to summon a powerful elemental spirit intentionally leaving out any sort of binding clause. The expedition’s combatants assault the wizard, his elemental minions, and his hired swords. Though they are successful, the former silt sailor Samm is severely wounded. Investigating the ruins turns up an oval piece of obsidian embedded in to the stonework about 8 feet long and 4 feet wide, which calls out to the group’s arcane inclined. Ro, the slave giant, obscures the entire stone floor with a couple feet of hastily shoveled sand.
The expedition arrives at the grove and harvests the flowers, but finds themselves dozing off and experiencing horrible nightmares. They’re awoken by Ro’s scream, and discover him mummified overnight. With a little research, they realize that they must have encountered a Thrax, and deduce someone in the party is actually the one responsible. They assemble a litter from tent poles and canvas to carry the load Ro had shouldered, and set off with the hope of reaching Balic in time and solving their Thrax issues. When Nanee the handmaiden is found in similar shape a night later, the party of Samm, Vorelixen, Althaea, and Rikard deduce that Verdan, one of the dwarf twins, is actually a fledgling Thrax. They slay him and his summoned minions with ease, and arrive at Balic just in time.
They take some time to enjoy the parade, checking out caged drakes, foreign flora, the political scene, and the gladiatorial arena. Meeting back up, they are surprised to find there’s a terrorist attack occurring with robed and masked men releasing the drakes, setting buildings aflame, and opening summoning circles. Samm rescues a family from a burning building while Althaea distracts and disposes of drakes running amok. Samm is able to recruit some gladiators to help disrupt a summoning ritual with Vorelixen, and soon the entire group is fighting off the defiler in the streets. Before long, the Rage Drake that Althaea tricked in to falling through a sewer grate appears to have freed itself and joins the fray, but the group successfully puts it down.

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