City State of Yaramuke


First things first. I used to visit these boards years ago, and mostly lurked but occasionally posted. I never was attached to any of the online projects, but have devoured most of the materials I have found over the years. Recently I have reinvigorated my own building of materials around Yaramuke.

Essentially I would be looking at 4 different settings. Yaramuke before the fall of Sielba, Yaramuke during Black Flames, Yaramuke during Return of the Queen, and possibly something between Black Flames and Return of the Queen or something post Return of the Queen. The before the fall stuff is through its first draft.


Do you have Return of the Queen? I’ve been looking for it for a while…


Return of the Queen? What is that?


My understanding is that it’s an adventure that was available on the old website.

I haven’t been able to find it.


7 years ago or so I pulled a version of Return of the Queen from the internet. It is an internet born adventure which attempts to bring back Sielba. I generally like it, because I find it to be a fun way to mix up the Tablelands post Prism Pentad. Much like how City by the Silt Sea puts a major player back in play.

If the powers that be have no problem I can dig it up and post what I have of the adventure. It is not mine.


Yes, please. Can’t imagine why that’d be a problem.


Return of a Sorceror-Queen
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Author: Daniel Bandera
System: D&D Darksun
Type: Scenario
Category: Fantasy
Requirements: This adventure is for 3 to 5 characters of 6th to 8th level.

The characters, while exploring the ruins of Yaramuka, are captured by a cult that worships the former queen of Yaramuka. The cult’s leader, Murduk, tells the party of their plan to capture Hamanu. The cult uses magical coercion to convince the party to help them.

A. Adventure Synopsis
This adventure is for 3 to 5 characters of 6th to 8th level. The characters, while exploring the ruins of Yaramuke, are captured by a cult that worships the former queen of Yaramuke. The cult’s leader, Murduk, tells the party of their plan to capture Hamanu. The cult uses magical coercion to convince the party to help them. The party is sent to infiltrate Urik and retrieve a magical decanter to power the magical prison created to hold the sorcerer-king. After reaching Urik, the characters discover the city shut off to the outside world, and the party has to sign up with a devious merchant from House Stel, Sulla. While in his employment the party makes contact with the veiled alliance, which helps the party locate the decanter. With the help of the veiled alliance, the party retrieves the decanter from a tower in Hamanu’s palace and flees the city. The party returns to Yaramuke, where Murduk tells the party the truth. The decanter holds Queen Sielba’s soul, and the cult is going to perform a ceremony to return her to life. However, Hamanu follows the characters to Yaramuka with his army and attacks. The party must fight to escape the ruins and the struggle between two sorcerer-monarchs.
B. Background - The Sack of Yaramuka and the Death of a Sorcerer-Queen
In the 167th King’s Age, the year of Ral’s Agitation (-1,771 FY) ,in an attempt to increase her power, Sielba, Queen of Yaramuka hatched a plot against her closest enemy, Hamanu. She wished to unseat Hamanu as ruler of Urik and take his place. This would give her control over Urik’s valuable obsidian quarries. She tried to create an alliance of the merchant houses that would instigate a boycott of Urik. Sielba hoped this would weaken Hamanu’s rule over Urik and lead to an uprising of the people. In the chaos that followed, she planned ride to Urik as its savior and defeat Hamanu. The grateful citizens would then welcome her as their new beneficent ruler.
However, Hamanu discovered Sielba’s scheming with the merchant houses. He quickly formed an alliance with two powerful houses (House Otil and House Incab both gone now) that had yet to join Sielba’s cartel, and made plans to attack Yaramuke. When Sielba learned of the war preparations, she sent her army to attack Urik. Hoping to gain the initiative and destroy the Urik forces before they were prepared. In the battle that followed, the Urik soldiers showed the valor for which they are known, and along with Hamanu’s cunning strategy, the Urikites drove off the attackers. Hamanu and his army then marched on Sielba’s city to destroy it and her. As the shattered remains of her army returned to Yaramuka, Sielba with thoughts of preparing for the siege that would soon be on the city. The citizens of Yaramuka rallied around their queen, and fought hard against the attackers. The magical battles between Sielba and Hamanu electrified the sky. The battle raged for almost 2 weeks before Hamanu’s cunning struck a heavy blow. One day a messenger sneaking through the Urikite lines entered the city and claimed to carry and offer of alliance from Alabech-Ra, sorcerer-queen of Raam. Sielba was to meet with Alabech-Ra to discuss the offer. When Sielba went to the meeting, on a high mountain peak, she was prepared for treachery. When she arrived she founded no one there. She waited but the sorcerer-queen of Raam never appeared.
Returning to her palace, Sielba was not prepared for the trap Hamanu had placed for her there. The messenger, after having his memory altered, had been sent by Hamanu to draw Sielba from her palace. While she was gone, Hamanu teleported into her palace and awaited her return. Hamanu had hidden himself inside the palace garden. As Sielba returned her mind occupied by thoughts of Alabech-Ra and the needed alliance, Hamanu struck. Uttering the mystical phrase, he released the spell he had prepared for her. The spell, a variant of the trap the soul spell, separated Sielba’s soul from her body and imprisoned it in the water of the garden’s fountain. The water turned a golden color and thicken in consistence. Hamanu collected the fountains water in a magical decanter before returning to his army and ordering it to attack the city. By dusk of the following day, Yaramuka had been sacked and was in flames. The Urikites celebrated their collected booty. The citizens of Yaramuka were rounded up and forced into slavery in Urik. After his attack on the sorcerer-queen, Hamanu had left her body behind. After conquering the city, he ordered that it be founded and hung from the walls, but his officers reported back that it could not be found. Hamanu was not concerned, after all he had Sielba’s soul, and returned to Urik to celebrate his victory.
C. The Queen’s Cult
The cult of the queen began shortly after the sack of Yaramuka by some of the survivors. Citizens of Yaramuka, who had fled the city before Hamanu arrived to lay siege, returned to see what they could salvage. A charismatic templar, Hendrix banded the group together and made a revelation to the group. “She is not gone forever,” he told them, and revealed to them their queen’s body wrapped in a magical shroud. He told them of Hamanu’s treacherous trap, and that if they could retrieve the decanter they could revive Sielba. Hendrix directed the group to build a headquarters in the ruined city and start a new life. This new life was hard. The former citizens of Yaramuka struggled to raise crops and find water in the city ruins. All the while Hendrix tried to build the groups fighting prowess, training the men and women for the time when they would storm Hamanu’s palace and free their queen from her entrapment. Not much is know of the cult’s first leader, and of what is know seems contradictory. Tales report Hendrix knew of the queen’s fate, because he was one of the templars who witnessed Hamanu’s attack on the queen. He also was with the high templar when her body was wrapped in the magical shroud and hidden in a secret crypt below the palace. Tales tell of his great valor in defending the city before falling from his wounds and being left for dead. That the Urikite soldiers would have made the mistake of not ensuring the death of a highly ranked templar, seems doubtful, but there are no other explanations of how Hendirx escaped Yaramuka, if he was still there before Hamanu’s army arrived. The cult slowly began to recover from the destruction of the city, and grew in size for three generations before it took action to free its queen. The leader of the cult at that time was Bruce, a descendent from Hendrix. The cult number 300 individuals. Sneaking into Urik, Bruce lead the members on a raid on Hamanu’s fortress. The raid was doomed to failure. Only a handful of members escaped Urik and fled across the desert. They returned to the ruins of Yaramuka, but were not there long before Hamanu’s templars came looking for them. So, taking their queen’s body, they fled into the badlands around Yaramuka. There they hid in caves and eked out an existence for the next millennium. The cult became a group of hunter-gatherers. The history and legends of their queen they past down in an oral tradition, but memory of how their queen was taken from them and of the decanter that contained her soul became intermixed with folklore and myth and faded from their knowledge. The cult remained in this state until one day almost four hundred years ago, when a group of the hunters discovered a battle scene. They found a seriously wounded man, who had just defeated a nightmare beast. The man was too badly wounded to survive much longer in the desert and would have perished in the hunters had not taken him back to their caves and cared for him. When the man awoke, he thanked his rescuers and promised to repay them one hundred fold. The man was Tigis, a powerful psionicist of the Order. Tigis began to instruct the cult members in the Way. Weeks later, when Tigis left the tribe he promised to return each year and continue to instruct the cult members. By the time Tigis died, sixty years later the tribe of hunter-gathers now had many powerful psionicists. Tigis’s influence on the tribe was not limited to psionicist. He helped to civilize them as well, reintroducing them to agriculture, reading and writing, as well as other aspects of civilization. The tribe advanced over the next hundred and twenty years, adjusting to its new way of life. One hundred and eighty-two years after the cult first discovered Tigis, one of its elders entered a trance as part of his psionic mediation. During the trance, the elder, named Necho, claimed to have had a vision of queen Sielba. In the trance, she told him of the ceremony required to bring her back from the dead. She gave him a list of spell components that would be needed, and commanded him to seek these out. In response to this vision, the cult members began to raid caravans and villages trying to gather the list of spell components. The cult’s activities were hampered because no one in the cult had any magical knowledge. The cult continued raiding for the next hundred and twenty years, they began to take prisoners from the raids who became slaves for the cult members. Some of these prisoners were granted their freedom if they joined the cult. One such individual was Tizoc, a former Drajan noble. The rival nobles of Tizoc’s family destroyed his family and sold the survivors into slavery. Tizoc had been sold to the templars of Urik to work in the obsidian quarry, and was being transported to Urik when the caravan was attacked by cult members. Tizoc became a slave to the current cult leader, who quickly converted Tizoc to the belief that Queen Sielba would save Athas and make all their lives better. After two years of service, Tizoc was freed and welcomed into the cult. He became such an enthusiastic member that ten years later when the current leader died, Tizoc was chosen as his successor. Tizoc most memorable act as cult leader was to move the cult out of the caves that had been their homes for the last millennia, and back to the ruins of Yaramuka. After moving into the cult’s old headquarters, Tizoc discovered old records of the cult’s beginning. In these records his learned of the magical decanter, containing Sielba’s soul. Under Tizoc’s reign the cult began to treat its prisoners kinder and more were welcomed into the cult. Tizoc also tried other ways to gain the needed spell components. For those items which the raiders could not find, he sent representatives out to try to purchase these items in the city-states. The Veiled Alliance in Urik soon learned of these strangers from the desert who were looking for spell components. A young mage, named Morlak, contacted these strangers. Intrigued by the strangers’ story, Morlak agreed to tutor a few of the cult members in order to improve their magical knowledge. Five years later Morlak would turn to his new friends for help. Hamanu conducted the city sweep called the “Week of the Red Hood,” that almost wiped out the Veiled Alliance. The cult members offered Morlak and a half dozen other mages sanctuary in the ruins of Yaramuka. As a reward for their help Morlak agreed to take on the cult’s current leader as an apprentice, as well as determine were the magical decanter was hidden in Urik. After rebuilding the alliance, Morlak had the members track down the magical decanter, and once found to keep track of it. Over the years, the veiled alliance continued to track the location of the decanter however Morlak never reveled to them why they did this. When Morlak disappeared twelve years ago the contact between the cult and veiled alliance was cut. The cult leader Morlak had taken as an apprentice, pasted on his magical knowledge to his successor the current leader of the cult. The cult is lead by Murduk, a mage, with another mage Kessit, his lieutenant. The rest of the members are mostly fighters either human, dwarf, or mul. Murduk also has hired two plains giants. He has sent these two giants on a mission to recover a spell component needed for the awakening spell. The component only grows on islands in the silt sea. The giants will be back from their mission by the end of the adventure and will be present for the awakening ceremony.
D. Yaramuka today
The ruins of Yaramuka are described in the adventure Black Flames, which took place in the year of King’s Contemplation, FY 5. This section relates the changes to the ruins over the last seven years. Yaramuka, as described in Black Flames, was mostly buried in the sandy wastes. Since then the consent desert winds have uncovered much of the northern and eastern side of the city. The Wall was described in Black Flames. It was a magical barrier that caused any evil creature with greater than 10HD to loose three of its five senses. This barrier was destroyed during the titanic battle of the dragons, Alabach-Ra and Farcluun. Now any creature can come and go in the ruins of Yaramuka. Today, most of the ruined buildings of the city are esposed. The roofs on all buildings are gone, and most bulindgs over two stories have collapsed. The characters may find a few buildings that are being used as a lair by a raiding tribe of some kind. These buildings may be patially restored. The one For current denizens of Yaramuka see Appendix A.
Part One: Yaramuka
The adventure begins with the party approaching the ruins of Yaramuka from the east where the city walls still stand. The DM needs to determine why they are there. If the party came looking for lost treasure, they will be disappointed as the ruins have been picked clean over the last millennia. The DM should use the following seven encounters to soften up the party. Use as many or as few of these encounters as he deems necessary to weaken the party before their show down with the cult of Sielba.

