Dark Dawn

Nibenay - Choosing sides
Epic Tier - Session 9

With his sword drawn, Dust made the first attack against Agis of Asticles. An attack the promptly ended the party’s alliance with Tithian and would greatly impact the lives of all Athasians for centuries to come. The battle for short, despite members of the Angelic Host seemingly appearing out of thin air. Upon piercing Agis through the back and straight through his heart, Agis disappeared with a pop. Tiran Arslan was able to quickly discern that Agis had teleported a short distance away. The last remaining angel started to fly into the jungle, and the party followed assuming it would lead them to Agis. But the angel stopped just before the jungle line, choosing to fight. Just before it fell, a presence that can be assumed to be Tithian entered Dust’s mind and took immediate control. While he was unable to do any damage to his comrades, he did partially destroy their carpet, rendering it useless. This only lasted for about 10 seconds before the warding magic in the Sword of Tyr took effect, putting Dust back in control of his body and mind.
The group then went into the jungle to investigate Agis’ whereabouts and found a patch of scorched earth. But this wasn’t due to Agis’ appearance, but Defiling magic.
A quick inspection of the treehouse where Agis had been holed up revealed several notes on the ongoings of Nibenay and several possible points of interest within the city.
With their carpet ruined, the party continued on foot towards Nibenay. Within an hour, they were already passing through the Templar-controlled logging camps and another hour had them at the western city gates.
They wasted no time in telling the guards who they were, though things went slightly better than in Gulg. The party headed towards the Naggaramakam, the royal palace of Sorcerer-King Nibenay. They came upon a funeral procession marching down the King’s Road, led by Templar-Wives and the King’s Guard. It seemed to be in mourning of one of the Templar-Wives who fell at Tyr. One of the Templar-Wives broke off from the procession to speak to the group. She immediately recognised who they were and offered to escort them to the Naggaramakam as there were certain elements in Nibenay who would rather see their heads on pikes. She introduced herself as Gilesel, a Wife of the Temple of Thought.
Without delay she took them to the Sorcerer-King. While he didn’t seem pleased to see them, he was still willing to have an audience. High-Consort Bamandji seemed openly hostile while the other present High Consorts seemed passive to the party’s presence. Nibenay, while mightily displeased, gave the group a chance to redeem themselves. In return, he would be open with them as they should be with him. He told them to retrieve the Eye of Abalach-Re. Not the literal eye of Sorcerer-Queen Abalach-Re, but a giant gem infused with dark, defiling magics. While the “eye” was in a lost temple somewhere in the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes, they should be able to find information on the temple’s location in Raam.
Before the party left, Nibenay rolled them the head of Agis. Apparantly his Templars had been watching Agis for a while, the party giving them the opprtunity to finish Agis off. This would also explain Nibenay’s surprisingly cool attitude towards the party. Nibenay also requested the party attend the rest of the funerals, a single day for each Templar-Wive that had fallen in Tyr, Dust choosing to stand vigil for this time. It was only after this time that Gilesel took them to High-Consort Seimhouk, the Templar-Wife in charge of the Temple of Mind. Seimhouk didn’t share Bamandji’s hostility and if anything, offered them a form of patronage. Substituting her own funds where necessary, she offered to repair their carpet in a couple of days. In exchange, she wanted the party, while visiting Raam, to kill the Sorcerer-Queen and return with her brain and heart. While Seimhouk’s intentions were unclear, everyone agreed that this was not against Nibenay’s wishes.

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Gulg - Juggling the Judaga of the Dageda
Epic Tier - Session 8

As partially narrated by Dust

After hosting a successful dinner party, the group tried to track down Gavan Sul in Altaruk, but had little success. Using the scrying skills of Gren Lidel, they were able to discern that Gavan Sul either was not on this plane, or that he had one of the Swords of Tyr with him. After talking with various guards, they were able to discern that Gavan, after being kicked out of the city, had left through the northern gate, which leads back to Tyr and the cities of the north. Before leaving, the party shouted a years supply of beverages for Thri’ir (Three Ear) the beggar king because he seemed like a swell guy who also has a high chance of being involved with Gavan Sul if he returns.

