Dark Dawn

Tyr - Kalack's... I mean Nibenay's Outpost
Paragon Tier - Session 16

After repelling the invaders of Anthill Outpost, the party then rode Slither north as far as possible before the landscape became too mountainous even for Slither’s spidery mechanisms.
The next point of attack for the mercenary army was Nibenay’s Outpost, a narrow pass with walls at either side, designed to keep attackers at bay and one of the most tactically-crucial points between Tyr and the iron mines.
The adventurers arrived in the midst of the attack as catapults reigned flaming boulders down on the stone wall. The crazy antics of the adventurers not only made an entrance but also managed to fight off the first wave of attackers, destroying all the catapults in the process.
The next wave of attackers rendered the high wall of Nibenay’s Outpost irrelevant as Cloud Ray pups bearing their riders flew down from the haze.
The party proved their worth as tacticians and warriors as they fought back the flying enemies with only a handful of mercenaries making it over the wall, only to be eliminated by Tyr’s forces.
The party successfully repelled this arm of the invading army, but still at a great loss of their own allies.
Wasting no time, they carried on to Outcrop Outpost, the final outpost on the road to the mines and the sole way of reaching them.

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Tyr - So it Begins...
Paragon Tier - Session 15

The party, two of them petrified, fell down through a chute into Kalak’s vault with all it’s treasures wonders. Or into a vault which had once contained a lot of treasure and wonders but was now mostly empty. The shelves have been emptied of all books, tables cleared and walls deprived of what was probably artworks.

What they did find was a rapier, one of the Swqords of Tyr, an odd maps which shows huges masses of water, an ancient book written in Iokharic, a ritual book, a rune-stone, a small vial, a dozen suits of metal armor and what they came for, a list of locations for the Swords of Tyr. They also found the Heartwood Spear, the same wooden spear which slew Sorcerer-King Kalak.

The small vial contained a potion which was able to cure Dust of his petrification, but there was not enough left for Calder. The next step was for the party to get out of there since there didn’t seem to be any discernible exit. The party found a spot in the center of the room which looked like it once contained a ritual circle, but the circle was missing. In their investigations, Darus touched one of the suits of armor which turned out to be guardians who promptly attacked the party.

After defeating them, the party found the pieces of ritual circle on the insides of the armor. After many hours, they were finally able put the ritual circle together and activate it using the rune stone, revealing the exit which lead back to Tithian’s library.

Once back in the conference room, Templar Ashfield, High-Consort Bamandji, Templar-Wive Khalia and Mashastra seem unaffected by the party’s morning away (felt like more to the adventurers) as they had spent the whole time preparing the defenses. In the party’s absence, Urik’s mercenary army had equally divided into three small armies in an attempt to take out all three outposts at the same time. They had seen no sign of the Halfling Scouts of Urik.

After much discussion, the Lords of Tyr decided they sent Nibenay Templar-Wives to defend the mines along with a small troop of soldiers. The Crimson Legion, along with nearly all of Tyr’s army and Nibenay’s Mekilots, would sweep up along the road towards the mines, taking out all the smaller mercenary forces in the process regardless of the state of the outposts.

The party immediately set out for Anthill Outpost, the first outpost on the way to the mines. They decided to get there ahead of the main army and Slither to help prepare defense and delay until the army arrived.

After several hour’s journey, the party reached the outpost just before the enemy did. They managed to fight off a wave of mercenaries led by a Gith captain with zero casualties (on their side anyway).

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Tyr - The Spite of a Sorcerer-King
Paragon Tier - Session 14

Having defeated the spirits inhabiting the ancient outpost of Kalidnay, the adventurers returned to Walis to let Cydle Tomblador know that the right arm of the mine is now safe for the workers.

Cydle, in return for their services, gave the Lords a proposition. He would renounce his family name, start his own merchant house which he will base operations in Tyr. Tyr will in turn protect Cydle and Walis from the inevitable attack that will come from Balic. Cydle Tomblador became Cydle Aureus of House Aureus.

In high spirits, the party made their way straight back to Tyr via Slither, the impending war on everyone’s mind. They left Templar Lerita in Walis for his ability at long-distance communication. At the outskirts of Tyr, they stopped at the camp of the Crimson Legion and met with it’s current leader, Halfus. With their recently acquired funds, they were able to easily negotiate a two month contract with the entirety of the legion.