  1. The city entrance The party approaches the ruined city gate. About 100 yards of the city walls still solidly stand to either side of the gate. The rest of the city walls have massive breaches and large collapsed sections. The gate itself has long since wasted away. However, if the party attempts to enter the city through the open gate they are stopped by the ghosts of the gate’s former defenders.
    8 undead THAC0 13; Dmg 1d8/ 1d8; AC 0; HD 8; hp 48; MV 9; SA Strength drain; SD immune to cold, sleep, charm, hold, paralyzation, and cannot be turned; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML -; MAC 3; XP 2,000. These ghostly gatekeepers attack with incorporeal long swords twice per round. Each strike drains 1 Str point from the victim. Lost strength points return after one hour, at the rate of one per hour. If a victim loses five Str points, for each subsequent point lost he must make a save versus death magic or lose one point of Str permanently. They fight until destroyed, pursuing the party deeper into the city but they will not pursue any who flee away from the city. The party can avoid these haunts by entering the city through any of the large holes in the wall farther down.
  2. Wyndlass Attack. A wyndlass hides inside of the door way of a ruined building. It lashes out with its tentacles at anything passing within range. It gains a +1 to surprise rolls against the party.
    1 Wyndlass THAC0 9; Dmg 1d10 x 10 / 1d4; AC 3; HD 12; hp 53; MV 3; SA surprise -5; SD nil; MR nil; SZ H; AL N; ML 15; MAC 7; XP 5,000; The wyndlass is from Dragonlance, and is described below…
    A wyndlass looks like a land-based version of a giant black octopus. It has ten 25’ long barbed tentacles, and can attack two opponents at once, using five tentacles on each. It has a powerful beak which can only bite those held in its tentacles. Wrenching free from a tentacle requires a successful bend bars check and inflicts 1d6 points of damage per tentacle from which the victim frees himself.
  3. Slig Ambush
    A group of slig plan an ambush here, hoping to lure some of the bandits of the city to them. They have blocked the road with rubble to a high of 5 ft. The sligs have thrown six corpses covered in robes on the ground in front of the pile. On the far side, four sligs crouch with spears ready to attack. Four other sligs are hidden in holes dug in the sand around the ambush site. The two ruined buildings on either side are also part of the trap. If characters enter one of these buildings, they are lifted of their feet in a large net of giant hair ropes. The nets are worked by two sligs hiding in the building. The net is only big enough for one human size person. If the characters bend down to check the corpses, the sligs hidden behind the rubble pile rise up and hurl there spears. On the second round, the sligs hidden in holes jump up and attack. If no one enters the trapped buildings after the 3rd round, the sligs inside emerge on the next round and join the melee.
    12 Sligs THAC0 17; Dmg weapon+1; AC 6; HD 4+1; hp 23; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ L; AL CN; ML 15; MAC 5. Equipment: bone long sword (-1, -1) 1d8 /1d12 +1, and bone spear (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8 +1.
  4. Aratha attack
    Bursting through a pile of rubble and sand, an aratha attacks the party. After the initial surprise attack, it uses it psionics to attack the characters.
    1 Aratha THAC0 11; Dmg 1d10 x 4; AC 3; HD 9; hp 47; MV 11; SA psionics; SD immunities; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 16; MAC 3; MTHAC0 12; PSP 180; XP 6,000; Psionics summary: Telepathy: sciences- mindlink; Devotions- attraction, empathy. Psychokinese: Devotions- molecular agitation. Psychometabolism: Devotions- body equilibrium, suspend animation. Psionic attacks/ defense modes: PsC, PB, MT/ TS, MB, TW. Special abilities: Immune to petrification magic and all heat-related damage. The aratha are carnivores that will eat any meat. An aratha has a large, purple-to-brown carapace and six hairy legs. Its four long, flexible, clawed tentacles can reach in any directions, and can lash out 20’ but retract to 8’ when not needed.
  5. Slig Lair
    Here the slig tribe dwells in a cave leading down into the catacombs of a ruined building. If any survived the ambush they return here and all the adult sligs are on guard just inside the entrance of the cave. The rest of the tribe is 70 ft farther down, in a large cavern. There is no other exit besides the main. If not alerted to an attack, only 2 sligs stand guard outside the entrance, while the rest are in the large chamber. There are 8 adult sligs, and 16 children.
    8 Sligs THAC0 17; Dmg weapon+1; AC 6; HD 4+1; hp 23; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ L; AL CN; ML 15; MAC 5; Equipment: bone long sword (-1, -1) 1d8 /1d12 +1, and bone spear (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8 +1.
  6. Ettin
    A large ettin has a lair in this ruined building. He will attack unless he can be outwitted by the party. The ettin can be pacified by offers of food and treasure. He knows little about the ruins and cannot offer the party any information.
    1 Ettin THAC0 10; Dmg 1d10/ 2d6 or by weapon; AC 3; HD 10; hp 55; MV 12; SA nil; SD surprised only on 1; MR nil; SZ H; AL CN; ML 14; MAC 8/ 7; Equipment: right hand club 3d6, and left hand club 2d8.
  7. Yuan-ti
    As the party explore the city they surprise a group of mixed yuan-ti as they leave a ruined building’s basement. There are 2 abominations, 4 half-breeds, and 5 purebloods. If the party appears powerful the abominations will flee with the purebloods covering their escape. The half-breeds stay long enough to ensure the abominations can escape and then they too flee. Purebloods must roll a morale check after the half-breeds flee to see if they will continue the fight. Fleeing yuan-ti leave the city, not returning to their hidden lair in the ruins. Once outside the city they regroup at a pre-arranged meeting place and attack any pursuers.
    2 abominations THAC0 11; Dmg weapon; AC 4/0; HD 9; hp 54; MV 9; SA spells; SD nil; MR 20%; SZ L; AL CE; ML 15; MAC 4; Equipment: steel scimitar 1d8/ 1d8. Spells: cause fear, darkness 15’ radius, snake charm, sticks to snakes, neutralize poison, suggestion, and polymorph other.
    4 half-breeds THAC0 13; Dmg weapon; AC 4/0; HD 7; hp 43; MV 12; SA spells; SD nil; MR 20%; SZ M; AL CE; ML 14; MAC 5; Equipment: bone long sword (-1, -1) 1d8 /1d12. Spells: cause fear, darkness 15’ radius, snake charm, sticks to snakes, neutralize poison, suggestion, and polymorph other.
    5 Purebloods THAC0 15; Dmg weapon; AC 4/ 0; HD 6; hp 35; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR 10%; SZ M; AL CE; ML 14; MAC 6; Equipment: bone axes (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d8.
    Event 1: Cult Ambush
    The party has been noticed by scouts of the cult of Sielba. The group sets an ambush for the characters to take them prisoner. There are two 6th fighters per party member, plus the two magic-users of the cult. Two of the fighters are covered with improved invisibility. Four of the others have invisibility cast on them. Any others including the leaders are hidden behind an illusionary wall spell. The invisible fighters attack first. On the second round the leader drops the illusionary wall spell and the remaining cultists attack. The cultist attack a party member until he is reduced to half his hit point total. At that point they demand that character surrender. If the character refuses the cultists try to grapple him, or the leaders use hold/ charm spells to restrain the party member.
    6th level fighters THAC0 14; Dmg weapon+1; AC 5; hp 47; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 6; Str 17, Dex 15, Equipment: bone long swords (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, mekillot hide armor, leather shield.
    Kassit, subleader, 7th level mage THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 8; hp 19; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 14; MAC 3; Equipment: bone dagger (-1, -1) 1d4/ 1d3. Spells: 1st: 4, 2nd: 3, 3rd: 2, 4th: 1.
    Murduk cult leader, 14th level mage THAC0 16; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 36; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 15; MAC 3; Equipment: staff 1d6/ 1d6. Spells: 1st: 5, 2nd: 1, 3rd: 5, 4th: 2, 5th: 3, 6th: 2, 7th: 1.
    If the party is captured, they are bounded, gagged, and blindfolded, and marched to the cult’s lair. If the party proves to be a match for the cult, the leader will call out for a truce with the party. If the party agrees to the truce, the leader tells them he thought they were bandits and offers them protection at their hidden sanctuary. The cult is headquartered in a partially restored former mansion of Sielba, though not her main palace. There are 10 more fighters guarding the headquarters, as well as food, supplies, and weapons. Murduk brings the party through the courtyard, and into the main building. He leads them to an old banquet hall and motions for the party to take a seat in the chairs set at the table. The hall is lit by touches and has no windows. On the far side of the room is a raised dais topped with an alter. Lying on the alter is the preserved form of a beautiful woman, the dead dragon queen, Sielba, under a white linen blanket. The leader goes directly to the body and kneels for a moment in mock pray. After a few minutes of silence, he rises and returns to the party and offers them food and water. As other cult members bring in refreshments their leader addresses the characters. He says he is the high priest of a cult who worship the fallen queen Sielba. He tells the party how Queen Sielba was a benevolent ruler who was not afraid to oppose the evil Hamanu. While kind, she was not powerful enough to resist Hamanu who killed her. Murduk wants revenge against Hamanu. Before her death, the queen had created a magical cell to imprison Hamanu. Unfortunately, Hamanu killed her before it was finished. Murduk plans to trap Hamanu in this magical cell, however the chamber’s energy was powered by a magical fuel, which Hamanu took back to Urik when he killed Sielba. As the party continues eating, Murduk continues to praise queen Sielba and tells of her many “good works” which she performed as queen of Yaramuka. He hopes to convince the party to join the cult, for Murduk is going to geas the party into retrieving the “power source” from Urik and returning it to him. He tells them to imaging the prestige as well as the rewards they will receive for capturing a sorcerer-king and ending the reign of an evil ruler. First he will ask the parties permission, but if refused he will either wait until the sleeping poison added to the food takes affect, or he orders his men to restrain the party. After this is done he will geas the characters.
    Event 2: The Mission Preparation
    Murduk describes the power source as a liquid thick like kank-honey and with a color similar to white wine. He also describes the magical decanter used to hold it, warning the party not to open it or allow it to break. In reality, the liquid is Sielba’s soul. He plans on reviving Sielba so she can reign as queen over a restored Yaramuka but he needs to retrieve her soul for the ceremony to work.
    The cult can offer the following to help the party:
  8. Shelter: The party can rest for two days in safety at the compound, but there are no healers among the cult.
  9. Disguises. The cult can not give the party authentic Urik clothing, but can help them change their appearance perhaps to appear as traveling merchants. The cult can also provide a wagon-full of cheap ornaments if the party wants to pose as merchants to enter Urik.
  10. Supplies: The cult can provide any mundane equipment the party may need, including weapons of bone or stone.
    Before leaving the DM should roll an INT check for each party member before they leave to see if they remember that Hamanu has closed Urik off to the outside world. Only merchants are let inside. Ten cult members escort the characters out of the ruins of Yaramuka. After a half day of travel the escort bids the characters good luck, before stopping and setting up camp. They will await there for the return of the party.