Not wanting to return to Tyr without at least one Sorcerer-King head, the party set off for Nibenay to have a discussion with Agis of Asticles… but remembering a severe hate of trees and people who built cities around them, the party stopped by Gulg.

They set down the carpet in the forest, leaving it guarded by a fiercesome duo of the slowly dying Thri-Kreen and Tiran Arslan and made their way to the gates. The Judaga guards (wearing leopard pelts) noted the Tyran insignia on Dust’s fine cape and promptly denied entry stating that all trade is banned with Tyr.

After attempting to reason with them, Dust decided to try another tactic which the group has often used to success labelled simply “brute force”. The key to this tactic was the numbers advantage which the group had, 3 to 2. With a quick outlay of strength the small group tore apart one of the Judaga resulting in the other blowing his horn … summoning two more guards. Still it was 3 to 3 and they were confident, but as the fight drew on more horns blared… and more enemies came… and these were no mere fodder soldiers. More of the elite Judaga approached, in addition to the shamanistic, Gulgan Templars, Nganga

Darus decided to flee, which is his right as a non-slave. The small yellow puddle he left behind clearly visible as he utilised a teleport/sprint combintation. Dust tactically retreated, slowly and carefully, remembering to try to be wary in the absence of Tiran. For Turk Garrant it was another matter altogether, advancing with stealth and invisibility right through the huge contingent of enemy elite soldiers and around to take a look at the impenetrable wall of brambles known as the Mopti Wall – then returning to his comrades.

Dust bade him to return past the enemies and to speak with their contact here, Lireal, who was the primary reason for there entry to the city, Turk realized his error in not meeting up with her in the first place and proceeded to re-stealth and re-invis past the now wary sentries into the outsiders tavern to meet up with Lireal. She divulged a lot of useful information (at least that’s what Turk indicated) however he only said that “she has a plan but we probably should wait for the fuss to die down” and prompted us to leave the city.

We made the best of the situation using our proximity to gather intel from the city of Nibenay, and met up with Agis of Asticles. He told a story of an emotionally wounded and quite angry Nibenay whose anger was felt by all in the area when his Templar-Wives were slain at Tyr…. The beheading of Kahlia most of all… Dust cocked his head as Agis retold the story with some glee audible in his voice and mouthed simply, “An eye for an eye.” Dust drew his sword.

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Altaruk - Feast of the Air Drakes
Epic Tier - Session 7

The party set out from Grak’s Pool towards Altaruk, towards Gavan Sul’s possible destination and towards a little potential R&R. While the Magic Carpet affords certain luxury while travelling, such as avoiding ground dwellers, it can also attract denizens of the air. As the party reached the mountain pass leading to Altaruk, they were spotted by a hunting Air Drake. Rather than fight a dangerous battle upon the carpet, the party decided to take refuge in a small indent in the cliff face approximately 300 feet up. Unfortunately the drake was able to sniff them out, attacking the party in their hidey hole. What took place was a fierce, yet precarious battle, especially once younger air drakes joined the fray. Despite the heights, and drakish determination, the party were able to avoid a dismal demise and defeat the flock.
Recovering eyes, hides, teeth, claws and two whole corpses, the party continued their journey onto Altaruk. Upon reaching the gates with their cargo in tow, a Goliath guard named Jema agreed to mind the Drake corpses (for a small fee), while the party sought out Governer Arisphistaneles. Along with Aris, they planned a social dinner with some of the more powerful figures in Altaruk, along with the members of the Veiled Alliance. Aris directed them onto Hequan, a Tiefling chef in charge of a prominent Altaruk restaurant called Hell’s Kitchen. With Hequan, they were able to broke a location and cook for the dinner.
Asides from the dinner hosts and Aris, the attendees were the local heads of House Wavir, House Tomblador and House Rees, Gavir, Dair and Furor respectively. Also there was Aram, the Mul in charge of the Sandy Sun Inn and members of the Veiled Alliance: Gren Lidel, head of the Independent Merchant’s Guild, Ilisal Laath a private contractor (A.K.A. brothel madame), Baror, a goliath at the head of the local guard and the Dwarf Thri’ir (Three Ear) also known as the Beggar King.
The party were able garner influence amongst these figures and even convince Aris to not allow the Altaruk cell of the Veiled Alliance ally with God-King Tithian (for now). They learnt that Gren had personally kicked Gavan Sul out of Altaruk. Most of the discussion centered around current events in the Tyr Region and the dinner party finished on a high, even Dair had begrudingly enjoyed it.