From the outskirts, they could also see the barracks set up by Nibenay’s forces, the Nibenay flags flying over Tyr and a dust cloud in the distance caused by Urik’s forces. They parked Slither and moved into the city towards the Golden Tower and their council chambers. They met with Templar Ashfield, Hight-Consort Bamandji, T’Chai, leader of the Bone Titans and the new liaison between Tyr and Nibenay, Templar-Wive Khalia.

The lords started to make plans for the defenses of the Iron Mines of Tyr, as well as renaming Kalak’s Outpost to Nibenay’s Outpost. Ashfield also revealed more information on the Swords of Tyr. In the party’s absence, he discovered that there were three scrolls pertaining to the Swords of Tyr. One, in Ashfield’s possession describes the physical appearance of the swords. One, its whereabouts unknown, describes the abilities of each of the swords. The last scroll holds the best known location of each of the swords and currently lies in a vault deep into the Golden Tower. The vault was protected by wards, traps and spells placed there by Sorcerer-King Kalak himself and Templar-King Tithian was the individual to use it since the Sorcerer-King’s demise.

The party immediately descended into the corridors and chambers that would lead them to this vault. They eventually came to a narrow corridor where one step immediately set off a barrage of harpoons attempting to snag them in the corridor. They got through the corridor slowly as there seemed to be a localised slowing spell, making them feel like there were moving through water. Dodging harpoons left and right they made it through with minor damage and lot of irritation.

Next they came upon a single room with an adamantium portcullis at the other end. The portcullis was surrounded by a spell circle. Ignoring the keyhole, Tiran was able to break open the portcullis to reveal darkness on the other side. The spell circle ignited a fiery tornado several times, nearly killing Turk in the process.

Once they had all stepped through they found themselves in a void-space, endless darkness in every direction and an invisible floor. The group spent hours wandering around, even dropping things through the floor, illuminating a space below them. They didn’t make much progress until Tiran hit Darus over the back of the head and knocked him out, causing Darus to fall through the floor. Everyone eventually fell asleep and descended down into another room.

Magically-lit torches lit the room’s walls and the centre of the room was covered in sand. Turk figured out the hole in the floor in the centre of the sand pit and teleported down. Dust was the first to brave traversing the 20 feet of sand to the hole and almost instantly turned to stone. The others pulled him back and cautiously jumped into the hole. Due to a severe lack of communication, Turk pulled Calder through the sand, petrifying him before he too fell through.

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Walis - Ghost Busters

The brave heroes were exhausted after their battle with the skeletal guardians of the submerged outpost. They knew they still had several levels to traverse before they could says for sure they’d taken care of the undead infestation. Luckily, Ichtaca showed up after having full recovered from the battle with the Nightmare Beasts.

The next level was unreachable by normal means, the stairs having rotted away or been destroyed long ago. Dust, using one of his sandy powers, made his way to the next level and found himself in pitch darkness. Lighting a torch revealed an entire room covered in crystalline spiderwebs. Unfortunately, it also revealed Dust’s existence to the family of spiders living on the second level of the tower. Dust just managed to jump back down through the hole before being overwhelmed by adventurer-eating spiders.

The party managed to defeat the spiders and then move upstairs to defeat the parents, huge White Widow spiders, weavers of the crystal webs. Feeling stronger from their battle, the party felt it was time to move on, despite many of them still being on their last legs.

There was a spiral staircase leading up to the next level, a serious design flaw considering the highest room seemed to be an armory, still fully equipped with Athasian weaponary and armor. In the center, on a pedestal was another Orb of Kalid-Ma, the last one having left Calder’s possession soon after they found it. Also in the room was a lot of Raaigs, most likely the lieutenants who were once in charge of this fortress. When it was apparent the party weren’t going to leave upon request, the Raaigs move to defend their ancient outpost. Using Ichtaca’s ability to hit multiple foes, the party were able to dispatch with most of the Raaigs. Turk grabbed the orb which immediately attracted the attention of the remaining Raaigs, distracting them long enough for the rest of the party to kill the Raaigs and rid the mines of the undead… they assumed…

In the ancient armory, asides from hand-crafted armors, they were able to procure 40 metal Dragon Paws, longswords, spears & Carrikals; 30 Cahulaks; 50 metal Lotulis and Gythka; 20 metal javelin, shortswords and broadswords; and 100 Chatkcha, daggers and Tortise Blades.