Part Two: Travel to Urik
After the party has prepared, the journey to Urik takes two full days. The journey can be uneventful, the DM can use the following encounters, or the DM could use some of his design.

  1. This encounter takes place after the party has settled down to camp for the night. The character on guard spots a lone figure running towards the camp far in the distance. The figure, tall and lanky, moves very rapidly and appears to be an elf. Only when it gets to within 10 yards does the true nature of the figure become clear. It is a dune runner. The dune runner was killed by soldiers from Urik. The urikites planned to ambush the dune runner’s former tribe, and the dune runner had learned of the ambush. He raced across the sands to warn his tribe, but was attacked and killed by a tembo. His tribe was wiped out by the Urik soldiers, and now he runs the sandy wastes of around Urik alone.
    Dune runner 4th/ 4th level fighter/ thief THAC0 17; Dmg weapon+1; AC 6; hp 22; MV 18; SA psionics; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 16; MAC 6; MTHAC0: 16; PSP 100; Psionic summary: Telepathy: Sciences- mass domination (always on, no cost), mindlink; Devotions- attraction (always on, no cost), contact, life detection. Str 16, Dex 16 Equipment: bone short sword (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, leather armor. When the dune runner passes, all characters must make a save versus spells or be compelled to accompany the dune runner on its run for that night. The dune runner can affect 20 creatures at one time. Victims will be unable to stop running unless restrained, and will lose one Con point for every turn spent running. When a victim’s Con reaches 0, he collapses and must make a system shock roll, with failure meaning death. Con points can be gained by rehydration.
  2. The party spot signs of a battle on the road ahead. A single wagon lies smashed into pieces, its contents thrown about. The partially consumed remains of a family of four lie around the area. These were refugees fleeing Raam for Urik when they were attacked. Large round foot prints can be found all around the site, and lead off down the road in the direction the party is headed. The family was attacked the previous night by a So-ut, rampager, which destroyed their wagon and killed the family. The rampager is resting a half a mile farther down the road, in a small den just off the road. If the party continue down the road, as they past the den, they will awake the rampager. Because the so-ut is a nocturnal creature if the party flees it will stop pursuit of the party after two rounds. If the party leaves the road before the reach the den, they can bypass the creatures den with out awakening it.
    So-ut THAC0 7; Dmg 2d6/2d6 + acid or 3d6+ armor bite; AC -4; HD 14+2; hp 82; MV 18; SA fear, acid poison, armor bite; SD 1/2 damage from nonmetal weapons, resistant to psionics; MR 25%; SZ H; AL CE; ML 19; MAC -2; Special abilities: The charge of the rampager causes fear in all creatures. A save versus paralzyation can avoid the fear. Creatures with more than 6HD save at +2, and creatures with 9HD or greater are immune to the fear, as are thri-kreen. Both claw attacks secrete an acidic poison, which causes any item hit to save versus acid or be corroded. Creatures hit must save versus poison or take 20 hp of damage. A successful save reduces the damage to 5hp. If the creature’s bite hits by 4 or more than the number needed, the su-ot has bitten through the armor, which reduces the armor’s usefulness by one point.
  3. Elf raiders from the Water Finders
    Before beginning this encounter roll to see if the party is surprised with a -4 penalty. If they are surprised they suddenly find themselves surrounded by 6 elven warriors with weapons drawn. One of the elves demands the party surrender all their possessions and return the way they came or the elves will attack. If the party claim to be from Urik or the merchant House of Stel the elves will attack any way. These elves are from the Water Hunters tribe, which has been fighting a losing guerrilla war against Urik and house Stel, since the merchant house established an outpost in their sacred Utho grove. The morale of the elves has fallen due to their numerous defeats against urikite soldiers. The DM should start rolling morale checks for the elves in the second round of combat. If the elves fail a check, they flee into the wilderness.
    Elven leader 8th level Ranger THAC0 11; Dmg weapon+3 x 3/2; AC 3; hp 46; MV 18; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 11; MAC 6; Str 19, Dex 20, Equipment: Leather armor, long bow, 20 bone arrows (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d8, bone long sword (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, bone spear (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8. He is +1 to hit with the long sword and long bow, and fights in melee with both the spear and the long sword. His racial enemy is humans, against which he gains a +4 to hit.
    5 elven warriors 5th level fighter THAC0 16; Dmg weapon+1; AC 6; hp 25; MV 18; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 10; MAC 7; Str 16, Dex 16. Equipment: Leather armor, long bow, 20 bone arrows (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d8, bone long sword (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d12. They are +1 to hit with the long sword and long bow.


Part Three: Urik
A. Arriving at Urik.