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Walis - The gold must flow...
Epic Tier - Session 6

Pulling down the Balican flags, the party retook Walis… again. The future of House Aureus had been crushed between the great hammers of fate, and the lucrative gold mine was left without an administrator.
The first steps of the party was to establish a new overseer, someone who would keep the gold flowing. All the slave drivers had been killed along with the Balican forces. So, after a flat out refusal by the inn keeper of the Yellow House, Tiran decided to push towards a Tyr model. The party freed the slaves and gave them all the option of leaving. All but three stayed. Then they ran all the slaves through a series of logic and numeracy tests and pulled out two of the more intelligent slaves (most likely not born into slavery), Frooth and Seiche-Urshal. These two were appointed as administrators to mine and were in charge of coordinating the mining efforts and selling the gold.
Satisfied that the mine was being left in capable hands, and that Balican forces were out of the region, the party decided to return to Grak’s Pool to jump back on the trail of Gavan Sul, but before helping themselves to about 400 pounds of gold, as was there right as Tyr’s most renowned ambassadors. They flew straight to Grak’s Pool to talk to the merchants still gathered there. The party were surprised to find that the site of the massacre was still widely used by travellers, perhaps taking advantage of the now-free water.
Tiran took this opportunity to take a bath, while Ichtaca and Turk investigated Gavan’s whereabouts. They discovered he had left for the north, for Altaruk. While this was happening, Tiran was attacked by a mysterious, black-clad, lone assassin. Despite being unarmored and unarmed, Tiran was able to fend off the assassin and stun him. But before they could gain any useful information, the man bit his own tongue off, drowning in his own blood.
Disturbed by this unexpected and unusually unidentifiable attack, the party decided to move on from Grak’s Pool, no longer a safe haven

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Grak's Pool - Act of War
Epic Tier - Session 5

After causing enough collateral damage to bankrupt a decent-sized Merchant House, the party made all haste towards Grak’s Pool, soon ditching their military cutter and travelling the rest of the way via carpet. The reached Grak’s Pool in just under a week, hoping to cut off the Praetor force. Unfortunately, the Praetors were well ahead of them by several weeks from the onset and instead, they arrive at a the site of a massacre. All of Grak’s mercenaries had been killed in battle and even a couple of merchants who had gotten in the way. Swinging from the stone gateway was Grak himself, alongside Caliph Arslan. This was a clear message from Andropinis to Tithian, “Keep away from my stuff. Just because the dead were everywhere doesn’t mean the party were alone. Merchants were still resting in the small caravanserai and using it as a stopping point. There were also two Praetors waiting, presumably guarding the ships. With vengeance in their hearts, the party quickly slew the Praetors.
”/characters/turk" class=“wiki-content-link”>Turk Garrant used his remaining oil to burn all of the Balican ships docked down at the jetty while the rest of the party buried Grak and Caliph. Retaking Walis had become more than a political issue, it was now a matter of pride, principles and revenge.
The party continued onto Walis. There were no guards at the canyon’s entrance but they had presumably gathered at the Yellow House, the inn and saloon located at the base of the spire. Their carpet wouldn’t be able to fly up high enough from the canyon floor so they resorted to the next best thing. Using his incredible ability to jump, Ichtaca was able to reach the top and lower ropes for the rest. While they climbed, Ichtaca disabled the winch, which normally allowed the bucket to be raised or lowered, and sent the slaves scampering.
When everyone reached the top, they were able to survey the situation. Things looked grim. It wasn’t just Praetors at the top, but also Balican soldiers including a handful Minotaur Reavers, one of the trump cards of the Balican military.
But the party did not waiver, throwing themselves into battle with ferocity, slaying the Balican forces with precision and efficiency. It wasn’t long before everyone else was dead (except the slaves). Instinctively knowing the rest of the Praetors were in the House Aureus headquarters. The party tried to convince them to come out and surrender. The chances of that were nil, so as a skilled negotiator, Dust entered the building where they had killed their first Praetors several months ago. Cydle Aureus was tied to a chair, bloodied and beaten, surrounded by two minotaurs with great hammers near his head. The Praetor on the second floor balcony above have the party an ultimatum, leave or the merchant dies. Taking a risk, Dust charged the nearest minotaur but was too slow. The minotaurs crushed Cydle’s head between the hammers like a Regis Fruit.
The rest of the party wasted no time in entering the house and engaging the remaining forces, slaying them and ending Balic’s brief retaking of Walis.

