For a write-up of the first session and the thoughts behind the campaign please see my previous post: http://reddicediaries.com.gridhosted.co.uk/uncategorized/creating-dark-sunesque-campaign-for_10/
Athralix’ uncles Kallisto explained to the group that the iron hard chitin and razor sharp scythes of the ravagers who were a king’s ransom and that, since they always travelled in packs, it was entirely likely that there were some more of the arachnoid beasts lurking in the dunes surrounding the city of Arrakis, he explained that he would pay them handsomely for the creature’s body parts and introduced a guide to the desert that he had procured for them, a mantis-man who introduced himself as Tk’Tak through clicking mandibles. As the group walked through the city streets (having accepted Kallisto’s offer and some money up front as a goodwill gesture) their new guide mused that there must be a reason that the Ravagers were attacking the city; these thoughts were interrupted by a ragged beggar man from the side of the streets shouting that the gods had returned to Athas and that he had seen them with his own eyes, Hurgen shook her head sadly whilst the Bloodtide sneered, everyone knew that the gods had long forsaken Athas, the man was obvious made from the heat. Athrialix and Tk’Tak had both seen strange things in their time though and spoke to the man, who told them how he had been lost in the desert and had seen a huge obsidian hand bursting forth from the sands amidst ancient ruins.
Visiting Sung-Ki, a local trader the group purchased a bull-mekillot to carry their provisions and equipment before making their way into the desert, Hurgen checked their rations whilst Tk’Tak plotted the route and the Bloodtide ranged ahead as a scout; they had been travelling for some days when the Bloodtide spied a tell-tale whirling of sand and wind approaching and shouted back “Sandstorm! Dig yourselves in!”
Tk’Tak concetrated and shed his own form turning into a silt serpent and effortlessly burrowing into the sand whilst the others covered themselves as best they were able; emerging several minutes later it seemed that they had wandered far off course to the south, Athrialix peered curiously at several strange, spikey cactus like growths that dotted the landscape around them, but his investigations were cut short when mummifed hands burst from the sand and ragged, sun dried corpses lurched into a horrifying semblance of life, their hands grasping for the living. Diving backwards Athrialix threw out his hand and a bolt of arcane force smashed into one of the creatures, whilst the Bloodtide and Hurgen drew their weapons, wading into the creatures, smashing them to pieces.
Once the adrenalin of the combat had been spent the party had chance to inspect the (now truly) dead bodies, one of them was dressed in the uniform of a King’s Templar from Arrakis, the uniform was tattered but unmistakable, tucked into the pocket of the uniform was a rough map showing the location of some ruins nearby, there was also a large X on the map with ‘the hand’ written under it in arcane runes. The talk of the hand reminded Hurgen of an ancient myth concerning the father and mother of giants who all other giants are descended from, creatures so big that they blotted out the sun.
Deciding to visit the site on the map the group made camp as it started getting dark, whilst on his watch Tk’Tak heard noise from over a couple of dunes and, sneaking forwards, spotted the signs of some sort of archaeological dig being conducted under the watchful eye of a Kings Templar, they seemed to be excavating the fingertips of a giant hand protruding from the sands, they were so dark in colour that all light seemed to be absorbed by them and they stood out even amidst the darkness of the night. Returning to camp Tk’Tak woke the Bloodtide and told him what he had seen, Athrialix had also woken up, complaining of a bad dream, any further explanation was cut off by an ear-piercing scream from the direction of the dig.