  1. City defenses.
    The tall walls of Urik prevent any from entering the city uninvited. The walls are 80 ft high. They are patrolled by groups of two templars, carrying staffs with continual light cast on them. Anyone who attempts to climb over the walls, will activate an alarm spell. This special version of the spell sets off a light spell in the area. This draws arrow fire from nearby templar, and brings others running. The walls also have an alarm system established by Hamanu. When anyone who teleports or uses extradimesional ways of entering the city Hamanu is alerted of the location within the city. He will send a patrol of templars to the location to investigate. If someone leaves the city this way, Hamanu is alerted but does not receive any information on the travelers destination. Any such travel within the city walls does not set off the alarm. The walls have other magical defenses built into them. The walls are resistant to all earth based spells designed to damage or by pass them. This resistant includes Earthquake, passwall, meld into stone, and the earth priest’s ability to ignore stone. Note: the said priest could still gain entrance by ignoring the ground and traveling under the walls. The defenses on the walls of the city are also in affect on the walls of Hamanu’s palace. Only one gate is open to outsiders. The foreigner’s gate in on the southeast portion of the city. Guards at all the other gates will turn the characters away without comment. The foreigner’s gate is only ten feet high and ten feet wide. The doors, which are made of wood three feet thick, are opened at dawn and closed at dusk. The foreigner’s gate is guarded by 5 templars and 6 guards. Just inside of the gate is a barracks where 20 more guards, 5 templars, 3 psionicists, and 1 defiler rest. Attempting to pass the guards. The guards question the party but refuse to let them in without an official pass. Bribes or threats do not work. Charm spells do not work unless the party manages to charm all of the templars at once. And then they would have to deal with the 3 psionicists who would scan at least one out of every four persons let back into the city. Because the templars completely block the way and only let one person in at a time it is not possible for invisible characters to sneak in.
  2. A Way In
    If the party is posing as merchants, they will not be let into the city, but members of the merchant house of Stel will be sent out to trade with them. When the merchants come out, they are not impressed with most of what the party has to offer and they buy very little. One merchant, Sulla, however, eyes the characters shrewdly. He notices the party’s lack of mercantile knowledge, shabby merchandise, and impressive build. He deduces the characters are refugees from one of the other cities trying to sneak into Urik. He approaches them, and offers the characters employment with his family. Sulla says he needs bodyguards, and the party looks to fit the bill. He offers to sneak the party into the city, and 5 cp per week each, along with room and board at his manor. If the party agrees, Sulla tells the party to meet him the next morning, at a place outside of the city walls. He brings with him a number of slaves, some of which bare a passing resemblance to the party members. He tells the party to trade places with the slaves, leaving all there equipment behind. He tells them he will have to smuggle their equipment in later, separately. He informs the party how to act and think in front of the guards at the gate, and then leads the party to the merchant’s gate. As the party approaches the gate, the guards examine them closely, and search them for any contraband. Then one of the psionics probes their minds. As long as the party follows Sulla’s instructions they should make it through, thought the DM should rolls some dice to scare the players.
    B. Sulla’s Manor
    Sulla brings the party to his large compound in the city. Here he proposes a test. The party is to fight some of his gladiators to prove their competence. There is one gladiator for each character, choose from the following:
    Mul 8th level gladiator THAC0 11; Dmg weapon+2 x 2; AC 7; hp 64; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 16; MAC 8; Str 18. Equipment: Studded Leather armor, bone carrikal (-1, -1) 1d6+1/ 1d8 +2, bone dagger (-1, -1) 1d4/ 1d3.
    Human 7th level gladiator THAC0 13; Dmg weapon x 2; AC 6; hp 49; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 14; MAC 5. Equipment: Hide armor, bone wrist razor (-1, -1) 1d6+1/ 1d4+1 +2, master’s whip 1d3/ 1d2.
    Half-giant 7th level gladiator THAC0 12; Dmg weapon+2 x 2; AC 8; hp 98; MV 15; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ L; AL CN; ML 17; MAC 8; Str 18. Equipment: Leather armor, bone lotulis (-1, -1) 1d10/ 1d12 +2.
    Dwarf 5th level gladiator THAC0 13; Dmg weapon+5 x3/2; AC 6; hp 30; MV 6; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 7; Str 21. Equipment: hide armor, stone impaler (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d8 +2.
    Thri-Kreen 8th level gladiator THAC0 13; Dmg 1d4 x4/ 1d4+1 or by weapon x 2; AC 5; hp 86; MV 18; SA poison; SD missile dodge; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 16; MAC 5; Con 17. Equipment: gythka 2d4/ 1d10 +2.
    Note: Sulla will not have returned the party’s equipment yet, so they will have to equip themselves from his armory. The party can find armor up to hide that will fit any but halflings or half-giants, though half-giants will find leather armor. Any weapons made of bone or obsidian are available. The combatants are placed in Sulla’s small gladiator pits. Each side may use what every means are at their disposal. Once a combatant is reduced to less than 10 hit points that person is considered defeated. Both the defeated one and the combatant who reduced him below 10 hp must leave the pit, while the remaining combatants fight on. At some point of the DM’s choosing, to make thinks more lively Sulla makes an announcement changing the rules. He changes the match into a death match and states that the only way that any of the combatants still in the pit will be allowed out is to kill another pit combatant. Anyone who has already left the pit is not allowed back in. Sulla does this to put pressure on the party to see if they have any special talents (psionic mastery, magic) which they may have been holding back earlier in the fight. The party’s opponents will double their efforts when Sulla makes the announcement. If the characters pass the test, Sulla takes them aside and explains the terms of employment. The characters are provided room, food, and water at Sulla’s manor. They may come and go as they please, but must be close at hand in case he has an assignment for them. When he gives them an assignment there can be no refusal, or deviation from the orders. The characters are expected to carry out the assignments when, where, and how Sulla orders. Sulla will provide gate passes only when the characters are on assignment for him. After the day of the test, Sulla gives the characters another day to rest and heal. He returns some of their equipment to them. Any items of a strange or magical nature Sulla claims were not successfully smuggled into the city, and were confiscated by the templars. In actuality, he has kept the items for himself.
    C. First Assignment
    After a day of rest, the characters receive their first assignment- to beat up the son of a nobleman. Sulla has been negotiating with the nobleman over mining rights, but the nobleman has refused to give in. Sulla wants the party to send a message to the man and his family. Sulla arranges for gate passes for the party to get them into the noble district one night, so they can ambush the son on his way home from one of his many nights on the town. The son, Alturo, (4th fighter) travels with Darium, a childhood friend, (7th Bard), and two bodyguards (5th level gladiators). Alturo and Darium are both drunk, though the bodyguards are not and are alert for trouble. Unless the party is very discreet, a templar patrol of 3 2nd level templars and 6 3rd level guards arrives in 1-3 turns to arrest them. Per Sulla’s orders, the party should leave the boy alive, but the rest of the group does not matter.
    Alturo, 4th level fighter THAC0 19; Dmg weapon; AC 10; hp 24; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 11; MAC 8. Equipment: Obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, metal dagger 1d4/ 1d3. Alturo’s metal dagger is marked with his noble family’s crest, and will be recognized by anyone in Urik who sees it.
    Darium, 7th level bard THAC0 19; Dmg weapon; AC 7; hp 22; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 14; MAC 6; Dex 17. Equipment: bone bard’s friend (-1, -1) 1d4+1/ 1d3, obsidian puchik (-2, -1) 1d4+1/ 1d4+1.
    2 bodyguards, 5th level gladiators THAC0 15; Dmg weapon+2 x 3/2; AC 7; hp 40; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 15; MAC 7; Str 18, Dex 15, Con 15. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, obsidian hand ax (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d4.
    D. Second assignment - Bodyguard duty