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Balic - Flee!
Epic Tier - Session 4

Not the first time, the party were forced to flee a city in high alert to their presence. Dust had rescued the party from their failed assassination attempt and were now flying high above Balic to flee over the walls. If they had listened to Sadira earlier, they would have known that there a magical barrier surrounding the walls, preventing their escape.
A new tactic was needed. The party regrouped at the The Olive Tree to grab their belongings and formulate a new plan. They decided to investigate the Great Gate as it’s the only gate into and out of Balic. With Ichtaca and Turk Garrant scouting along rooftops and Dust, Tiran Arslan and Darus, moving through the streets, they were able to avoid Praetor patrols and reach the gate unseen. As to be expected, the gates had been closed with a large troop led by several Praetors guarding the exit.
The only other option, to Turk’s glee, was to sail out of the harbor. Moving through the streets in the same way, the reached The Furled Sail, a sailor’s bar in the Harbor District. Even though the city was on high alert, patrols through the street and soldiers pouring out of The Arsenal, sandy old silt dogs were still bent on drinking away their earnings. Tiran and Dust questioned some of the patrons, to see if they know any ways out of the city. The information they unearthed was far more insidious. Many of the sailors hadn’t heard the news of the assassination attempt, but instead assumed it had something to do with the small troop of Praetors Andropinis sent to Walis several weeks ago to retake the gold mine. They had traveled up the Estuary, the best and quickest way out of Balic. This gave the party and idea.
So the party devised a cunning plan. Turk would go down to the merchant docks and using his many gallons of oil, would create a fiery distraction. He would then use his unnatural abilities to run across the silt harbor to commandeer one of the military cutters docked at the Arsenal. Meanwhile, Dust and Darus would sneak up the Arsenal, scale the walls and take out any lookouts who weren’t patrolling the streets. Waiting at the Furled Sail, Ichtaca and Tiran would move towards the Arsenal once the merchant ships were on fire and use their own psionic abilities to balance across the silt to reach the ship Turk had chosen.
The plan was going smoothly, until Dust and Darus failed to take out the sentries. Bells sounded in the Arsenal, alerting half the city to the presence of enemies. Dust and Darus legged it to the ship already occupied by the other three. They both made leaping jumps onto the already-moving ship and headed towards the blockade being formed by the newly-alerted ships.
Between Turk’s sailing abilities and the rest of the party’s keen eye to avoid mortar fire, the party were able break the blockage and with a cry of triumph, set sail for Grak’s Pool, their first stop on the way to rescuing Walis.

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Balic - More than you can chew
Epic Tier - Session 3