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Walis - A Financial Endeavor

Having defeated the Praetors and seized Walis, the remaining guards and overseers threw down their weapons and surrendered, seeing no point in continuing the battle against opponents who would obviously outmatch them.

Just as the last Praetor fled, Calder and Darus arrived, having finished their research in Slither’s library. They pushed through a throng of curious slaves to reach the headquarters of House Tomblador, only to find the rest of their party anxious to find and kill the last Praetor before he could report back to Balic.

While Darus had noticed the fleeing Praetor, he had not known who or what the man was. Tiran and Turk immediately set to tracking down the Balican Templar while Dust, Darus and Calder started to search the Praetorium, home of the Praetors and Tomblador’s manor house, utilising the help of the remaining overseers.

It appeared that the Praetors lived in opulence, hoarding an excess of food, water, women and comfort. Darus managed to find a hidden lever which lead to a study in which Calder was able to identify some official documents that were of high value, each with the seal of Sorcerer-King Andropinis.

Meanwhile, Tiran and Turk were able to track the fleeing Praetor along a hidden ledge that lead to a cave underneath the town. Inside was a ritual circle that had been recently used, most likely by the Templar to get back to Balic.

The party met back at House Tomblador’s headquarters to discuss Walis’ future. Cydle Tomblador was more than happy to comply as he knew his life was forfeit, and was happy to ignore the everlasting grudge that his family’s house held against the Lords of Tyr.

The party took a shine to House Tomblador’s heir as he was willing to aid them in their take-over granted that business would continue to flow. He showed them to the vault and gave them 7000gb worth of gold ingots as a show of good faith, more than enough to hire the Crimson Legion.

But the party’s business in Walis was not over yet. Cydle Tomblador informed them that Content Not Found: Walis profits were currently down as a recent breakthrough into ancient ruins had unleashed the undead into one arm of the mine. Seeing this as a worthwhile venture for Tyr, the party set out to the mines with the advice of several slaves including Jerek. The slaves claimed that ghosts were directing the undead while Jerek claimed he heard something more primal lurking in the mines.

An overseer led them to the entrance of the mines at the mouth of the canyon and left them to do what the party do best… getting their way. They entered the right-hand mines which had been temporarily abandoned due to the undead infestation. It wasn’t long before the party encountered zombies which they easily dispatched. The zombies were dressed in ancient, near-rotted clothing all with a ceramic brooch. The brooches all had a symbol with Tiran remembered had something to do with Kalidnay, ruins located to the east of Walis. The party continued onwards until they came to where the mines had broken though to the ruins.

The ruins appeared to be an ancient outpost that had sunk into the sand and rock long ago. A slight cave collapse had broken into the top of the 3-story fortified outpost. Before entering the gaping doors of the outpost, the party heard a deathly warning emanate from inside the fort. Ignoring this, the party entered the outpost and found a small troop of skeletons guarding the bottom floor. They were most likely once soldiers magically compelled by Templars to guard the outpost, death not being a hindrance to this compulsion.

The party pulled out to the stops to beat the creatures which had been guarding this fort for centuries, several of the party falling unconscious several times and even Turk struggling to land a blow against the agile undead. Finally the party triumphed against the last Deathdrinker Skeleton, though triumph implies that the party still had the energy to feel triumph.

They were exhausted from from a long and arduous battle and were still in dangerous and well-defended ruins.

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Walis - The Immortals of Tyr

After a ferocious battle with a Nightmare Beast Spawn, Ichtaca was injured and had to retire back to Slither. Unfortunately, this meant that Tiran Arslan, Dust and Turk Garrant were left to face the 3 Nightmare Beast Spawn alone.

The battle was not easy with Tiran being ‘black lighninged’ to within an inch of his life, but the party triumphed and eventually found their way to the lair of the Nightmare Beast. But common sense told them to leave this lair of another day.

