Weight of Riches

Chapter 1- Pharaoh pt1

Foreigners quest

I3cover

4 months after coming to Zakhara, the Heroes have come to learn many of the ways of the desert. the Tower that they came out of, was a replica of the white tower, altho this one is now blue, and it is missing the Crystal ball, and Ring. So for the last 4 months the Heroes have been taking many odd jobs trying to find the Crystal ball and ring that they could use to open the blue tower portal and hopefully get to free their friend Chance from the evil Arch Mage that has him captured.

During the last few months Carmen, decided to leave the group for whatever reason, and Ivyn, and Karis two of Osazes old companions from back in the Hollow World. have come to meet him by chance, and have joined up with Osaze because they too have found their way to this foreign desert land and wish to go home to Mystara, and Hollow World.

In the many rumor gathering escapades, there is a story of a great magic treasure, including a crystal ball. that originates to the far north-west, beyond where most will not travel. it is there that the Heroes begin their journey to hopefully find a way to get to their friend.

Handout introduction

intxobuction
A lonely group of horsemen stands huddled at the base of a
range of craggy, dry mountains, the red light of a dying day
casting long shadows behind them. A parched wind, still alive
with the desert heat, rustles their capes over their sweatsoaked
leather armor. The horsemen have formed a circle
astride their steeds and hunch down sadly against the sandy
wind.
It is your party that stands within this circle of grizzled soldiers.
The last thing you recall is enjoying the richness of this land
and absorbing all of its strange tales of wealth and greatness.
But now you are awake, confused amid these heavily shadowed
faces under a deep red sunset.
The weathered face of the commander turns toward you,
leather-brown skin setting off his steel-blue eyes. He pulls
from his saddle pouch an elegant scroll and reads loudly over
the rustling wind its flowing, formal message:
know ye
BY OR&R OF his majesty
RULER anb tRustee OF the Realm
Wh€R€aS I t hhth 88817 R€pORt€b Of late t O OUR majesty that
CeRtAln bank anb V l k b€S€Rt raiders have crossed the
terrible mountain wastes of the south, over Loncjforgotten
paths, thence to Raib anb pillacje OUR hamlets
anb towns anb thence bisappeaRincj into those same FORWh€
R€aS OUR valiant tRoops have tRaCk€b these same wLe
BlbblnG hills, Anb
creatures thnoucjh the VeRy teeth Of that awesome Ranc;e
t o t he VeRY B O R ~ ~ oRfS t he most accursed lanb, known t o
the WlS€ as the b€S€Rt Of b€SOlatiOn, anb BelnCj know-
LebGeaBLe as to the CURS ~ So f that beab anb haunteb lanb
blb OUR h o a Of DRAW knic;hts ~ ~ S ehlaylt thein puRsuit,
dnb fURth€RmOR€, Wh€R€aS CBRtaln FORel Gn cahracters
whose descriptions match those OF the VSRy GROUP hen€
assemoleb at my most hOnOR€b an6 R ~ V ~ RReEqu~es t, w e ~ e
seen in the vlcinity or the tent of wan-boo the wonbnous,
wizaRb OF the couRt, in the latten pant OF the eveninc; anb
Wh€R€aS those pensons bib attain entRy to Saib tent anb
bib ShORt-sheet the wizanb’s seb anb bo all manner? OF
petty pranks anb bib Leave $OR the wizard a ceRtain maib
FOR an allecjeb bate wth saib wzaRb, anb
Wh€R€aS saib wizanb bib Retunn to saib tent with yet
seconb wench bib Beqn a Loub commotion an0 bistun-
Bance the Like of which has neveR B ~ F O Rsh~a ken this
stately count anb upset the wizanb to no enb,
bnOth€R wench wheaeupon Both the FlRSt maib Anb the
th€R€fOR€ Be I t b€CR€€b that Sblb p€RSOnS BB AppOlnteb
SP€Clbl FOI2Ce Unb€R OUR ITIaj€sty to tRaCk the COURSe Of the
RalbeRS fROm the b€S€Rt Of b€SOkltlOn, Wh€R€ SUR~LY even
the RalbeRS COUlb not SURVIVB, SeaRch Out thBlR hibinc;
place Anb BRlnCj US Back pROOf that they have FOUnb that
hibben $ORtR€SS in the besent. We FURtheR b€CR€€ that
they may Retain All that they BRinG FORth with them fOR
thein own use fnom that faoleb lanb OF tReasuRe anb beath.
Be I t yet FURtheR b€CR€€b thht If th€ypR€f€R not this quest
they may choose OF beath By hanGinG, beath By ~IPeBall,
beath By pOLytI7ORph. beath By mme StRik€, beath By
llCjhtnInG.. .
Rolling the scroll back up with his calloused hands, the commander
leans down toward you. “What this means, you poor
foreigners, is that you have been chosen to enter that cursed
dead land south of here. It means that it doesn’t matter whether
you were in the tent that night or not, because you are easy to
get rid of without ruffling any feathers.”
“And it also means,” speaks the aged, though rugged, form
besidethe commander, “that these here raiders has caused his
majesty a good deal of trouble with the Barons. You’re his
proof that he is doing something about them.” His laugh rolls
through the hills.
The commander silences him with a sharp look, then continues.
“We have brought you certain supplies and mounts
from which you may choose. There is no water within two
weeks’ tortured ride over the mountains from this spot, and
those hills are full of cutthroat barbarians that kill forthesheer
joy of it. Without this armed escort, it would be suicide to
attempt crossing back from whence we have come. Your only
hope, for what it may be worth, will be to follow those tracks
and hope that they lead to water.” His lifted arm points southward,
and all eyes follow its direction. There in the desert
sands, aconfused trail mars thesurface and leads straight into
the heart of the burning land.
Looking south across the barren wastes, lifeless dunes roll in
an endless succession away from the mountains to the south,
east and west. You have heard tales of this place. Fabulous
wealth as yet unclaimed lies there waiting to be freed. It is all
yoursforthetaking-if only you can survivethis haunted land.

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DavidRussell

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