The party flew to meet their first contact, Sadira. The half-elf, ex-slave was one of the original Deposers of Kalak and had represented the ex-slaves of Tyr before Tithian went through the portal. She was difficult to recognise as despite being middle-aged, she looked like she was in the prime of her youth. Her features had changed slightly since they had last seen her.
She had little information to give on Balic and its Sorcerer-King, Andropinis. He imposes his absolute rule through a Senate of Praetors that are elected by the people (provided you aren’t a slave woman or non-citizen). The election process is dubious in nature as it’s mostly nobles, the rich and powerful that are eventually elected. And even then, Andropinis is most likely behind the scenes hand-picking his favorites (which no-one is yet to prove… or accuse of him). Due to recent unrest in the region, Andropinis was currently conducting an inquisition of sorts in his city, seeking out any sources of magic to try and root out the Veiled Alliance. Sadira warned their magic items might draw unwarranted attention. She also mentioned Andropinis’ two advisors, Bernike and Batheus, powerful defilers in their own right.
The party rolled up their carpet, and set off by foot toward Balic’s westernmost gate. Entry to the city was easily bought and the party immediately found an inn to shack in. They then spent a month in a Balic to gain information and root out weaknesses of Andropinis. Unfortunately, their investigating involved going to the Criterion and drinking broy (between gambling and drinking, they broke about even). All they managed to find out was that Andropinis doesn’t have many weaknesses. He is incredibly cautious and will not rise to a challenge when provoked. The people believe he is their connection between them and their ancestors, communicating with the spirits and the land itself. The party also discovered that the population of Balic is about 40% slaves and that Balic was a city of guilds. Not just merchant houses, but in Balic there were guilds for just about every form of business where there was more than one of.
The best course of action appeared to be to seek out the Veiled Alliance, likely allies and supporters in their plight to defeat the Sorcerer-King. First the party sought out the headquarters of House Wavir, hoping to use it’s connection to Tyr to garner some assistance. Unfortuantely, the administrator of the Balican house, Makir, couldn’t help as city politics is bad for business.
The party’s search for the Veiled Alliance eventually led them to the Thespian House and to a young man named Ladeus. Tiran was able to convince Ladeus to lead them to the Veiled Alliance. The party were led to the Villa Precinct, to the house of Zaetheus Nauripides. Zaetheus, while the owner of the house was not the leader of the Balican cell, that title belonged to Ramphion. He informed them that while they couldn’t offer weapons, they could offer a way in. Gendra Zaldanis was a praetor who had turned coat was now supplying the Veiled Alliance with information via a magical link.
Ignoring this information, the party decided to scale the cliffs to breach the Megalaneon and assassinate Andropinis the ol’ fashion way.
Getting to the top was easy enough and the party were fortunate enough to come out behind the Temple of Heroes, hidden from view from the rest of the Megalaneon. There were still a few of the elite moving above in the torchlight, so the party started to sneak towards The White Palace, Andropinis’ place of residence. Tiran, not known for sneaking ability, decided he would use the path and bullshit his way to their destination. Unfortunately, Tiran’s noble regalia, silver tongue and dashing good looks were not enough, and several nobles called High Praetor Aditus and so the battle begun.
Fighting off praetors, Ichtaca used his super Thri-Kreen speed to run into the palace and into The Ivory Dungeon with two dozen short swords. Rather than finding an army, Ichtaca found three prisoners only. Ichtaca freed and armed them.
One, a human woman in a ragged preator immediately slit her own throat, bleeding out on the stone floor. Another, an elven introduced himself as Vulgar Rex and promptly ran off, even faster than Ichtaca. The last was Krolgar Ramhammer, who was massive even by Goliath standards. For freeing him, he agreed to fight.
The party fought heroically against the High Praetor and his forces, but their numbers seemed endless. It wasn’t until Darus ran into the Temple of Heroes that they realised the trouble they were in. Andropinis and his two advisers had been there the entire time. Once they joined the fight, the battle was more or less over. Darus was knocked unconscious and Turk was almost killed. Dust managed to swoop in with the carpet at the last moment and save them from a certain death.

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Grak's Pool - Like water through fingers
Epic Tier - Session 2

The party set off from Alataruk to Balic, a journey that would take almost a month on foot, only took about half that by carpet.
They stopped by Grak’s Pool on the way to find Gavun Sul and make sure he came good on the deal they made back in Tyr. Much to the party’s dismay, Grak had kicked Gavun out of Grak’s Pool for being… well Gavun Sul. Despite this, somehow, Grak managed to convince the party to investigate underneath the pools and seek out the source of the mysterious rumblings, animalistic noises and disappearances that had been occurring around the camp. The party felt obliged as Grak’s Pool was technically under Tyr’s protection.
The descent underneath the pools was easy enough so the party came across a steaming, underground lake, a sight in itself in the world of Athas.
The party traveled over what could be considered a footpath that wove through the lake, expecting to find their culprit (soon to be victim) on the other side. Instead they were ambushed by several large Water Drake. The battle was fierce, steel against boiling water. The drake’s illusions caught the party by surprise, but made it easier as the drake was in fact by itself. Slaying the drake, the party took its head to Grak as proof, for which Grak promised and extra stipend sent to Tyr that month.
With a bitter and greedy heart, the party set out once again towards Balic.