They continued onto Walis, which was located in a deep canyon at the top of a spire rising up in the middle. They knew that getting Slither down into the canyon would not be an issue, but getting it out was seemingly impossible. Tiran Arslan, Dust and Turk Garrant continued the rest of the way on foot, traversing the narrow kank trail on foot. Well after nightfall, they reached the Yellow House, a saloon resting at the base of the spire.

The three used their authority to gain entry and the Dwarf barman, Karam, led them to ‘the bucket’, a rickety elevator which would take them to Walis’ location at the top of the spire. Despite the time of night, the party immediately headed towards the House Tomblador headquarters where their brute determination and ignorance allowed them entry to the bed-chambers of Cydle Tomblador. Not sure how to deal with the self-proclaimed conquerors of Walis, Cydle pointed out that the Praetors were most-likely on their way.

The Praetors, as Turk Garrant explained a little too late, turned out to be Balican Templars instated to maintain Balican rule in Walis and did not take kindly to the silent take-over of Walis and immediately responded with displaying the arcane and martial force that had made the Praetors legendary in the field of battle.

It soon became apparent that the Praetors were far above anything the party had faced before and they were a force to be reckoned with, along with their personal guards and House Tomblador, slave overseers. The party managed to defeat most of the guards and overseers and even killed one of the Praetors before the other fled out of the building. After spending no more than an hour in Walis, the self-proclaimed conquerors had become the locally-proclaimed conquerors.

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Tyr - The Lords of Tyr

The Stewards began their morning with a surprise visit from Shivrin leader of The Freed with an escort of two elves. Aware of the Steward’s current plan to cull the gangs of The Warrens. Shivrin offered to help broker a deal between the leader of the Toothcutters, a blood relative of hers, and the Stewards in the hope to reach a peace and put a final end to the bloodshed. The Stewards agreed and one of the elven escorts stepped forwards to reveal himself as Malkin, head of the Toothcutters and organised crime within Tyr. Once his head was in full view, a full ring of functional eyes around his skull and a slightly off-centre body acted as the party’s first encounter with Sunwarping.

Malkin had a simple proposition for the party. They would take out the fence of the Iron Rats – the closest thing they had to a leader, let the Toothcutters finish their business with the Iron Rats and then allow the Toothcutters to continue their activities within the Warrens. In turn, the Toothcutters will keep a tight clamp and control on all nefarious activities within the city, do their best to cooperate with the Tyr leaders (not to be known to the public) and pledge some of the Toothcutters to the cause of city defense. The Stewards agreed and promptly set about fulfilling their end of the deal, though not before Tiran gave a stern warning to Shivrin that she was not to ambush them with this kind of meeting again. On all outward appearances, Shivrin was relatively unfazed by the Steward’s warning, yet took heed of it nonetheless. Malkin also mentioned that the party would probably not see their assassin again.

Ichtaca’s previous status as an Iron Rat led them to Gavan Sul, owner of the Tarnished Cup and fence for the Iron Rats. Gavan Sul didn’t seem surprised to see the Stewards enter the shop though he did have heightened security which he claimed was because of the civil war. The party explained the situation and so Gavan Sul proposed a counter-offer. He would stay in Tyr, stay alive while the party took care of the Toothcutters. In return, he would heavily monitor the Iron Rats, cooperate with the Stewards when needed and give them the Fifth Sword of Tyr a relic supposedly infused with the power to hinder the abilities of a Sorcerer-King.

The party formed a cunning plan since Gavan Sul would be more useful to them alive than dead. They would stage an exiling of Gavan Sul from Tyr, leading the Toothcutters to believe that he had been dealt with. In reality, Gavan Sul would lay low in Grak’s Pool for several weeks until the Mercenary Army had been dealt with. Gavan Sul agreed to give them the sword once the Toothcutters had been dealt with. The party staged a struggle (which wasn’t quite so staged) and in appearances, the bread-giver of the Iron Rats had been dealt with, seriously damaging the organisational integrity of the Iron Rats. It was here that the Stewards decided to rename themselves the ‘Lords of Tyr’.

