Recorded by scholars studying the life of Vilsis.
Following their audience with King Tithian, the party was asked to vouch for a newcomer to Tyr hoping to join the Crimson Legion – it was none other than Petal. All members of the party were happy to vouch for her steadfastness in battle and in life (or at least not not vouch for her), which seemed to be enough – especially considered that Rikus had left only the most inexperienced legionnaires in Tyr when he left the city.
With that business concluded, they made sleeping arrangements (with most deciding to take advantage of Dazeel‘s free accommodations at Anzo’s Pleasure Argosy). While Birel wandered off to develop her commodities business, the rest of the party met back up in a secluded booth at Anzo’s to contemplate their next move.
Vilsis brought up the possibility that the facially-impaired dray present during the council meeting may well have been the hooded defiler whose squadron of grell had attacked The Crimson Legion‘s headquarters before the party left for Altaruk (the defiler blasted in the face by Vilsis’ shining example of combat excellence – an example which he has had considerable trouble replicating ever since). Further investigations confirmed that the three dray diplomats are confined to their quarters in the Little Draxa section within Tyr’s templar district. Their names are Kazimzadeh, Oliquluushagi, and Zalimxan – the latter being the disfigured dray. In fact, Zalimxan was conspicuously absent from public view for several weeks following the grell battle.
There was relative consensus among the party regarding Zalimxan’s need to meet an untimely end, but access to Little Draxa would be exceedingly difficult. Zuri was hopeful that a contact at Veiled Alliance would provide an in, but the party would have some waiting to do before the cell’s next scheduled meeting.
However, while making their investigations around Tyr, the party couldn’t help but notice a steady stream of rumors about raiders attacking the collective farm, Kolkhaz Qarbjanoob, an hour or so outside the city. For several days, unknown assailants had been stealing grain from the farms stored. The prior night, however, a local resident had gotten in the way – and paid with his life. An opportunity to help the downtrodden of Athas from ruffians proved irresistable and the party quickly headed to the farm.
Upon their arrival, the people of Qarbjanoob were overjoyed that a group of expert combatants had volunteered to protect them. Though they regretted that they had little wealth to compensate our heroes for their services, they were more than happy to offer what hospitality they had.
An extended tactical discussion ensured regarding how to best ensnare the raiders when they (no doubt) returned to the farm for further pillaging that night. Eventually, it was decided that the best plan was to construct a makeshift tent on the outskirts of the kolkhaz – a decoy offering from the terrified farmers. Inside the tent was a pile of faro – but also a hidden pit trap!
The party waited in concealment for the raiders to arrive. After several hours, a party of Ssurran slunk out of the darkness and approached the tent. The ssurran on point fell into the pit, at which point the party jumped from their hiding places and engaged. However, the ssurran raiders showed little stomach for battle and immediately fled back into the desert. The party tracked them briefly up into the hills, but being unfamiliar with the area and wary of ambush (or just getting lost), they returned to the Qarbjanoob to await first light.
When dawn broke, they follow the ssurran tracks back into the desert, eventually finding their way to a stubby hill covered by dried brambles. Vilsis suggested setting the greenery on fire to smoke out enemies lurking within, but Bost vetoed the idea on warden principles. Instead, they crept around the perimeter and, having still found no signs of ssurran, Bost and Vilsis made their way up to the top of the hill.
To everybody’s surprise, a Blackscale Crusher reared up from the brambles, striking out at Bost and Vilsis. Meanwhile the ssurran dreadtail raiders poured out from a crack in the rocky hill, accompanied by a Desert Mystic, who used appropriately mystical powers to attack the party from afar with blasts of salt from the earth.
Bost faced off with the Crusher one-on-one while the rest of the party disposed of the ssurran. The desert mystic, who had remained at range during the combat, found himself the sole survivor facing a quartet of angry heroes, he was overcome by terror and seemed to suffer a fatal heart attack on the spot.