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Tyr - The return of a God
Epic Tier - Session 1

Templar-King Tithian, no-longer Templar-King but something more, descended down into the empty space vacated by the fleeing Hamanu.
“It looks like we have some work to do gentlemen.”
All around them, the battle raged on. No longer a battle between the forces of Urik and the united forces of Nibenay and Tyr, but a battle between winged humanoids and everyone house. The host of creatures Tithian brought back with him were killing everyone in sight with their fiery blades, like a short sword through Kank butter.
Tithian requested a meeting back in his study in the Golden Tower where he informed the party of his plan. Tithian travelled to the Decrepit Realm, the Ocean of Dead Beings or as it used to be called, the Astral Sea. The ritural Tithian performed in the Tyr Colosseum around 6 months ago allowed Tithian and his followers to bypass the dangerous and suicidal realm known as The Grey and travel straight to the Astral Sea.
While there, Tithian found a new power source, the power of dead beings called Gods. Somehow, Tithian absorbed this power into himself, turning into some sort of demi-god. This allowed him to channel power into the other Deposers of Kalak as well his Tempalr followers. But it also allowed him to control the host of Angel Leigionnaires that came back through the portal with him.
The Angels would act as the army Tithian needed to conquer all of the Tyr region. But he still needed a a way to easily dispatch of the Sorcerer-Kings. That’s where the party came in. Tithian now required a squad of assassins. He promised that the party would be substantially rewarded for their troubles, not to mentioned immortalised in the history of Athas.
Before Tithian let the party set out on their next endeavor, he admitted the only flaw in was that while he was all-knowing, all-powerful, he was still not all-seeing. Knowledge gained in the Astral Sea led him to know of the existance of Psurlons, more so the existance of the network of psurlons living within each city in the Tyr region.
The party lead Tithian, escroted by Angels, to Sand Street where they confronted Gear. Gear, knowing he’d been betrayed fought to the end with his Warworms and Dustworms. Upon defeating Gear, Tithian physically absorbed Gear into himself, inheriting the Mindworm’s psychic power. Tithian was no more powerful and the party may have missed their chance to stop him while he was still weak.
To aid them in their travels, Tithian returned Dust’s Magic Carpet. With a list of the Sorcerer-Kings, the cities they reside in and the whereabouts of each contact, the party set forth to Balic via The Veiled Alliance in Altaruk, hoping to be pointed in the right direction of one of the Swords of Tyr. Even better, they received the First Sword of Tyr from Arisphistaneles, a catalyst for the other blades. With the catalyst, Tiran’s longsword and Dust’s bastard sword activated as the fourth and seventh respectively.

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Tyr - The Arrogance of Men
Paragon Tier - Session 18

As the Lords of Tyr and the Sorcerer-King Hamanu met out on the sand, the opposing armies crashed together around them. Mekillot against Mekillot, templar against templarmercneary against soldier, kank against inix. Despite this, both armies still gave the true powers a wide berth.
Some of Urik’s soldiers and templars moved in to aid Hamanu, but he refused the help, claiming it was unnecessary. Over the next several minutes a fight took place that minstrels will tell for at least 3 years. The champions and Lords of Tyr, Tithian’s chosen gradually wore Hamanu down in front thousands of soldiers. In a world where Sorcerer-Kings had reigned supreme for thousands of years, for the second time in several seasons, a Sorcerer-King was being defeated by mortals.
Tiran, Turk, Dust and Darus has Hamanu surrounded and down to his knees when there was a loud crack from above Kalack’s Ziggurat. From a hole ripped between the planes, poured a torrrent of gigantic winged men who swooped down and immediately began to lay waste to the armies, regardless of their side.
This distraction was all Hamanu needed to make a hasty retreat, pulling in the souls of his army to disappear before you could even say “defiling magic”.
It was fortunate for Hamanu that he did choose that time to escape, for Templar-King Tithian, or a being resembling him, descended through the disturbed sand using wings that rippled with all the colours of the Tyr market. The power exuding from him was unlike anything Turk or Dust had felt before, an ancient and forgotten power. In a voice that could vibrate mountains, he said, “It looks like we have some work to do gentlemen.”

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