    The day after the attack on Alturo, Sulla fears possible retaliation from the noble’s family, so he sends the party with his wife when she goes to the market. Sulla’s wife is named Nicolle. She is very aloof to the party, thinking them no more than slaves, and ordering them around as such. Though she is accompanies by 4 slaves, she will ask the characters to carry many of the items she purchases. The afternoon at the market passes uneventfully. But this changes as the party leaves the market for Sulla’s mansion. A loud explosion rings out as the sounds of battle erupt from the side of the market. The crowd around the party quickly panics, and a mob of people flee the market place. The mob threatens to crush Nicolle unless the party shields her. If the party investigates the disturbance, they can witness templars and guards storming a ceramics shop. Inside are four preservers of the veiled alliance. As the party watches, a young woman escapes from the shop and flees down an alley pursued by two half-giants. The alley runs perpendicular from the party, and if they want to help her, they must act quickly. If they do nothing the girl is captured. If the party attacks the half-giants in the alley, they will have five rounds of unobserved combat, before the templars are called. The party could still escape but they will have been identified.
    2 half-giants THAC0 15; Dmg weapon+4; AC 7; HD 3+12; hp 30; MV 15; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ L; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 8. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian battle axes (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d8.
    If the party rescued the woman, she introduces herself as Sasha, a 5th level preserver with the veiled alliance. She is wounded and cannot move much farther on her own. Nor does she have any place to go. Her entire cell with the veiled alliance was captured in the ambush and she knows of no other safe house to seek refuge in. Her clothes are torn, and she will need to be disguised if the party takes her with them. Because the few members of the alliance that Sasha knew were killed or captured in the ambush, she cannot put them in touch with the alliance, but the alliance will be grateful for Sasha’s rescue and will contact the party later (see below). On returning to the merchant house, the party can try to hide Sasha from Sulla or they can present her to him when they return. If the party hides her at the estate, Sulla discovers her presence after one day has pasted. Either way, the party is called in front of Sulla for an explanation. If the party tells the true, that she is with the veiled alliance, Sulla calls the guards and turns her over to the templars. In fact, he will do this unless the party gives a reason similar to the following: she is a relative, a loved one, or an associate/ former traveling partner. If they do give a satisfactory answer, Sulla seems pleased, and invites Sasha to stay on his estate. She will be quartered separately from the party, though the party still has access to her. She will not be allowed to leave the estate, and will become a hostage to insure the party does not double cross Sulla. After all, he thinks Sasha is a relative of one of the characters.
    E. Veiled contact
    The day after Sulla discovers Sasha, when one of the party members is alone, he hears a disembodied voice present the following message: “We of the veil are not unaware of the protection you offered one of our own. In gratitude, we will grant you one favor. Speak it now.” This is a sending spell cast by a veiled alliance preserver. The character can answer the message with one of his own which the preserver will hear, but will receive no reply. If the character asks for a meeting or help recovering the magical decanter, later that day, another character will discover a note in his pocket. (This should be someone who can read, a preserver preferably) The note states only “1:00 Coliseum.” The next day the character must get Sulla to give him a pass to go to the coliseum for the day’s gladiatorial games. The character must offer him a good reason for going or he will refuse the request. At the games he will be contacted by Trimble, a veiled alliance representative. He asks the character to explain what it is he wants. After listening to the character, Trimble will agree to help. He offers the following information and assistance:
  3. Timing: In two days Hamanu will leave the city at the head of an army to attack an elven tribe (the Water Hunters). For one night the cities defenses will be lessened.
  4. The location of the decanter: It is in a isolated tower in the king’s palace. The alliance knows of an exit from the undercity near the tower.
  5. Escape from the city: The veiled alliance has a magical gate, hidden in the undercity. The gate will transport anyone stepping through to a spot in the desert 10 miles south of the city.
    F. Third Assignment
    That night Sulla, calls the party to a meeting. There he tells the party of their next assignment. He wants the party to assassinate a troublesome templar, named Karius. He knows the troops in the city will be depleted when Hamanu leaves with the army, and the templar will be lightly defended. Now the party has a dilemma. How will they retrieve the decanter and kill the templar in the same night? DM should rule on any solution. Possible solutions include:
  6. Kill the templar and go after the decanter later. This will take the party the entire night, though they still may be able to leave the city before the alarm is raised.
  7. Forget killing the templar, and leave Sasha behind. In this case, Sulla has Sasha killed.
  8. Using psionics or spells, convince Sulla that the party has already killed the templar and ask him to free Sasha, may work very well.
  9. Go to the templar and tell him of Sulla’s treachery. If the party role-plays well enough, they can convince the templar and he will lead a patrol to the Sulla’s manor house to arrest him. Unless the party acts quickly, Sasha may by killed when Sulla hears of their betrayal.
    If the party does attack the high templar, use the following. The high templar lives in plush chambers in the templar district. He is 12th level, but only has five guards (charmed 6th level gladiators) in his house on the night the army is out of the city. On other nights, the district is patrolled by three patrols of four 2nd level templars and eight 3rd level fighters. The templar’s quarters also houses two other templars of 8th and 10th level. Both of these templars have two 6th level fighters as bodyguards.
    Karius, 12th level templar THAC0 13; Dmg weapon+2; AC 5; hp 69; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 5; Str 18, Con 15, Wis 17; Spells: 1st: 6, 2nd: 6, 3rd: 4, 4th: 3, 5th: 1. Equipment: hide armor, metal long sword 1d8/ 1d12, obsidian lotulis (-2, -1) 1d10/ 1d12.
    5 mul bodyguards, 6th level gladiators THAC0 13; Dmg weapon+3 x 3/2; AC 4; hp 48; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL N; ML 15; MAC 7; Str 19, Dex 16, Con 16. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, obsidian spears (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    If the party attacks Sulla, there are twelve 2nd level guards at Sulla’s estate, but most will be asleep unless Sulla is expecting trouble. Any of the gladiators from the test above that are still alive will also be present.
    Sulla, 10th level trader THAC0 16; Dmg weapon; AC 4; hp 57; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 14; MAC 4; Dex 16, Int 17, Con 16. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, iron scimitar 1d8/ 1d8.
    Ten 2nd level fighters THAC0 19; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 11; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 12; MAC 9. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian short sword (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, obsidian impaler (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d8.
    Sulla will have sent Sasha to a different location for the night. She is being held in a tavern across town, by four 4th level fighters and a 6th level bard. The bard has orders to kill Sasha unless she hears from Sulla by dawn. Only Sulla knows where they are staying, and he will reveal this if attacked or threatened. Only if his life is threatened will he divulge the location of the tavern.
    Four 4th level fighters THAC0 17; Dmg weapon; AC 7; hp 28; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LN; ML 11; MAC 8; Dex 15. Equipment: leather armor, bone spears (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, bone short swords (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    6th level bard THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 4; hp 26; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 13; MAC 6; Dex 18. Equipment: leather armor, bone long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, bone dagger (-1, -1) 1d4/ 1d3, bone throwing knifes (-1, -1) 1d3/ 1d2.
    G. Retrieving the Decanter
  10. Entering the tower.
    The party can follow Trimble’s directions to an abandon shop near where the merchant’s quarter borders with Hamanu’s palace. Inside they find a trap door leading into the undercity. The tunnel passes underneath the palace walls to a grate, a short distance from the tower. The tunnel is the nest of a otyugh, and before the party reaches the exit, they are attacked by it.
