The Burnt World of Athas

Session 9

How do I throw down my chains?

The party investigated the previous evening's events. Wary to get involved in the chaos before knowing where things stood, they did not use their letters of marque or invoke Tithians name and instead took the harder path of investigating on their own. First the party went to the location of a nighttime raid in the warrens. There had been disturbances and even explosions in the night and the party eventually ascertained that Templars raided locations of presumed members of the Veiled Alliance. The locals seemed skeptical that the Templars did anything more than attack helpless commoners who had made it in the black logs for uttering the Kings name in vain or some other petty offense. They did however manage to speak with a local gossip who had been at the arena and after sharing some rations she told them she saw Kalak struck by a spear in the middle of the games. And the spear began to sprout leaves as Kalak was carried away by his King's Guard. Sukir appeared dead as did people in the audience.

The party then went to the Wailing Winds to gather information at the tavern, which was packed despite the empty streets. There were no messages at the front from the Captain, though they had left Glamor in the Warrens to reach out to her. In the tavern performers sang a ribald song about Kalak until a group of off duty Tyrian Guard in the audience told them to stop, starting a tense exchange with the crowd that eventually fizzled out. Deciding not to get involved, the party went on to investigate the arena.

Along the way they encountered a robed woman standing on a statute's pedestal in a square and speaking to the crowd, who was ignoring her, averting eye contact, and hurriedly walking past. They party approached and heard she was proselytizing about her goddess, the protector of nature. Hafeeza shared her skepticism and as they were the only ones looking at her, the lady began to speak to the party. The priestess looked Hafeeza in the eyes and said her goddess' power was real indeed… that she could even have brought Watcher back. Despite her lack of city smarts, Hafeeza was sure this was some trick, likely a ruse where the lady psionically read her thoughts. The party saw someone pointing out the lady to guards and they left just as the guards took her off the platform and silenced her.

At the arena the party found the area closed off by guards and created a distraction with a Nibenay cocktail around the corner of where the entrance was. When that failed to draw away enough guards, Bright Eyes used her charms and some light magic to draw more guards. This worked and though Malachi was found out and turned away, Chronicler made it through as eventually did the gecko Malachi. They saw Templars investigating several dead bodies, but did not see Kalak's or Sukir's among them. Some of the guards had daggorans, the hounds that Malachi had remembered where able to sense magic, and they were in fact sniffing at the air and moving out towards Bright Eyes. The pair left the arena, gathered Bright Eyes and began to walk back to the merchant district. 

Along the way Hafeeza had an idea. She had seen Sukir's staff and as such could locate it through her magic. She found no sign of it, but kept searching and walked back from the ziggurat to the arena and Templar district. As she did so, right as her power faded she detected it. The staff was in the Golden Tower, Kalak's palace. She cast the spell again and sensed the staff was moving towards them but not through any path, it was travelling under the city. As the party caught sight of daggorans once again they cut the magic short and hurried away.

With this new information the party went to the archives with the dual goals of destroying their record of entry and finding a map to the under city. Along the way Malachi left etchings in druidic in secluded streets stating: how do I throw down my chains. They found the archives totally empty, an exterior patrol and a librarian at the front entrance being the only inhabitants. They smooth talked the librarian and flashed their company insignia to make it to the interior. The librarian closed the heavy stone doors behind them leaving them totally empty in the grand archives. 

They investigated the public sections and determined what they needed was in a locked area. Before proceeding further Hafeeza used her powers to  sense the location of the coin she had held to enter the gates. Each of the three rooms had three murals depicting various scenes of Tyr and flanked by stone statutes. Some searching revealed the statues to the right of each mural held a sword and shield, but the ones to the left had a shield and in their other hand what appeared to be a key gripped in a closed fist. The base of the statutes held some arcane text that the party had difficulty deciphering. 

Malachi tried to pick the lock and the statutes turned toward him. He stopped immediately and they returned to their poses. After some trial and error Mulses made the statute drop the key by offering his sword, which the statute grabbed. But when Malachi used the key and entered the room the statute again turned towards him and again he stopped. Mulses returned the key and retrieved his sword then simply ran in to the room towards where Hafeeza sensed her coin. 

All of the statutes in the room sprang to life and attacked, the party defeated them and retrieved the keys. A cursory glance revealed that they had the entry logs of everyone who came to Tyr in the past year. Since the last couple weeks had involved this ceramic coin process, this included about 500 ceramic worth of entry coins sealed in packets. 

They also had the keys to the other murals in this room, one depicting King Kalak in an idolized regal pose speaking to a crowd and the other depicting an arena combat. They still lacked the keys to the room they first investigated, with a mural of an aqueduct, a mural of an underground water tunnel, and an overhead view of all of Tyr. Though that room was laid out in an identical manner with the same statutes.



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