The party then set about on their next task, travelling south to Walis to seize the only known gold mine in Athas. They set about fully stocking Slither and gaining an escort of two Templars and 5 city watchmen. Riding their mobile fortress, they travelled for about 8 days before they entered a strange environment. Warped and twisted trees were everywhere and the only creatures to be seen were a pack of sickly-looking Aarakocra. The party captured one of the Aarakocra who told them they were in the territory of the Nightmare Beast. After some research in their library, they figured that Nightmare Beast territory resembles defiled lands and that the spawn often hunt in packs. The party found a lone spawn and easily dispatched it, but not before it called to five of its fellow spawn.

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Tyr - Death of The True

The mysterious figures were found to be Templar Ratebourne, Murter Dyan, a loyal Templar of Kalak and the assassin Jonus. In an unusual move, the heroes tried combat before diplomacy, throwing themselves at the exposed The True leaders. Unfortunately for the heroes, Tiran Arslan had been teleported out of the Ziggurat at the completion of the trials as he was holding the Book of Kalak; and Calder had unfortunately attempted to steal some of the treasure from the final trial and was also removed from the temple.

Templar Ratebourne opened up strong, with some powerful defiling magic driving many of the heroes to become quite nervous in combat, however in his usual manner, Ichtaca responded in kind, delivering a massive amount of damage across the battlefield and with some quick healing from Dust to top the group back up they regrouped and attempted to take advantage of the terrain to assist in the battle. Darius proved once again his value to the group by manoeuvring the enemies with his deadly spears towards the edges, allowing Turk to employ his deft teleportation moves to dispatch of Templar Ratebourne.
Murter Dyan also proved no match for the group and when Dust negotiated the surrender of Jonas, the remaining Templar of Kalak threw himself off the edge confusing the heroes who soon learned his reasons – the altar with nobody sustaining the ritual exploded nearly killing the heroes. Ichtaca was thrown off into the chasm and saved by a quick BAMF from Turk.

Dust, whilst bravely assisting his comrades, spared only moments to scoop up the sword that belonged to Murter Dyan as this heirloom of House Dyan was a lavish looking metal bastard sword with a bejeweled bone handle showing the symbol of House Dyan.

After dispatching the threat from The True the heroes headed directly to the Golden Tower where they met up with Templar Ashfield and explained the negotiations that occurred with the other factions of Tyr and their hopes to end the civil war. They met with several factions, held a general meeting and elected a new council settling on the following members:

*Xalos the Stonecutter – Commoners/Artisans (Mul)
*Hanneth Tsalaxa – Merchants (Human)
*Shivrin – The Freed (Half-Elf)
*Stoki – Ex-Gladiators (Goliath)
*Templar Ashfield – Templars (Human)
*Makra Ianto – Silver Spring (Human)

No noble representative was elected at this meeting, with Dust hinting strongly that he would be looking to the houses to see which nobles were contributing the most to rebuilding Tyr and preparing her for the incoming invasion of Urik’s Mercenary Army.

It was also announced that Tyr had allied herself with Nibenay in an attempt to gather enough troops to defend the city, this was met with mixed emotions mainly from The Freed who were afraid of a return of slavery. Dust, as representative of House Aslan assured them that the reagents of Tyr would remain in direct rule with oversight only from Nibenay as part of the agreement. As a show of good faith and strong leadership House Aslan donated 3,000 gold bits to Tyr’s treasury which is to be used to help in the rebuilding of Tyr. House Dyan’s assets were to be assessed after the treachery of Murter Dyan but for the immediate future House Aslan would take control of the Iron Mines of Tyr to ensure continued stability and trade for the good of all. The free were given funding from House Aslan to assist them in recreating their district to be more organized and building a central area where they could hold council for themselves, this building is to be built out of the stone previously used for the slave pits and would be a symbol to all of their freedom.

At the meeting it was also decreed that something would be done about the Thri-Kreen problem as the Artisan District was too valuable not to be reclaimed, the heroes decided it might be better for them to clear out some of the organized crime in The Warrens and make some room to move the Thri-Kreen into the space. To start this, the heroes set about to clearing out the leadership behind the savage Ruincreepers, the savy Toothcutters and erratic Iron Rats. Dust put his new hireling Jonus to work immediately in taking out the leader. The heroes themselves set out into The Warrens to cause trouble amongst the leadership in the hopes that with a few Captain’s dead and leaders killed, they could create a power vacuum that would give them the time they need to carve out enough space to give to the Thri-Kreen.