    Otyugh THAC0 13; Dmg 1d8/1d8/1d4+1; AC 3; HD 7; hp 44; MV 6; SA grab, disease; SD never surprised; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 14; MAC 9. Special abilities: Grapple attack with tentacles cause 2-4 points of damage per round, and bite attack is +2 on grappled opponents. Characters with at least Str of 18 can break free in one round, others must make a open doors roll to escape. The bite has a 90% chance of infecting the opponent with a debilitating (80%) or fatal (20%) disease.
    The tower courtyard is guarded by the following: The walls nearby are patrolled by groups of two 3rd level templars who pass every ten rounds. There are a total of five of these groups that patrol this section of the wall. They only notice movement insight (50’ at night) of the walls 30% of the time, though any sounds of combat will quickly draw their attention. The nearest wall gate is guarded by ten 2nd level fighters, two 4th level templars, and one 7th level templar. Any sounds of combat in the courtyard will bring half of them running to investigate. The grounds are patrolled by one 4th level templar, and four 2nd level fighters. There is a 33% chance that the patrol spots the party at some point while the characters are in the courtyard.
    Wall guards:
    10 3rd level templars THAC0 20; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 15; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 12; MAC 8; Spells: 1st: 1, 2nd: 1. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long swords (-2, -1) 1d10/ 1d12, short bows, 12 obsidian arrows (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d6.
    Gate guards
    Ten 2nd level fighters THAC0 19; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 11; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 12; MAC 9. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian lotulis (-2, -1) 1d10/ 1d12.
    Two 4th level templars THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 5; hp 23; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LN; ML 12; MAC 7; Dex 15, Wis 16. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12. Spells: 1st: 4, 2nd: 3.
    7th level templar THAC0 16; Dmg weapon+1; AC 5; hp 49; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 13; MAC 6; Dex 15, Con 15, Wis 17. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12. Spells: 1st: 5, 2nd: 4, 3rd: 3.
    4th level templar THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 5; hp 24; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 12; MAC 8; Spells: 1st: 2, 2nd: 1. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12.
    Four 2nd level fighters THAC0 19; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 11; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 12; MAC 9. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian spears (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    The entrance to the tower is unmanned. (Unusually it is guarded by 4 half-giants, but they left with the army.) The door is locked and requires a knock spell or a thief’s open locks with a -20% penalty to open.
  11. Inside the tower
    The tower is five stories high, and 30 feet in diameter. There are no windows, and the tower walls are 2 feet thick. Though the tower is connected physically to the rest of the palace, there is no access to the palace from tower. The only way in is through the one door on the outside of the tower.
    a. The first floor contains a large empty room with a stair case at the far end. Chained to the wall near the stairs are two sloths. The chains restrict their movement to 20’. Thus they can reach anyone in the room who is farther than 10’ from the door. For the first three stories the tower’s interior is hollow. A stairway winds its way along the wall of the tower, with two lands before it stop at the fourth story at a door leading into a room on the top level. Fighting on the stairway can be dangerous. Any creature fighting with its back to the stair’s edge, must make a Dex check any time they are stuck twice in the same combat round, or fall off the stairs to the ground below.
    two sloths THAC0 9; Dmg 2d4/2d4/2d10; AC 5; HD 11; hp 57; MV 24; SA nil; SD resistant to poison; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 10; MAC 7. Special Abilities: The sloths gets +4 to saves against natural poisons, and +2 versus all others.
    b. The first landing is one story above the ground floor, and is twelve feet long, and four feet wide. When the party reaches the first landing they trigger a spell that releases an earth elemental beast which was imprisoned in the stones below the landing. This beast breaks through the floor between the party and the far end of the landing where the stairs continuing up. This trap cannot be detected without magic. Magic will only reveal the presence of the trap. If the party casts dispel magic, they dispel the ensnarement trapping the earth elemental beast and it attacks them anyway.
    Earth elemental beast THAC0 13; Dmg 3d6/ 2d6; AC 2; HD 8+3; hp 41; MV 12; SA see below; SD +1 or better to be hit; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 14; MAC 9. Special abilities: On an attack roll of a natural 20, the victim is trapped in the creature’s jaws. Each round the victim must make a bend bars check to escape or automatically suffer crushing damage of 3d6 points. The victim can only attack the beast if a Dex check is made at -2. Opponents struck by the beast’s tail must save versus paralyzation or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. If the beast is levitated or flying it panics and tries to reach the ground by any means possible. All attacks made by the beast against water or airborne creatures are made at -2 and all damage is reduced by 1 per die. The beast cannot cross water, earthquake spell causes them 8-64 points of damage, and a rock to mud spells slows the beast.
    c. This landing is shrouded in mist when the party reaches it. The mist is a Dao in gaseous form who is charged with guarding the landing. He will solidify and attack if the party steps onto the landing. He will not attack anyone who does not physically step on the landing, and will stop attacking anyone who makes it passed him to the stairs beyond.
    Dao THAC0 11; Dmg 3d6; AC 5; HD 11; hp 48; MV 9, Fl 15 (B), Br 6; SA see below; SD see below; MR nil; SZ L; AL NE; ML 16; MAC 4; Special abilities: Can cast the following once per day: change self, detect good, detect magic, assume gaseous form, become invisible, cause misdirection, passwall, create a spectral force, and create a wall of stone. Three times per day: dig and rock to mud. Dao are not harmed by earth based spells.
    d. The stairs end at a third landing with a closed door. The door is locked similar to the tower door. It is also trapped. If opened an ice storm spell strikes the party causing 3d10 points of damage. An illusion disguises this trap, preventing most detection methods (magical and mundane). A detect magic will first detect the illusion, which will also be dispelled first. Thus the party could still trigger the trap, unless they check for it again.
    e. The top floor is the treasure room. The room is guarded by a salt golem, which attacks any who enter the room who is not a high templar or accompanied by a high templar.
    Salt golem THAC0 11; Dmg 2d8; AC 4; hp 47; MV 6; SA pain, dehydrate; SD see below; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 20; MAC 8. Special abilities: Any target hit must make a successful save vu. poison or minute flakes of salt residue is left in the victim’s skin. This causes server pain, so that he can do nothing but writhe in pain for 1d4 rounds. Salt golems can dehydrate one opponent once every 5 rounds by wrapped their arms around the target for 1 round. The attack requires an attack roll and if the golem hits by 2 or more than the number needed the salt of the golem burns any skin it touches for 6d6 points of damage. Such attacks cause the golem 2d points of damage from the moisture absorbed. Salt golems are immune to all electrical, cold-based, and fire-based attacks. When struck by magical fire, the golem heals 1 point of damage for each die of damage the spell should have caused. Water based attacks cause double damage. Create water causes them 1d10 points of damage, and rock to mud causes 3d10 points
    In the center of the room, resting on a 4’ pillar is the decanter. The pillar is trapped. If the decanter is lifted, a 20’ squared section of the floor becomes insubstantial, dropping the party to the floor of the tower 50’ below. This trap can be detected and defused normally. Lifting the decanter also sets off an alarm spell that sounds at the nearby gate house. The guards will quickly seal the gate, and rush to the tower to investigate. Scattered along the perimeter of the room are the following: an iron flask with a trapped efreeti inside; 200sp in a chest; 40 gp in a money pouch; a psionic ring with spirit sense MTHAC0 14, PSP 45, the ring will activate if an undead spirit enters the area; and a sword. The sword: obsidian long sword +2 (-2, -1), is intelligent and its alignment is NE. It will not want to work for any non-good wielder. It will not speak until a powerful evil character appears. Then it will ask to be given to that person to be wielded, and if refused will attempt to dominate its wielder.
    H. Escape from Urik
    The party can easily escapes Urik through the alliance’s magical gate. Unless they have made preparations to travel, the journey to Yaramuka may be dangerous.


