The Lords and ladies of Shadowdale awoke in the desert with a crimson sun burning down from directly overhead. Around them were the bits of rubble and debris, all that was left of the Wizards Guild Tower. Amongst the party of adventurers, only a few favored few items survived the trip from one world to another. Poppy opened her eyes to find the greatsword of her recent foe, Ninarens sister White Rose, erstwhile captain of the Black Company stabbed into the ground near her. With a silent oath of vengeance, Poppy took up the sword and her elven wisdom bade her forget the bow in favor of the blade. With naught to cover her pinkening skin but her magic cape and gloves, she began a new phase in her short wild life.
Thokk held his axe and wore his magic armour, but his exposed skin was blackening and giving off a corrupting steam. Felipe, the pink panther lady, could not be separated from her quested set of panther magic, but it took all she had to retain them. Tara held the spirit knife, her armour, and her prized lions, Glimmer and Glamor. Molly, so maddeningly thoughtless on the outside, was nonetheless able to hold onto the most items, keeping her spell book, her magic cloak, her chalk, and her well made suit of leather adventuring attire.
After searching the area, Poppy found a banner of the White Rose, which would help them survive the heat of this desert. Felipe looked around, and saw the faintest line of mountains far to the west, 2-5 days away. Tara found the two halves of the sundered ruby, and as he held them near to each other, Tara received a psychic message. Solve the Riddle of Dark Sun by uncovering the 8 truths of the world of Athas to unlock the ninth, and the ruby shall be mended.
Far in the distance they saw dark shapes moving towards them and decided they must move towards the mountains. It was a hard decision to make, but they knew they had to seek shelter, and more important, water, before their time ran out. They were in a section of large dunes, and Poppy and Molly used their cantrips to help cool and protect the party as they crossed the wasteland, Felipe forging the way with sheer endurance. After an hour, Tara took over the lead. Eventually they came to an area of slopes with deep cracks and crevices, but the elf led them to the top until she too became exhausted in the process and Thokk, burning to a blackened crisp, he led them across the table-like mesa at the top of the slopes. The stone was pitted and pocked with holes hidden by the shifting sands, but his natural athletics saw them through a safe path.
This was the hottest part of the day, late afternoon, and the temperature reached 150 degrees. Each of them was threatened with sun sickness, but Molly was the first to succumb. Her head was swimming and she was in too much pain to recover.
The sun finally set, and for a few dusky hours they seemed to make real progress towards the mountains. The flat mesa seemed without end and all night they walked until the temperature had dropped so far that they began to shiver with the cold. As the sun rose, they knew that they could not survive another night like that without aid. Early in the morning a line of brown appeared to the eat, and a sandstorm was roaring towards them. They saw some rocks ahead and made towards them for shelter.They entered a narrow canyon through tall rocks, and as the sky overhead darkened Felipe caught a glimpse of green and felt the presence of life ahead. The ranger sent his lion ahead to scout and saw a tall fruit bearing tropical tree surrounded by the steep canyon walls. Around it the dust and sand seemed to swirl like a protective dust devil. Felipe went forward and saw there was a face of a beutiful woman, elvish or human perhaps, formed by the swirling sands.
The rest of the party came forward and as they did, the face sent out a psychic message, Sacrifice and be rewarded ten fold. Tara knew what to do and went forward and pricked her finger with her dagger until the blood ran into the sand near the plant. When enough blood flowed a fruit shook and fell to the sand to roll to Taras feet. It was rich and juicy and give her sustenance to survive another day in the desert. Soon everyone had their fruit and they went on as the storm passed.
The sun reached its second zenith since their arrival when they felt a distant rumble in the earth and soon saw a huge herd of animals bearing down on them. They looked like enourmous long necked reptiles with small heads, and long thick legs, and the party was directly in their path. There were at least a thousand of these behemoths. The Druid cast her flaming circle and the party huddled behind it, Poppy and Molly once again using their presidigitation to good affect, causing sparks to swirl and flash above the fire to increase its appearance of danger to the lumbering beasts. Thokk and Tara meanwhile stood to either side and flashed their arms and armour to intimidate the beasts from coming too close.
As the last of the beasts ran past, they met the horned behemoths that started the stampede. Above the four armour plated dinosaurs soared a large skinwing behemoth, with claws and beak large enough to rend, grasp and flay. Thokk charged a behemoth before he could be charged, and proceeded to hack away with his axe against two of them. The druid unleashed a insect hoarde that damaged three of the horned horrors, and she was gored by one as a result. The last behemoth charged Poppy and was soon beheaded by the Swod of the White Rose. Molly was next to go, and as she cast a Fire Shield about her, everyone nearby was wracked with sudden intense pain. The behemoths bellowed an pain and rage, while the heroes held their stomachs and gasped. Everyone but Molly, who felt nothing but the surge of magic.
As Molly wove her magic, she was unaware of the diving skinwing, which grasped her in its claws, suffering the burst of magic flame as it pulled her aloft by the shoulders. Soon Molly was forty feet above the desert sands and the skinwing continued to struggle upwards. She wriggled free and fell back to the sound, winded and almost unconscious by the fall.
The lions charged forward to attack the the second behemoth threatening Thokk, as the ranger went to Mollys aid. The skinwing landed and Poppy, who had just finished off the first of the horned behemoths, charged it. She was bitten savagely but soon it too was added to the corpses laid at Poppys naked feet.
Thokk, Felipe, and Tara each fought and slew their behemoths. They each then feasted on the precious liquid blood of the slain beasts and as the buzzards began to circle overhead, they made a sled out of the skinwings wings to carry a supply of meat and bones. For an hour they dragged their sled across the sands to get away from the sight of so much carnage, and as the hottest part of the day arrived, they made a rude lean-to out of their meagre supplies to wait out the day. Each of them was now suffering from sun-sickness, but Molly took a turn for the worst. Poppy knew that a damp cloth over her forhead and eyes would help, and for an hour Molly lay with a steaming slab of dinosaur over her face, until the dizziness finally went away. After 36 hours without rest, they needed shelter. It was time to continue towards the mountains, which were four impossible days away.