The party walked into the middle of battle between the Iron Rats and the Toothcutters, but before they could intervene, a huge Braxat allied with the Ruincreepers entered the fray, redirecting the party’s battle-focus onto the Braxat which they slew, destroying the Ruincreepers biggest play and destroying their bid for The Warrens.

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Tyr - A City at War

After entering the city via the Caravan District, the party met withJossi the Juggler, a staple sight in the district and one of Gear’s connected, who informed them of the situation. Soon after the party’s departure, Davith Vordon, the only non-noble on the interim council was murdered. Shoshanna Beryl and Murter Dyan appointed Delani Shashram, another influential noble to the council. The other factions within Tyr saw this as grab for power by the nobles and fighting broke out between the nobility, the house merchants, The Freed and even the commoners. The Templars and city watch were unable to keep control and retreated back into the Golden City. Meanwhile, the source of the light pillar was suspected to have been linked to The True. The fighting had mostly occurred in the now-abandoned Artisan District and Shoshanna Beryl had been reportedly killed during the fighting.

The party made their way to Templar Ashfield in the Golden Tower who said that Gear’s abilities were being hampered by the pillar of light. He told them they might be able to find the remaining council members at Blacksun Villa, manorhouse of the Shashram Noble House, which was acting as a refuge for nobility who had been displaced by the civil war. Unprecedented amounts of Thri-Kreen had taken up residence in the abandoned Artisan District. The Freed had fortified themselves in the Slave’s Compound and Smith’s District while the three gangs of The Warrens were conducting a civil war of their own. The only normally-operating parts of the city were the Merchant District and the Caravan District as not even war can stop commerce.

Ichtaca managed to negotiate with the Thri-Kreen in the artisan’s district for them to move into The Warrens once the gang war had been sorted in exchange for a portion of them to aid in defending Tyr and to act as a liaison between the approaching Thri-Kreen hoards and Tyr. Darius and Dust managed to convince The Freed to temporarily lay down their arms and stop assaulting the Noble District.

The entire party visited Blacksun Villa together to find Delani Shashram and accidentally walked into a cult meeting of The True. After slaying Delani Shashram, the rest of the household fled out onto the streets where they were promptly killed by the Scarlet Helms, as directed by the Stewards. Inside the villa on a podium they found a Book of Kalak.

Using the book, they gained entry into Kalak’s Ziggurat where they faced the 5 trials of Kalak before coming to the centre of the Zuggurat, finding the perpetrators and instigators of the pillar of light and the civil war.

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Slither - The Crawling Fortress of Tyr

After the final demise of Zeburron (we assume), the party immediately set to their next task, finding and seizing the fortress of Slither. This was relatively easy considering they had a piece of magical paper which acted as a compass towards the mobile fortress. The party found slither in exactly the same way they found it the first time, unmoving.

Mounting the fortress proved as equally difficult as the last time as Slither tried to make its getaway, but it was nowhere near the challenge as it had been many a level since the party had visited Slither. Utilising grappling hooks, the party managed to climb the legs to the front door (Darius almost falling back into the desert). They ascended to the top of citadel to face the bone dragon which had chased them off long ago. The bone construct was not easy to defeat and with some tail swipes and snapping of jaws, the dragon fell to the floor in a heap. The bones reconstructed themselves into a set of controls on the balcony to the cheers of the party. But their cheers were cut short by the inability of anyone to use them.

The party already knew that only a Snake Skull Raider could be use those controls but weren’t sure how to officially become one. Luckily, the party had an entire Skeleton Library at their disposal to help with this. And help it certainly did as several burly skeletons pinned down Dust, Turk and Darius anyone else?; and ripped their hair out and tattooed the Snake Skull Raider tattoo onto their scalps.

With this, the party rode Slither all the way back to Tyr in victory… only to find their beloved city of Tyr in the midst of a civil war and pillar of dangerously-looking white and purple light rising from the peak of Kalak’s Ziggurat.

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