Part Four: Back to Yaramuka and The Ceremony
The alarm spell triggered when the decanter is lifted alerts Hamanu to the fact that it has been moved. Hamanu leaves his army and teleports back to Urik. There when he learns what has transpired, he orders mounted patrols to search the desert between Urik and Yaramuka. Hamanu then returns to his army and orders his crodlu cavalry to follow him to Yaramuka, leaving the remainder of the army to fight the elf tribe.
A. To Yaramuka

  1. Patrol While traveling to Yaramuka, they are spotted by Hamanu’s scouts. A crodlu-mounted patrol of seven 5th level fighters and one 8th level templar attacks the party.
    Seven 5th level fighters THAC0 15; Dmg weapon+2; AC 7; hp 40; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 7; Str 18, Dex 15, Con 15. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, and obsidian headed light lance (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    8th level templar THAC0 16; Dmg weapon+1; AC 7; hp 51; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 6; Str 16, Dex 15, Wis 16; Spells: 1st: 5, 2nd: 5, 3rd: 2, 4th: 1. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, and obsidian headed light lance (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    Eight crodlu THAC0 15; Dmg 1d4/1d4/1d8/1d6/1d6; AC 4; HD 4+4; hp 25; MV 24; SA grapple; SD nil; MR nil; SZ L; AL N; ML 11; MAC 6. Special abilities: If both forearms hit the crodlu has grappled its opponent, and the bite automatically hits for double damage.
  2. Cult meeting place
    It takes the characters a day and a half to reach the meeting area. The party reach the meeting area to finding the remains of three of the cult members. There is no sign of the others. They were killed by a behir which attacks the party while they investigate the area.
    Behir THAC0 9; Dmg 2d4/1d4+1 or 2d4/ 6 x 1d6; AC 4; HD 12; hp 60; MV 15; SA lightning bolt; SD immune to electricity, poison; MR nil; SZ G; AL NE; ML 15; MAC 4. Special abilities: A behir can breath a lightning bolt 20’ long causing 24 points of damage. The behir can do this once every 10 rounds. On a natural attack roll of 20, the behir swallows man-size prey whole. Any creature swallowed loses 1/6 of their hit points per round.
    If the party chooses not to head for the ruins of Yaramuka alone, they are attacked by another patrol from Urik similar to the one above.
    B. Entering Yaramuka alone.
    It should be close to sunset when the party reaches the ruins. As they search for the cult, they pass the ruined tower which is the lair for an undead monster. The beast resembles the skeleton remains of a giant lizard-type monster.
    Undead monster THAC0 7; Dmg 1d8/1d8/3d8; AC 6; HD 12; hp 60; MV 9; SA nil; SD see below; MR nil; SZ H; AL N; ML 14; MAC 3. Special abilities: Anyone bitten by the monster must save versus death magic or lose the same number of PSP as they took in damage. Immune to cold, poison, paralyzation, and death magic. Suffers half damage from edged weapons. The creature is bound to the ruins and cannot leave them.
    The sounds of the battle draw the attention of scouts from the cult. After battle the cult members spot the characters and escort them to the cult’s compound.
    C. Prepare for ceremony.
    Arriving at the compound, Murduk greets the party and asks about their mission. Once he is given the decanter his eyes widen and he gazes, almost hypnotized, at it. After a few minutes of silence, he turns to his apprentice and gives orders to prepare for the awakening ceremony. He hurriedly thanks the characters and tells them they are welcome to stay for the ceremony, however they must remain outside the building. Murduk will leave the party there and head into the building with the doors closing behind him. If the party tries to enter the building, the cult members will stop them. All of the cult’s warriors are gathered outside the building. Only four members are allowed inside for the ceremony. If the party asks one of the cult members what the ceremony is intended to do, they will be told the truth. The ceremony is to awaken Queen Sielba and return her to life. Just as the party learns this, a warning shout is heard. The cult’s scouts report that mounted men have entered Yaramuka. Hamanu has arrived with his cavalry and is heading for the compound. The party and the cult members have five rounds to prepare before Hamanu and the soldiers appear. Hamanu spends several rounds in council with his officers making plans for an assault. During this time, the cult members stare amazed at the gathered urikite soldiers, but do nothing to prepare to defend the assault. If the characters try to take charge, the cult members do what they say within reason (They will not abandon or enter the palace). The assault comes three turns later. Hamanu has the following soldiers: One hundred 3rd level fighters, ten 5th level fighters (Officers), one 9th level fighter (General), seven 5th level templars, and two 9th level templars. All are mounted on crodlus. Half are archers, and half are lancers.
    The order of attack
  3. Hamanu orders his archer cavalry to charge the compound. The archers stop 50 yards from the walls and fire at the defenders. After two rounds they retreat.
  4. Five rounds later half of the lancers charge the wall’s gate and try to clear it of defenders, scale it, and open it. This charge will be accompanied by another attack by the archers to keep defenders along the wall pined down. Any organized defense of the gate should prevent the attackers from gaining entrance, and they retreat after four rounds.
  5. One turn later they attack again. This time Hamanu uses a meteor swarm to destroy the gate and sends 60 archers and 40 lancers to secure the gate. The rest of the attackers attack the defenders along the wall.
    Hamanu in combat
    If one of the characters attacks Hamanu, he will ignore the first attack. If the character successfully attacks him a second time, he will cast a spell, such as cone of cold, to seriously wound the character. If the characters persist in attacking Hamanu he will concentrate on them. Otherwise, during the battle Hamanu concentrates his attacks on one of the giants. It takes him three rounds to dispatch one of the giants. He then attacks, Kassit, taking two rounds to kill the cult’s sub leader. On the next round he will wound the other giant with a spell.
    By the time Hamanu has wounded the second giant, his soldiers will have breached the doors to the cult’s building. Three of the cult members inside will meet the attackers just inside of the door. Hamanu joins his soldiers and leads them in a charge into the building. At least ten Urik soldiers will guard the entrance to prevent any cult reinforcements, including the characters, from getting in. Any remaining cult members will be to flee this round.
    One hundred 3rd level fighters THAC0 18; Dmg weapon+1; AC 7; hp 17; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 8; Str 16, Dex 15, Con 15. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, (50%) obsidian-headed light lances (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, or (50%) short bows and 24 obsidian arrows (-2. -1) 1d6/ 1d6.
    Ten 5th level fighters THAC0 15; Dmg weapon+2; AC 6; hp 40; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 15; MAC 8; Str 18, Dex 16, Con 15. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian long sword (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, (50%) obsidian-headed light lances (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, or (50%) short bows and 24 obsidian arrows (-2. -1) 1d6/ 1d6.
    One 9th level fighter THAC0 10; Dmg weapon+4; AC 7; hp 81; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 15; MAC 7; Str 20, Dex 15, Con 16. Equipment: hide armor, obsidian long sword+2 (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d12.
    Seven 5th level templars THAC0 18; Dmg weapon+1; AC 8; hp 25; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 7; Str 17, Wis 15, Spells: 1st: 5, 2nd: 3. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian mace (-2, -1) 1d6+1/ 1d6, obsidian headed lance (-2, -1) 1d6/ 1d8, short bow, and 24 obsidian arrows (-2, -1) 1d8/ 1d8.
    Two 9th level templars THAC0 15; Dmg weapon+1; AC 7; hp 72; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 15; MAC 6; Str 17, Dex 15, Con 15, Wis 17; Spells 1st: 5, 2nd: 5, 3rd: 4, 4th: 1. Equipment: leather armor, obsidian maces +1 (-2, -1) 1d6+1/ 1d6.
    The cult’s defenders includes:
    Kassit, subleader, 7th level mage THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 8; hp 19; MV 12; SA spells; SD spells; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 14; MAC 3; Equipment: bone dagger (-1, -1) 1d4/ 1d3. Spells: 1st: 4, 2nd: 3, 3rd: 2, 4th: 1.
    Twelve 6th level fighters THAC0 14; Dmg weapon+1; AC 4; hp 47; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL LE; ML 14; MAC 6; Str 17, Dex 15, Equipment: bone long swords (-1, -1) 1d8/ 1d12, mekillot hide armor, leather shield.
    Thirty 3rd level fighters THAC0 18; Dmg weapon; AC 6; hp 20; MV 12; SA nil; SD nil; MR nil; SZ M; AL NE; ML 13; MAC 7. Equipment: hide armor, bone spears (-1, -1) 1d6/ 1d8.
    Two plains giants THAC0 5; Dmg 2d6+13; AC 5; HD 16; hp 80; MV 15; SA hurl rocks for 2d10; SD resistant to psionics; MR nil; SZ H; AL CG; ML 12; MAC 2. Special abilities: When attacked with psionics the giant can save versus spells to totally negate the effect.
    Unless the party organizes a defense, the cult members are gathered in the courtyard in front of the palace entrance. Murduk, the cult’s leader, will not appear in the combat, as he concentrates on the ceremony. The ceremony will be completed by the fifth round of the final assault.


