Part 6 - The Red Wastes
The explorers came across an oasis occupied by a red-robed tribe. They were met on the perimeter by armed men, led by a man named Osum. They were allowed to proceed into the oasis if they turned over their weapons, which they agreed to do.
Once in the oasis, they met with the tribe’s leader Yuderlyn. He explained the tribe was the Sons of Samer, or simply the Samerites. The Samerites were the descendants of the survivors of Ibnath. They fled the city when it was destroyed by a great demon. Many attempts had been made over the years to find the city again, but all ended in failure. His own son, Istan, went out several weeks prior to find the lost city, but had not been heard from since.
He also warned them to stay away from the Kalabites. These degenerate people, as he called them, were the descendants of the city of Yakoth. Yakoth of once a city of dark sorcerers that threatened its neighbors until Ibnath went to war against it. The army of Ibnath, lead by their king Arukashu, destroyed the city and enslaved its people. This was something the Kalabites never forgot, and had been the Samerites mortal enemies ever since. He explained, that the danger went beyond old grudges. The Kalabites were now degenerate cannibals that would take on the physical traits of whomever they ate. The Nephilim recalled the attack where the mysterious assailants resembled some of the men they had bitten.
Osum agreed to join them as they decided to head east toward the Kalabite camp to search for Istan. The reached the camp and covertly searched it, but did not find Istan. When viewing the Kalabites in Ka-Vision, they noticed that in addition to the normal Solar Ka, the Kalabites also possessed Dark Ka. They decided to move on before the Kalabites became aware of their presence.
Later that evening, when they made camp, Kadashman had a dream in which he was approached by a man on a horse. The man warned him of a dangerous sorcerer living in a cave located some place called Dragon Claw Rock. This sorcerer was deceptive and evil and needed to be destroyed. If the PCs headed east past the Sea of Bones, they would find Dragon Claw Rock. When he awoke, he shared the vision with the others.
A few days later, as they headed east they came across a barely conscious man. Osum recognized him as Gousa, one of the men that had journeyed with Istan. They decided to camp early and tended to Gousa. Later in the evening he regained consciousness. Istan’s group had found the city of Ibnath and climbed the great ziggurat in the middle. In front of a large set of doors was a corpse clutching a black gem. Istan and another reached for the gem. There was a flash of bright light. Istan suddenly had a confused look on his face and stumbled away. The other man suddenly turned psychotic and attacked the others. They tried to fend him off but he seemed unstoppable. Some were killed but the rest were able to flee.
Istan’s men tried to recover Istan outside of the city, but he had been captured by slavers. The rest of the men traveled west for several days when they came across an area covered in bones. They made camp there, only to have the bones come to life in the night and attack them. Gousa was the only one who had survived. He tried to make it back home to report what happened, but collapsed where the group had found him.
The next day they continued their journey east. Osum explained that this place was the site of the great battle between Yakoth and Ibnath. Kadashman viewed the place with Ka-Vision and saw patches of Dark Ka as well has an object buried in the ground that gave of both Solar and Spirit Ka. While the others checked the locations of the Dark Ka, Kadashman dug for the object. He uncovered a large blade, made of a different metal the the bronze their daggers were made from. As he did so, 20 animated skeletons burst from the areas of Dark Ka. The group first tried to fight them off, but finding the skeletons nearly impossible to destroy, decided to flee instead.
The next day they encountered an area that had a mysterious rancid smell, but no known source. A couple of days later in the evening they were again attacked by Kalabites, but no one was killed.
The next day they saw a large rock formation off in the distance. As they approached they watch two elephant sized, winged creatures fly in and land on top of the rock. The dragon-like creatures watched as the group approached. When they got within a couple hundred feet, the dragons took flight straight towards them. As they passed over, the creatures breathed on them, covering them with the same foul stench they had encountered days before. Several members of the group went into violent vomiting spasms. Everyone was able to rally and ran for the rock. The dragons pursued but everyone was able to get to the rock where they scrambled into a cave.
Inside they encountered an old woman wearing a glove with claws sown into the fingers. She gave off a scream that stunned everyone and then she attacked. The ensuing fight was brutal, the old woman was able to produce fire from the air and wield it against them. The fight caused the death of Yahattie, but ended with the beheading of the old woman by Kadashman.
The fight seemed over, but then one of the guards in their entourage drew his weapons and prepared to attack. The group then realized that the old woman may have been a Nephilim. They attempted successfully to get the possessed guard to talk. The being, who was now a he, said his name was Sahdi, an ancient Nephilim who had lived in this cave for over a century. He had a dream recently, in which a black clad rider warning of strangers approaching from the east to destroy him.
Sahdi allowed them to stay in the cave with him, until an Air Plexus would manifest, allowing them to release Danel from his Stasis. Seven days later, the Plexus manifested, and Danel was released. He incarnated into the body of Osum.
Kadashman again has a dream of the black rider. The rider told him that Sahdi possessed something that they would need to enter Ibnath safely. The next day he viewed the interior of the cave and detected Ka hidden away below where Sahdi slept. Checking it out, he found a tablet from the Book of Eons. When confronted on the matter, Sahdi indicated the tablet was called the Dark Lunar seal, which he believed would protect him from the Selenim whom he believed walked he lands. He agreed to turn over the tablet, along with another he possessed if they agreed to deal with the slave traders to the southeast. They agreed to do so, and received the tablets.
The group then journeyed for six days toward where Sahdi said the slavers would be. They came across a vast crater. They followed the trail down into the crater. About halfway down they encountered a large whole guarded by five men. They questioned the guards and learned that this was apparently where they kept the slaves. They called this place the Pit of Yath and they did indeed have Istan.
The group then launched a raid into the pit, which seemed to have been run by a cult that worshiped a giant worm that they believed descended from the heavens. The Nephilim and their entourage were able to slay most of the slavers and released the slaves including Istan. Istan was highly disoriented however. When examined using Solar Ka, they discovered that he was possessed by a Nephilim in Shouit. Although he was highly disoriented, he was able to guide them to Ibnath.