Part Five: The Battle’s Outcome
Much can happen during the final combat. If the party tries to defend the palace they will probably be overrun by the urikites. By the DM’s choice the soldiers could try to capture the party rather than kill them. In this case the party is dragged back to Urik as prisoners of war. Without help, it will take a brilliant plan for the party to escape, otherwise they are condemned to the obsidian quarries. It the characters attack the cult members to gain entrance to the ceremony all of the cult members gather to stop them. During the battle, Hamanu will arrive and, seeing the distraction caused by the characters, will attack immediately. Even if the party tries to help Hamanu in this battle, he will not forget their past actions and his soldiers will attack them as well as the cult members. If the party tries to flee, when they do so will play a part in how successful the attempt will be. If they flee during the final assault, the urikites will let them go as the urikites want to stop the ceremony. If the party tries to flee before the final battle, a patrol of ten soldiers lead by a templar will be sent after them. The DM can decide the success of the ceremony, based on whether or not he wants Sielba in his campaign. The ceremony could not work at all, and Necho’s vision was just a dream. It could be successful and Sielba was revived, only to have Hamanu enter the chamber and attack her and kill her in her weakened condition. Or the ceremony could be successful, and when Hamanu enters Murduk teleports away with the semiconscious Sielba. If Sielba does escape, Hamanu will be furious. He will order his templars to take as many of the remaining cult members prisoner. He hopes to interrogate them to learn where Murduk will have taken Sielba for her to recuperate. Trackers will be sent after the characters, and unless the party covers their tracks well, where every they go soldiers and templars from Urik will constantly show up looking for the party. If the queen does survive, she will have learned of the characters’ actions in bring her back. It will take her many months, maybe years, for her to recuperate and to regain all of her powers. Once she has, she will reward the party, based on what the DM’s chooses. Possible rewards are: enchanting a character’s weapon to +2; a miscellaneous magical object, scroll, or fruit potion; or Sielba could grant a character limited spell-casting ability: She would grant the character the ability to cast one priest spell per day, as a templar.
Appendix A - Yaramuka Ruins
Random encounter tables:
roll 1d10
1-2 1d20+10 Silt runners
3-4 Raiding tribe with 2d10 members
5-6 2d6 Gith
7-8 1 scorpion (50% giant, 25% gold, 25% barbed)
9-10 1d10 zombies (50%) or skeletons (50%)
Below are other powerful residence of the Yaramuka ruins who do not appear in this adventure.

  1. Krags
    There are three krags of three different elements (Fire, Earth, Water). A fourth krag of air was killed some 30 years ago by the others. The krags are: Riva of Fire, Ryalus of Earth, and Kilfrey of Water. The three krags are constantly at war with each other. Ryalus has more power than the other two because his rival has already been destroyed. Riva and Kilfrey fight each other out of hatred while Ryalus fights them both to prove elemental dominance. The characters could be drawn in by one of the krags to help its side. Or the party could walk into a battle between two of the krags, both of which mistake the party for reinforcements for the other side. Each krag has a number of kraglings as listed below:
    Riva (Fire) has 3 greater kraglings and 10 lesser.
    Ryalus (Earth) has 6 greater kraglings and 7 lesser.
    Kilfrey (Water) has 2 greater kraglings and 12 lesser.
  2. Kaisharga. A small group of five powerful Kaishargas forms a lose alliance. All of the kaishargas were created by Kaezar, a NE 19th level defiler. Kaezar is a former servant of the Dragon, who fled the city of Ura Draxa over five centuries ago. He settled in Yaramuka one hundred and fifty years ago. He created the other kaishargas to protect him incase his former master ever found him. Kaezar does not know the Dragon is dead, and would not believe anyone without strong proof to back up their claims. Kaezar’s other servants include a thinking zombie 4th level thief, who he created from an adventurer who came to the ruins two years ago looking for riches, and a charmed desert giant. The desert giant does not live in the ruins, but in the silt sea, where he is the first lookout for signs of the Dragon heading for Yaramuka. He has a magical medallion to contact Kaezar to report any sightings of the Borys. Kaezar came to the ruins of Yaramuka seeking a sanctuary from the Dragon. He stayed to search for the treasure he believed buried in the ruins. Over the years, he has found very little treasure, but he has learned of a planar gate hidden somewhere in the ruins (for more on the gate see 4. Baatezu). Kaezar desires to find the gate and use it to escape to another world where the Dragon will never find him. One of the kaisharga is Mizer, CE 15th level fighter. Mizer leads a tribe of desert bandits who conduct raids on caravans traveling the road from Raam to Urik. Lately the pickings have been very slim and whispers of dissent have been heard. The fear of Mizer’s undead nature is the only thing that has stopped anyone from challenging him for head of the tribe. The tribe’s raids provide Kaezar with spell components and other supplies, and also can serve as his army if he is ever threatened. Another kaisharga fighter, Thidan, a LE 16th level fighter, serves as Kaezar’s constant bodyguard. He has two thinking zombies to help him, both gladiators of levels 6th and 5th. Thidan lives for combat and longs to be at the head of a conquering army. He contemplates leaving Kaezar’s service, but Kaezar is more than his master, he is his creator. He does not know how to reconcile his inner desire with his strong sense of duty to his creator. Thidan subconsciously longs for Kaezar to die so he could have his freedom without guilt over leaving Kaezar behind. This may cause Thidan to hesitate a moment before going to Kaezar’s defense when Kaezar is attack. Grinulus is a kaisharga NE thief of 13th level. He assists Kaezar in his search of the ruins, looking for the other planar gate. Grinulus’s main emotion is greed, however, he lives in fear of Kaezar, and cannot contemplate betraying him. The only thing that keeps him going is the dream of the riches he believes he will uncover hidden in the ruins. The last kaisharga is a NE 17th level psionicist, named Ixaculo. Kaezar originally created Ixaculo to help develop his own psionic power. Quickly, Kaezar learned he had not aptitude for psionics, and let Ixaculo go his own way, as long as he would come to Kaezar’s defense if ever needed. Now Ixaculo has grown almost as powerful as Kaezar, and the two have an uneasy alliance while both try to avoid each other. Ixaculo has one servant, a 5th level thinking zombie fire cleric.
  3. T’liz Vicot, a T’liz 20th defiler, lives in the ruins and is constantly trying to drive off the kaisharga, Kaezar, and anyone else of power who enters the ruins. Vicot believes the secrets of the dragon queen are hidden in the ruins and seeks to find them. He does not know that all powerful or useful magic was taken by Hamanu and his army when they sacked the city. Vicot is also paranoid, and believes any powerful spellcaster is trying to wrestle the magical secrets of Yaramuka from him. If the party contains a powerful spellcaster, Vicot will take notice, and will attack immediately. If he comes across a party without a powerful spellcaster, he may try to charm them and send them after Kaezer or another spellcaster currently in the ruins. Vicot does maintain a lair deep underground, which is accessible only through magic. He is currently searching the southern part of the city, and will not appear in the adventure.
  4. Baatezu Not all of the denizens of the ruins are native to Athas. A small group of fiends lairs in the city. Lead by a pit fiend, the group contains two cornugon, six abishai, ten sprinagons, and eight barbazu. The fiends are on Athas to conduct experiments in psionics. They have learned that natives of Athas have increased psionics as compared to natives of other planes. They try to maintain a low profile, rarely leaving the ruins. They only do so to kidnap a medium to high level psionicist and try to force the victim to teach new psionics to them. They lair in a partially restored large palace (a former noble’s mansion) on the west side off the city. They send out patrols in a half mile radius to deter anyone from approaching the manor too closely. The gate that brought the baatezu to Athas is hidden in the ruins of Yaramuka. It had existed for centuries before Sielba’s downfall. However, the gate is uncontrollable. Every night it opens a portal to another plane on a schedule which changes each year based on the Athasian King’s Calendar. The gate opened to Baator, five years ago, and the fiends will not be able to return for seventy-two years. Note: the gate is not near the mansion used by the Baatezu, though Kaezar, the kaisharga defiler, believes it is.


There is an additional notoriety system that existed as an appendix. I haven’t read through that. As earlier stated this was pulled from the web many moons ago. It is not my work, nor have I edited it. There were some maps to go along with it. I might be able to find those.

(Stuart Lynch) #13

Interesting. Cheers for posting this Phil! I wonder if the notoriety system you mentioned was based on the one in the Greyhawk adventure WGR6 - City of Skulls. That had the party infiltrating Iuz’s capital and trying to avoid getting splatted by his high level minions.


Yes the notoriety system is the same one from City of Skulls.

I will see if I have my copy of the adventure and try to have it posted as an article on


I do not remember creating maps to go with the adventure.


It must have been another adventure I got from the same repository of old stuff.